Thank you for your interest in this book. As a mother myself, I am excited to join you in your journey into the world of breastfeeding. Although it may, at times, feel overwhelming or impossible; never be afraid to search for more knowledge or ask for help. I have struggled through many ups and downs with breastfeeding my son, as well as helped many other parents along this path. Although I am not a doctor, it is my hope to provide you with current and helpful tips that will help you succeed.
In this short book, I hope to provide you with current and relevant tips and advice about breastfeeding. This information will span your entire breastfeeding relationship with your child, and will help you through this challenging and rewarding time in your life. Each section will cover different times in your child’s development.
Although this book is not intended to take the place of a professional lactation consultant, much of the information provided will be similar to which would be given to you by breastfeeding professionals. In the world of parenting, you can never have enough resources or ask enough questions. I encourage you to read the additional parenting books in the 50 Things to Know series. I hope you enjoy this book and that it becomes a tool for you in your journey though motherhood.
1. Choosing The Best For Your Baby
Every mother wants to do the very best for their baby, and this worry often starts before their baby is even born. It is a common question for new parents: Breast milk or Formula? Although many people will feel differently about this subject, the medical community votes that breast milk is best. According to the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, as of March 2012, the recommendation is that all infants be fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life, followed by introducing solid food along side the use of breast milk until the age of 12 months, a minimum. The World Health Organization also supported this recommendation. Additionally, the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics supports breastfeeding as long as it is mutually desired by both mother and baby. Aside from the recommendations by the medical community, there are many benefits for both mom and baby that are associated with breastfeeding.
2. Speed-Up Recovery Time
After your baby is born, your body will be exhausted, stretched, and sore from the birth. No matter if you gave birth naturally or had a c-section, your uterus, as well as other parts of your body, will need to return to its’ pre-pregnancy state. Breastfeeding can help speed up this process. After stretching for nine months, you uterus needs to return to a much smaller size. Uterine contractions, like the ones you experienced during labor, will continue after you give birth to help shrink your uterus. These may feel like menstrual cramps. Breastfeeding helps bring on these contractions, which also signal the brain to shut down the blood supply to the blood vessels that were used to help grow your baby. This helps shrink the uterus more quickly and prevent post-partum hemorrhaging.
3. Save Money
Everyone knows that money gets tight when you are adding a baby to the family. With all the additional expenses associated with having a baby, breastfeeding can help save money. If you plan to exclusively feed your baby from the breast, meaning no bottle use at all, you may only need to purchase some nipple cream, breast pads, and a nursing bra. These expenses are minimal compared to the cost of using formula. By the time your child is a year old, which is the minimal amount of time they will be drinking formula, you can easily spend upwards of thousands of dollars on formula. The cost depends on the brand you use, but never the less, breast milk is free. Even if you do need to pump you milk, a personal use, double electric breast pump can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Even the price of a pump is nothing next to the cost of formula.
4. Protect Against Illness
As a new mom, you will most likely join the other moms of the world who worry about their children being sick. It’s normal to be worried about your baby’s health. Although there is no magic pill to keep your child from getting sick, breastfeeding and help protect your child against a variety of illness. A single drop of breast milk contains around one million white blood cells. Additionally, it also contains a substance that coats the lining of the intestinal track, which helps keep germs at bay, as well as prevents food allergies. Although a baby has a fairly week immune system, your milk can help support that system until his or her own body can do the work.
5. Bond With Your Baby
Some mothers, right after birth, have a hard time forming that stereotypical “instant bond” with their new baby. It’s normal. You are just been thrust into a whole new world, with a little crying person you hardly know yet. Although these feelings generally past quickly, unless there are postpartum depression issues, breastfeeding can help lay a good foundation to build your bond on. The closeness you feel, the pride you may feel from continuing to nourish the child that was growing inside you, and Oxytocin, will bring you closer to your new child. Oxytocin is a hormone naturally produced in your body. It brings on the contractions of labor (as well as the cramping you feel after birth), stimulated your milk production, and is produced during physical contact. Overall, the simple act of nursing your new baby will be your perfect start to a lifetime of love.
6. Help Mom Lose Weight
Even if we don’t admit it, most new mom’s are, at some point, thinking about losing any baby weight they gained during their pregnancy. Although nothing will be a replacement for a healthy relationship with food and a consistent exercise routine, breastfeeding may give your weight loss and boost. You burn and additional 300-500 calories a day, through the process of producing milk. Breastfeeding is a workout that you get to sit and relax during.
7. Provide Perfect Nutrition
There is no man made food on the planet that can compare to human breast milk. While formula companies do their best to get the ingredients as close to human milk as they can, they are a 1,000 miles away from even being close to match the quality. Breast milk contains over 100 ingredients that are not even remotely in formula.
On top of the ingredients, breast milk is perfectly formulated by your amazing to contain exactly what your child needs at each age. The milk your newborn receives will be completely different nutritionally than the milk your one year old gets. The best part is, you don’t have to do anything to make this happen! Your body will naturally understand what to do, if you let it.
8. Decrease Bottle Washing
As if you don’t have enough to do as a new parent, the last thing you need to be doing it washing bottles if you don’t have to. Although this won’t apply to the same degree if you chose to pump your milk and use bottles, you can decrease your workload by breastfeeding. Your breast is a natural bottle that never needs special sanitizing or extra washing besides your normal bathing habits.
9. Make Night-time Parenting Easier
Every parent hears the tales of children waking up constantly in the night. This sleep pattern is meant to keep your new baby well fed and healthy, and the best thing you can do, is go with the flow. Many parents dread waking in the night, crawling to the kitchen, preparing a bottle while hearing the sound of your baby desiring to be fed. You are lucky enough to be able to skip that whole process. Respond to your baby’s hunger cues, and breastfeed comfortably in your bed or a chair. Several breastfeeding positions allow you to recline or completely lay down. If you do chose to lay down, or bed share with your new baby, be sure to practice safe co-sleeping. Never lay your baby to bed with you if you, or your partner, are under the influence of any illicit drugs or even prescription medications that could effect your ability to be aware of your sleeping child. Additionally, never lay your sleeping baby on a soft, fluffy comforter or pillow. See the Additional Recourses section at the end of this book for more information about safe co-sleeping habits.
10. Ready For Feeding
Perhaps a favorite benefit for many new moms, fresh breast milk is always ready to be fed. No warming, bottle prepping, toting bottles and cans of formula and purified water around. Your breasts are always with you! Your diaper bag will be full enough as it is. Breast milk is always at the perfect temperature, will never “go bad” in your breasts, and you can’t forget it at home.
To read all 50 Tips please view the book on Amazon that is available for free with Amazon Prime. In the book you will find all 50 Things to Know and other resources.