Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

4 February 2014

 Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

  • Breastfeeding is immensely healthy and natural. It should be immediately started after birth whether it is a natural or C-section birth. Since the baby, coming into life after so many hours, is tired and hungry.
  • * Bleedings in the mother after birth will be stopped after immediate breastfeeding.
  • * Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed. It’s a skill that every woman needs to learn and practise. It happens more quickly for some women than others, but nearly all women can produce the amount of milk that the baby needs.
  • * After the baby’s birth, in order to produce plenty of milk, the mother has to concentrate on two things: frequent breastfeeding and drinking plenty of fluids.
  • * In order to produce plenty of milk and to breastfeed for an extended period of time, it is important for the baby to be fed on demand.
  • * The baby should feed from both breasts alternatively. The next feed should always start with the last side used for the previous feed.
  • * Best position should be selected and baby’s head and body should be fully facing the mother.
  • * It should be done by covering the areola instead of the nipple.
  • * Frequent cleaning of breasts with soap should be avoided.
  • * Babies are born with sufficient fluid in their bodies to sustain them for the first four days of their lives. Because of this, there is no need to give a baby additional milk or water whilst the mother is waiting for her milk to come in.
  • * Breast milk is the best food to provide normal growth and development of the baby.
  • * Breast milk protects from diseases. Diarrhea and respiratory systems diseases are randomly seen in breastfed babies. It is important to give “Beestaings” (Colostrum), first 4-5 days’ milk of mother, to the baby. As it is the first vaccine of baby.
  • * Babies could easily stop it due to unnecessarily given supplementary food.
  • * Breast milk is sterile and at the ideal temperature for the baby.
  • * There is no need to buy formula milk if the mother is breastfeeding, so it is very economical.
  • * It is very convenient. As soon as the baby is hungry, he/she can be fed immediately and so is contented and doesn’t cry much. There is no need to sterilise bottles and make up formula.
  • * Allergic diseases are less often seen in breastfed babies.
  • * Any additional food should not be given to babies rather than breast milk within first 4 months.
  • * It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
  • It benefits mothers as it lowers their risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.

Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater the benefits for the mother and baby. It protects the baby from infections and diseases.


Benefits of Breastfeeding emerged from scientific researches and its increasing importance:
  • 1. World Medical Association, WHO and UNICEF recommends breastfeeding.
    Breastfeeding should be the preferred nutrition manner in all newborns whether they are premature or born with disease. According to American Academy of Paediatrics, breastfeeding should be sustained for at least 12 months; thereafter breastfeeding could be continued optionally. Especially in the first 6 months, babies do not need any supplementary food rather than breast milk.
  • 2. Breastfeeding is special state for women and provides a strong emotional bond between mother and baby. This reliability bond continues till childhood period.
    By breastfeeding, a hormone, named oxytocin, excreted from mother’s body. This hormone is responsible for both discharging milk from the breasts and facilitates recovery of uterus. At the same time, it helps to develop maternal instincts and provides a strong relationship between mother and baby.
  • 3. Breastfeeding satisfies emotional needs of the baby.
    All babies need to be hugged. Studies have shown that more death risk can be seen in premature babies that are not hugged. There is not any comfortable position for a baby than the breastfeeding position. This is so important for mental development of the baby.
  • 4. Breast milk is a perfect nutrition for babies.
    Breast is species-specific secretion and any other nutrition can not provide the benefits as breast milk.
  • 5. Not breastfeeding increases breast cancer risk of mother.
    Studies have shown that breastfeeding minimizes the risk of breast cancer. This decrease could be 25% for women breastfeeding for at least 24 months. This decrease can be more in young aged mothers.
  • 6. Breast milk is always ready-to-use.
  • 7. Breast milk can easily be digested.
    Babies can digest their mother’s milk more easily than the milk of other mammal animals. Possible reason for this is a species-specific enzyme that breast milk has. As there are more proteins in cow’s milk, it is hardly digestible and babies can not benefit form all these proteins.
  • 8. Feeding with formula increases baby girls’ risk of developing breast cancer in later life
    In advanced ages of baby girls’ fed with formula rather than breast milk, are %25 more than breastfed babies.
  • 9. Breast milk helps discharge of meconium.
    Babies born with a tar-like sticky substance, called as “meconium”, in their intestines. Breast milk facilities the discharging of meconium from intestines.
  • 10. There is a correlation between feeding with formula and low I.Q.
    Studies have shown that teenagers fed with breast milk have high I.Q. levels and become more successful than the one fed with baby formula.
  • 11. Breastfeeding provides a protection against Crohn disease.
    Breastfeeding is protective against an intestinal disease named as “Crohn disease”. Crohn disease is an inflammatory disorder of intestines.
  • 12. Mothers could easily lose weight due to breastfeeding.
    Breastfeeding mothers consume 500 calories more per day. This is a factor facilitates to lose weight.
  • 13. Breastfeeding decreases post-partum bleeding.
    As breastfeeding provides contractions of uterus with the release of oxycotin hormone, it also helps the recovery of open blood vessels and as a result post-partum bleeding will decrease.
  • 14. Breastfeeding facilitates post-partum contraction of uterus.
    Uterus of mothers that are not breastfeeding could not revert back its original dimensions before birth. It will remain slight bigger than ever.
  • 15. Pre-term milk is specially designed for premature babies.
    Milk of mothers who gave premature birth is different than mothers gave normal birth. In this period, the milk looks like first milk “colostrum”, colloquially named as “beestaings”, and necessary for babies’ health. Colostrum, having antibodies for germs and full of proteins, can be considered as “first vaccine” of the baby.
  • 16. Breast milk comprises substances related to immunity and facilities the development of babies’ immunity system.
  • 17. Feeding with formula increases risk of Type-1 diabetes.
    Studies have shown that high cow milk consumption in childhood increases the antibodies against this milk and this leads to the risk of insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • 18. Breastfeeding decreases the development of endometriosis.
  • 19. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of ovarian cancer
    Studies have shown that risk of getting ovarian cancer is much more less in breastfeeding mothers rather than mothers of not breastfeeding.
  • 20. Not breastfeeding increases risk of endometrial cancer
    Studies have shown that risk of getting endometrial cancer is much more less in breastfeeding mothers rather than mothers of not breastfeeding.
  • 21. Feeding with formula increases babies developing of allergies
    Babies fed with formula have high rate allergic structure than the babies fed with breast milk.
  • 22. Feeding with formula may increase the risk of “sudden infant death syndrome”.
    The death of babies without any cause is called as “sudden infant death syndrome”. This is highly found in babies fed with formula.
  • 23. Breast milk decreases the frequency of ear infections in babies.
  • 24. Breast milk decreases babies risk and frequency of asthma and other allergic diseases.
  • 25. Breast milk protects babies against diarrhea.
  • 26. Breast milk protects babies against “bacterial meningitis”.
  • 27. Breast milk protects babies against “respiratory tract infections”.
  • 28. Breast milk protects babies against some “lymphoma” types.
  • 29. Breast milk protects babies against “juvenile articular rheumatism”.
  • 30. Cow milk is intestinal irritant (harmful effects).
  • 31. Breast milk is free.
  • 32. Babies fed with formula are more at risk for obesity in later life.
  • 33. Breast milk protects babies against “visual defects”.
    A study realized in Bangladesh has shown that breastfeeding is a protective factor for night blindness for children living in both rural and urban areas. Breast milk is the main vitamin A source during babies’ first 24 months of life.
  • 34. Breast milk increases the efficiency of vaccines.
    It is determined that immunity response seen after vaccines are much powerful in babies fed with breast milk.
  • 35. Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive method.
    An appropriate breastfeeding can provide at least 3 months of contraception.
  • 36. Breastfed babies require fewer doctor visits.
    As breastfed babies are generally much healthier, they see doctors less often.
  • 37. Breastfeeding decreases the chance of osteoporosis in later life.
    The findings shown that osteoporosis is seen 4 times more in not breastfeeding women.
  • 38. Breast milk provides better social development.
    Psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies is noticeably much better rather than babies fed with formula.
  • 39. Breast milk always comprises nutrition of suitable concentration.
  • 40. Breast milk is a natural tranquilizer for baby.
    Breast milk contains some chemical substances that help babies to fall asleep easily. Angry babies could easily calm down.
  • 41. Breastfeeding is much easier to prepare.
  • 42. Breast milk is environmental friendly.
    As breastfeeding does not contain waste materials such as bottle, box or packages, it is environmental friendly.
  • 43. Breast milk is a painkiller.
    Endorphins contained in breast milk can act as a natural painkiller.
  • 44. Breast milk is always clean.
  • 45. Breastfeeding is beneficial for babies’ dental health.
    Suckling is more suitable for babies’ tooth and jaw development rather than feeding bottle. As babies use 60 times more energy while suckling instead of suckling jaw muscles will be stiffer. Teeth growing in a well-developed jaw will be more straight and healthy.
  • 46. “Reflux” is less seen in breastfed babies.
    Occurrence of regurgitation of stomach contents back into alimentary canal (reflux) in breastfed babies is short-termed and much less.
  • 47. Breastfeeding strengthens mother’s self-respect.
  • 48. Breast milk is always in right temperature.
  • 49. Breast milk does not contain hormones, totally natural.

How breastfeeding could be done?

In confinement period, mother has to pay attention to two matters. One is consuming too much liquid and the other is breastfeeding.
To provide plenty and long term milk, baby should be breastfed frequently every time baby craves.
Both breasts should be used. It should always be started the last breast used in previous breastfeeding.
Best position should be selected and baby’s head and body should be fully facing the mother.
Breastfeeding should be done by covering the areola instead of nipple.

Frequent cleaning of breasts with soap should be avoided.

Babies born with sufficient amount of liquid that could sustain their life for 4 days. For this reason, until breast milk will get loosen there is no need of water and other liquids.
Babies could easily stop it due to unnecessarily given supplementary food.
Any additional food should not be given to babies rather than breast milk within first 4 months.




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