Breastfeeding is the act of a mother feeding hernewborn child milk produced in her breast. Breastfeeding not only has variousbenefits for the baby’s health but the mother as well. Benefits ofbreastfeeding are highly recommended and promoted by medical professionals, butthere are certain situations that are the exception. Breastfeeding a child isoptional, other methods to nourish a child include baby formula. It isimportant for new mothers to be aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Everymother is different; some will decide to breastfeed while others will choosebaby formula as the source of nourishment for their infant. Physicians highly recommended to new mothers that naturallyfeeding a newborn born baby through the breast is in the best interest for boththe child and herself. The first milk developed in and secreted from the breastcontains high levels of antibodies, it known as colostrum. The antibodies incolostrum help a mother’s baby fight of viruses and bacteria.
Feeding theantibodies from this first milk is essential for a newborn baby as it cangreatly reduce the possibility of attaining allergies, and being exposed toillnesses such as diabetes, asthma or ear infections more easily when they becomeolder. A couple days after giving birth the thick milk will turn into maturemilk; it is less but still contains all the necessary nutrients for the baby togrow. Breast milk is the most optimal source of nourishment for a newborn baby.There are certain elements that are required in the diet of a baby in order forthem grow which include fat, vitamins, and protein; breastmilk meets all thesecriteria. Different systems within a baby’s body are still developing even afterthey are born. Breastmilk is specifically made to aid in the growth and repairof these different systems. For example, breastmilk is more easily digestedthan formula by a baby’s stomach making it much gentler for the infant’sdigestive system to absorb all the nutrients.
One of the nutrients that is importantfor a baby to obtain during his diet at an early age is calcium because it aidsin the development of strong bones making the child less susceptible to osteoporosis.When a mother feeds her baby naturally versus from a bottle with formula, thechild will be less likely to become overweight or obese and instead gain theappropriate weight for their gender, age, and height. Breastfeeding allows forthe important maternal – infant bonding totake place. The bond made through breastfeeding allows a newborn to feel lovedand secure due to physical and emotional closeness. There are many benefits a new mother canadvantage from breastfeeding her baby. Breastfeeding allows a mother body toheal after childbirth more rapidly than a woman who chooses not to feed for thebreast. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released through the act ofbreastfeeding. It allows the uterus to return to the original size faster priorpregnancy and reduces bleeding after giving birth.
Another hormone thatbreastfeeding releases from a mother’s body is prolactin; it gives a mother asense of support that can make her feel relaxed to focus on her baby moreattentively. “Studies show that women who choose to experience breastfeedingreduce rated of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancers such asbreast or ovarian later in life.” (Healthy Children) Breastfeeding may alsohelp a mother lose her weight she acquired during pregnancy much faster. Ifchoosing to nursing a baby through the breast a mother must be aware that shemust intake up to an additional 500 calories composed of healthy and nourishingfoods to be able to make enough milk for the baby to consume daily. When amother decides to nurse her baby she creates the foundation necessary to establishan emotional and physical connection between her and the child known a maternal– infant bonding. Breastfeeding permits for maternal fulfillment to happen, ithelps a mother to begin understanding and engaging in parenting behavior. Additionalnon-health related benefits to breastfeeding include that it’s less expensivecompared to formula; cost can vary from product and how much the baby will eat. “Thereare rare exceptions when human milk is not recommended.
Under certaincircumstances, a physician will need to make a case-by-case assessment todetermine whether a woman’s environmental exposure or her own medical conditionwarrants her to interrupt or stop breastfeeding.” (CDC) If amother has HIV she will not be able to breastfeed her baby because the viruscan be passed through the breast milk. Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterialdisease that affects the lungs, if it is presently active and untreated withinthe mother she cannot engage in breastfeeding.
If a mother is diagnosed withcancer and is taking chemotherapy she cannot nurse her baby due to radiationthat may still be within her body. If a mother is taking certain prescription medicationsaround the same time she will begin breastfeeding she will be advised by herphysician to give her baby formula instead. This also includes being under theinfluence of illegal drugs such as marijuana or cocaine. If drugs are presentat the time of breastfeeding the chemicals within the drugs can be easilyexcreted into the breast milk.
The long-term results drugs can have on a babyare that it can affect their motor development and nervous system. Galactosemiais a condition in where a baby’s digestive system is unable to process andtolerate the natural sugar found in breast milk known as galactose; thecondition is very rare among newborns. If the baby is diagnosed withgalactosemia the mother’s primary physician will recommended alternativeoptions of formula that are dairy-free.
Breastfeedinghas many physical and psychological benefits for both the mother and the baby. Ibelieve breastfeeding is the best choice for the mother to make because it notonly creates the essential loving and nurturing connection each newborn baby needswith their mother but the nutrients found in breast milk protect the baby’shealth so they can grow to be a strong adult. The choice for a mother tobreastfeed can be impacted by various medical factors, this is known as contraindicationsfor breastfeeding. When conflicted between breastfeeding or formula a mothershould make her decision based on the option that will help the baby’s overalldevelopment.Works Cited”Breastfeeding Overview.” WebMD,WebMD, www.
webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing- basics#1.”Making the Decision toBreastfeed.” Womenshealth.gov, 12 Jan.
2018, www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed.”Benefits of Breastfeeding forMom.
” HealthyChildren.org, www.healthychildren.org/English/ages- stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding-for-Mom.aspx.
“Breastfeeding.” Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, 18 Nov. 2016, www.