If you are pregnant, then right now your body is ‘nesting’. It’s doing what it was meant to do: creating milk for your baby. Your newborn baby needs warmth, security, comfort and love. There are many people he/she can get these from, but only one that they want – You! You are the sight, sound, smell and touch that your little one has been sensing from the moment of creation. Once born, your baby will get all it needs from your breasts and skin to skin contact. And this is what your breasts were designed to provide.
From the beginning of time, people knew that babies were nourished (in every sense of the word) exclusively from their mothers. This can be seen from the fact that all mammals breastfeed their offspring. Recent generations have altered this view and have impaired the relationship between mothers and their newborns. With the introduction of man-made formula (around 1865 by Justus von Liebig (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/) and their corresponding marketing programs, women began to feel that their breasts provided inferior nutrition to what was being created in a lab. This alternative approach to newborn nutrition grew in popularity upon its inception and has thus remained stable during the last few generations. That is until recently, when adequate research began on the nutritional components of formula vs. breast milk.
While formula is an acceptable tool when used in the right context these are the key components of breastfeeding that every mother with a newborn should understand:
Latch: When a baby has its mouth properly aligned on your areola, and your nipple is towards the roof of their mouth, you have an optimal latch. A mouth full of breast tissue is what you are aiming for.
Transfer of Milk: When a baby is latched optimally, they will be able to transfer the milk efficiently by compressing your ducts, and in effect, will create more milk in your breasts. An empty breast makes milk, not a full one.
Positioning: When a baby is positioned properly in your arms, it will neither hurt your arms, nor your breast or nipple. There is no need for a breastfeeding pillow or any other accessory. Just you and your baby.
Breast milk contains every vital nutrient, vitamin and everything essential for a baby. Colostrum contains a powerful component that protects a baby’s gut from all the germs that a mother was exposed to. It is like a germ shield around your baby! Researchers are finding new components to breast milk regularly. Best part, it was tailor made by YOU for your baby! Talk about a 5 star restaurant!
For a comprehensive list of what is in formula and breast milk please go to: http://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/human-milk-vs-formula-ingredient-list.html
Stay tuned to part 2 Labour and Delivery on my next article………………..