Originally published December 16 2009
Breastfeeding: Tips Help Guide New Mothers
by Fleur Hupston
(NaturalNews) Armed with the correct knowledge, breastfeeding should be a pleasure for both mother and baby and will certainly give the infant a head start in life. No matter how attractively infant formula is packaged and marketed, nothing manufactured by man is going to come anywhere close to the immune building, brain developing properties found naturally in breast milk. While some mothers struggle a little at first to get the baby to latch properly or worry because it seems like he or she is not getting enough milk, seeking help if necessary and persevering will generally see both mother and child settling into a happy routine. Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give to her newborn.
Breast is Best
Many mothers are concerned that they will not be able to produce enough milk for the new baby. Three to four days following the birth, a woman's body stimulates a surge in milk production. Prior to that, the breasts were producing a more watery, yellow looking milk called colostrum. Colostrum is packed full of antibodies and immunoglobulins, offering protection to the newborn from bacteria and viruses. Start breastfeeding immediately so that the baby can get the full benefit of this natural "immunization".
In the half hour following birth, the baby's suckling reflex is strongest, making this the ideal time to start breastfeeding. Breastfeeding every two to three hours will help to maintain milk production. Take the time to sit calmly in a peaceful, relaxed and stress free environment.
Correct Nutrition During Pregnancy
Breastfeeding means that a woman's body is taking on the feeding demands of another human being. A small human being, that is. As in pregnancy, extra food can be consumed while lactating but do not make the mistake of over-eating, especially the wrong foods.
Now is the time to be especially careful to eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fish. Junk and sugary foods should be eliminated. Alcohol should be taken in moderation, if at all. Be very careful taking medication during this time, since it will make its way into breast milk.
Some new mothers are horrified that they have gained weight during pregnancy and are determined to lose it as soon as possible after the birth. A new mother, who goes on a strict weight-reduction diet or rigorous exercise routine in an attempt to rapidly lose weight after the birth of the child, will more than likely not be able to produce sufficient milk for her baby's needs.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding women tend to lose weight more rapidly than their formula feeding counterparts. In one study breastfeeding mothers were back to their pre-pregnancy weight by six months, whereas the formula feeding women were not. The process of breastfeeding causes the uterus to shrink more quickly to its pre-pregnancy size.
Kramer, F. et al, "Breastfeeding reduces material lower-body fat" Journal of American Dietetic Association, 93:429-33, 1993.
About the authorFleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.
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