Why Breastfeed – Three Benefits for Mom
Can you really have a hand in keeping breast cancer at bay? Recently, there have been some amazing findings about how cancer may be reduced by the simple act of breastfeeding. Many women have not stopped to consider this amazing idea- nursing your baby may save your life. That alone should be enough to spur more women to nurse.
If that were not enough, the practical benefits of breastfeeding your baby are incalculable. There is no equipment to take along, it is always ready at the right temperature and you can produce more if you “run out.” The milk is personally formulated for each stage of your child’s growth.
To top it all off it is also a built in “coffee break” for mom. Every two hours you know that you will have to sit back, snack, drink, relax and take it easy for the next 20 minutes or so. Plus, the cuddle time alone is worth the effort of nursing. Being able to melt into the penetrating eyes of your dear baby is priceless.
Tips for Selecting a Nursing Bra
The best time to buy a nursing bra is when you are about 8 months along. The size of your breasts will be about the same when you are post-partum.
Points to consider when purchasing your bra:
- Paying a higher price does not necessarily mean higher quality. Honestly, some of my $40+ bras have been the most disappointing.
- Look for bras with larger clasps for the flap openings to make it easier to manage with one hand.
- Avoid underwires that can pinch milk ducts and cause breast infections.
- Gilligan and O’Malley makes some nice bras with larger clasps for under $20. They also make a wonderful Nursing Cami that you can wear under shirts to cover your tummy when you nurse. If you want a more polished look, wear it under a blazer.
What is Colostrum and Why it is Important
For the first few days, your baby is not even getting any milk at all. Your baby is actually getting colostrum, which also known as Yellow Gold. This substance is only available for a few days, but the benefits are outstanding. It contains a specific compound of proteins, amino acids, salt, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamin A and many antibodies.
After a good dose of these precious, life-saving antibodies, your body then starts producing milk. At first, your body will produce more than you actually need, but as you continue nursing it will regulate. Your body will start making just the right amount of milk, and you’ll no longer feel engorged.
Encouragement for Dealing with Engorgement
The fears and frustrations of nursing those first two weeks leave many mommies feeling like this is how breastfeeding will always be. This is just not so. Engorgement may also be an obstacle for your baby because he can no longer latch on as well as before. Fortunately, it can be easily remedied.
One of the best things to do for engorgement is to nurse and massage at the same time. You may find that parts of your breast are harder and more tender than others. Often, the engorgement is most noticeable at the sides of your breasts, near your underarm.
When your baby latches on, feel for the hard places and rub them out. Do this by moving your fingers gently, in a circular motion, covering the entire breast. Then, quickly move on to the other breast before the baby gets full and stops nursing. After a few massage nursing sessions, your breasts will no longer feel as hard and painful.
Jaundice from Breastfeeding
During the first few weeks, your baby may get a little jaundiced. It happens to may breastfed babies. In most cases, you can easily and quickly remedy this with a simple sun bath.
Find a spot where the sun is coming through the window. If it is winter, turn on the heater. Remove the baby’s clothes and lay her down on a blanket to catch some rays. Take care to shield the baby’s eyes with your hand or just keep her head out of the light all together.
Sun the baby for about 5-10 minutes on each side. You will actually see the color change before your eyes from a yellowish hue to a nice pink. Often, this only needs to be done for a day or two before your baby is able to break down the bilirubin on his own.
Please don’t let the hurdles of the first few weeks stop you from the wonderful journey of nursing your baby. Take it easy, relax and enjoy this beautiful season of your life.