All new mothers need is encouragement and a feeling that you, their midwife, believes in their ability to nurse, and in breastfeeding itself. Why not absorb these snippets of information, so that you too can be a great breastfeeding ambassador?
Colostrum is low in fat; high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies
It’s the perfect welcome meal for a newborn to have a great start to life on earth!
The small volume produced is ideal for Baby’s 5ml stomach capacity on Day 1, and gradually increases in the first days, in tune with Baby’s stomach capacity
It’s sticky and protectively coats the intestinal lining to minimise infection and allergy incidence
Tummy-to-tummy feeding is important
- It begins with Baby doing the spontaneous tummy crawl up to Mom’s breast when placed on her abdomen after birth
- A newborn baby will feed most comfortably when facing directly tummy-to-tummy with his mother, and not needing to turn his head awkwardly to latch
- This position also provides an excellent skin-to-skin care opportunity
Don’t squeeze Mom’s breast!
- Following a natural birth, most babies will latch spontaneously if left to bond unhurriedly with their mothers
- You might just occlude her milk ducts if you squeeze her breast tissue and this could cause inflammation and engorgement
- Encourage the mother to master gentle hand expression, and to use an electric pump if her baby is in the neonatal unit, as this combined approach yields the most breast milk
Breastfeeding is a serious obesity prevention strategy
- When evaluating Body Mass Index (BMI) at two to six years of age, investigators found that children who were exclusively breastfed for the first four months of life were less likely to be obese than those fed a combination of breast and formula milk
- Most mothers lose weight easiest after birth when they breastfeed (unless their diet is high in stodgy, sweet foods) due to the high calorie expenditure when making mother’s milk
- The hormones oxytocin and prolactin, so abundantly available while breastfeeding, uplift a mother’s mood, adding to her feeling of self-esteem, so comfort eating is minimised
Nursing becomes easy-peasy!
- Start-up nursing is time consuming but only if mothers see it as a chore; this feeding time presents her with an invaluable mini-break a few times each day – just what a new mom needs!
- At six months, mothers will only spend between three and six hours per full day on feeding and related activities, like nappy changes, wiping up spills, and giving Baby a short break between ‘courses’ – not bad when one considers that we are talking about raising babies, not pets!
- Remind mothers that they must also take into account the time nursing saves when it comes to preparing feeds, as well as time spent dealing with the greater incidence of illness in formula-fed babies!