Several studies have already proved that breastfeeding offers ample benefits for the infant as well as for the mother. From improving digestion, reducing allergies to protecting it from infections, breastfeeding provides a healthy start to the baby.
Importance of breastfeeding for a baby when it comes to lowering risks of diseases
The mother’s milk keeps the infant healthy. Breastfed babies face a lesser risk of obesity, ear infections, diarrhea, colds, asthma, and eczema as well as other diseases as the infant gets all the necessary nutrients in appropriate proportions from mother’s milk. It can cater to the baby’s changing needs by adjusting the antibodies, hormones, and cell content as the infant starts growing.
Breast milk also offers an adequate source of antibodies for the baby until its immune system develops enough to start producing its antibodies. No formula can provide a constant source of antibodies that are present in breast milk. Breastfeeding helps in ensuring that the child remains healthy in the later part of life as well.
A lot in store for mothers
Paediatrics specialists suggest that a considerable percentage of babies who get hospitalized during the first two years after their birth happen to be those that are not breastfed.
Along with the child, breastfeeding also offers positive effects on mothers. By now, it is of common knowledge that mothers face a lesser risk of developing breast cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. It can help in reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, breast, and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding mothers can recover quickly from postpartum depression symptoms.
Studies have also proved that breastfeeding releases oxytocin hormone. It enhances the feeling of relaxation, calmness, and develops emotional bonding between the mother and the baby. The same hormone can reduce cortisol levels; lower the blood pressure, and postpartum bleeding after giving birth.
Recommended breastfeeding duration
The AAP- American Academy of Pediatrics suggests infants should not be offered any additional foods besides breast milk and vitamin fluids recommended by the pediatrician during the first six months from birth.
Solid foods can be introduced gradually, along with breastfeeding after the baby turns seven months old. As per the World Health Organization, breastfeeding can be continued until the baby turns two years of age along with safe complementary foods and bottle feed. Following the same can help to ensure optimal growth and development for the child.
Newborns are hungry, and the mother’s milk is easy to digest. A one-month-old baby may need breastfeeding at least 8 to 10 times daily. The mother’s body adjusts and stimulates milk production due to the frequent feedings during the first month.
During the first few days after birth, the baby might need on-demand feeding, after every ninety minutes. Some infants prefer breast milk in a more significant proportion, while others may show signs of hunger in the morning or before going to bed. Thus, the number of breastfeeds that infants need may vary from one toddler to the other. So, its mother needs to be able to follow the infant’s cues and feed accordingly.
Breastfeeding after baby gets teeth
Even those little teeth can hurt a nipple. However, there is no need to stop feeding the milk to the child.
The arrival of teeth does affect the way an infant latches to its mother while breastfeeding. But adjusting the feeding position can help in making both mother and the baby comfortable.
Gently wiping or washing the baby’s chin can help in dealing with the dribble. The infant’s clean chin can ensure both the baby and mother feel comfortable.
Remember, even babies are vulnerable to tooth decay due to sugary content from milk, formula, or juice particles that remain on the teeth for hours without cleaning. Such elements can trigger enamel erosion.
Running a clean damp washcloth over the infant’s gums and little teeth can help in getting rid of the harmful bacteria after the feeding sessions. Your pediatric dentist would be able to guide you in using infant toothbrush and toothpaste.
The baby needs assistance in cleaning the teeth until it turns two. The child also needs to be adequately trained for brushing to ensure he or she spits the paste as well as water while brushing instead of swallowing it.
Pediatricians also advise mothers to give their baby something to gnaw before feeding to relieve the sore gums. A cold, wet washcloth or a specially designed ring can help a teething baby.
Mothers should avoid applying any medication or remedies on the infant’s gums before consulting with the pediatric dentist.
There’s no substitute for mother’s milk
A newborn baby feels secure in its mother’s presence. It feels comfortable in her mother’s arms due to the warmth and can get the best possible nutrients from breastfeeding.
Corporate companies, NGOs, and even governments around the world are making efforts to ensure that mothers get the necessary support and arrangements to breastfeed their infants while away from home.
For avoiding painful engorgement, pediatricians recommend mothers to give both breasts the same amount of nursing time. Following this pattern can ensure breasts do not remain overfilled with milk at any point.
Infants often have the instincts to adjust themselves in the breastfeeding process. Before letting the baby latch on the breast, it is advisable to clean the infant’s gums with a finger. If the nipples start becoming sore, the mother needs to ensure the child is latching correctly to the same. At times, the baby may refuse to nurse; in such cases, experts suggest mothers should pump their breast milk and offer it to the baby in a cup or a bottle later.
These days, parents remain well-aware of the consequences of allowing a baby to sleep with a bottle of milk. Dental hygiene remains crucial for babies as even the remains of the mother’s milk can cause decay in those little teeth. In case if you have any concerns about breastfeeding and its effects on the infant’s little tooth; you can always fix an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.