Breastfeeding Problems, Breastfeeding Pumping and Other Topics

Thankfully, women are returning to those things that are natural about having babies. More and more mothers are opting for natural childbirth, with the assistance of a midwife or doula. It doesn't mean there is no medical involvement, but it does mean that the process is more natural with a lot less intervention. Another aspect of motherhood that has become more desirable is breastfeeding. What could be more lovely and natural - or for that matter healthier and best for baby - than breastfeeding with the perfect food for baby?

Breastfeeding Benefits to Mom and Babe

There's no doubt about the breastfeeding benefits to both mother and baby. To begin with, if you nurse your baby for the first few days after birth, baby will receive a healthy dose of colostrum, which is different from milk, and provides important disease fighting nutrients that are not available to your baby from any other source. Within a few days transitional milk comes in and it too is filled with marvelous antibodies for your baby for as long as you nurse. At about fourteen days your milk will come in and will contain everything your baby needs in terms of antibodies and nutrients. Breast milk is easy for baby to digest, unlike cow's milk (which is best for cows) or formula. The benefit to you, the mother, is a special closeness and bonding that comes no other way. It forces you to relax and stay off your feet rather than stuffing baby and bottle into the hands of someone else while you race off to take care of whatever is so important. An added bonus to you is that you'll lose the extra weight you put on during your pregnancy because breast milk production uses stored fat for energy. For many breastfeeding moms, the saddest day is when their baby is weaned. Some babies choose to nurse for longer periods of time, some shorter. Some breastfeeding requires weaning for other reasons. Whatever the reason, breastfeeding weaning doesn't have to be difficult - it's a natural process.

Eating Well For Breastfeeding

Since your body is highly proficient at producing milk, a lot of extra calories aren't necessary. Knowing how many calories you need for optimal health for your particular body is the guideline in terms of eating. However, breastfeeding usually bolsters the appetite, so if you're having a hard time eating, check in with the doctor - you may be dealing with postpartum depression. When you are breastfeeding is definitely not the time to go on a diet. Your breastfeeding diet should be healthy and filled with good, natural, whole foods. If you find that your baby is reacting after being fed, take note of what you ate and perhaps eliminate it to see if it makes a difference to baby. There are no hard and fast rules about foods, other than avoiding those things that are naturally gassy, like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and onions. Cow's milk, chocolate and some spices may also give your baby grief. The trick is to be paying attention to how your baby is feeling after feeding. If the baby is struggling, assess what you are eating and make some changes. As much as possible, eat organic foods and eat a well-balanced diet. Choose good fats and be really picky about fish. It's an excellent food but you want to stay away from farmed fish and eat the wild variety instead. Drink plenty of water, limit caffeine and keep the alcohol intake to what it would be during pregnancy - very little, if any. Take your vitamins and stay active. Both you and baby will benefit.

What To Wear?

Today, clothing choices are abundant and especially when it comes to attire suitable for breastfeeding moms. The obvious is to wear a shirt or top that gives you quick, easy access to the food supply without "baring it all." Nursing bras have changed dramatically over the years and a lot of younger women are opting for athletic bras as their bra of choice when breastfeeding. With the wide variety available, take your time and find the best fit and style for you. Another item that has become popular is the nursing cover. It slips over the head and around both babe and mom to provide privacy and discretion while nursing. For a while moms were quite happy to let the world know they breastfeed, but not everyone on the planet wants to know.

Problems and Pumping

There are a variety of situations that require a mother to pump milk. Some breastfeeding problems include engorgement, sore and painful nipples, plugged ducts and overactive milk ejection reflex. Mastitis, an infection of the breast, is a common ailment for breastfeeding moms. With all of these issues, breastfeeding is encouraged and, even if the milk cannot be used, it does promote healing and the ability to continue breastfeeding when the crisis has passed. Breastfeeding pumping is the answer to many of the issues mentioned. Finding a pump that fits the bill can be a bit challenging and often hand expression is the best way to get the milk out quickly. However, there are a number of manual and electric pumps on the market that work well and get the job done effectively.

There is ample information on the internet, complete with breastfeeding pictures and videos to help a new mom learn about the process and see what joy it can bring.

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