Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Health benefits of breastfeeding

So today my baby turned 3 months, she has really filled out from our dark days trying to learn how to breastfeed. She constantly holds her hands up in front of her marvelling at the hands that is hers, she just stares, and flail's then around. She's learning that arm/hand is mine and I want to use it! I place objects in front of her and watch her bounce her arms around she misses a lot but as the days go on she is starting to gain more control. The look on her face as she tries with all her mind to touch the object and then her whimpers in frustration are so amazing to watch. I am so happy I don't have to work I could never leave her this small.

She also tries with all her might to communicate with me verbally. As drool oozes out the sides of her mouth onto her chin.  The pediatrician says she is preparing to learn to talk. When she tries to communicate she grunts, makes little laugh screams, oohs and coo's and aaah's. And she laughs out loud to, she is just too adorable for words. She has begun trying to roll over to one side this makes me nervous because I know what's coming. She can't roll completely over yet (thank god) but she is trying with all her might.

I never thought I would be one of those women who wished to stay home with their baby but now that she is here I realize their is NOWHERE I would rather be. Nothing is more fufulling than watching your own daughter grow before your eyes. From a helpless newborn to learning the simplist thing like that she has a hand! LOL. It's cliche I know but its true.

So onto to the topic of breastfeeding, I breastfeed exclusively (although you can supplement with formula, but that can a decrease your milk supply which you can get back (another topic))and in my other post I talk about how hard it was in the beginning for at least 2 months I thought I would give up. But I refused and now I am rewarded with being able to breastfeed my baby with no pain it is so easy now. It is true what they say that if you wait eventually they get it. Eventually they get control over their mouths and just learn how to suck right in any position. I even started doing it laying down. We are pros.

Breastfeeding is the best its so convenient. No boiling nipples, no boiling water for formula, no boiling bottles to clean. All water with newborns must be boiled they say till 3 months but I would do it up to a year especially in Brazil, and that is not meant to be a dig I just believe to be on the safe side wherever you are you must protect your baby. Only because their systems are immature and can't handle bacteria and other things present in tap water. I don't even trust bottled water. Boil, boil, boil to be on the safe side I say. I already heard a story of a newborn that died from being repeatedly given tap water in formula that was not boiled in the US. Be sure to boil for at least 5 minutes.

Here are some of the health benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Breast milk is easier to digest for babies, especially premies. The proteins in formula are from cowsmilk and it takes time for babies stomachs to adjust to digesting them.

2. Breast milk fights disease-The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique; formula cannot match the chemical make up of breast milk. In fact, among formula fed babies ear infections, diarrhea are more common. Formula fed babies also have a higher risk of respiratory infections, diabetes, asthma, type 2 diabetes and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

3. Breastfeeding is cheaper than formula.

4. Breastfeeding feels good, physical contact is important for newborns. The need to feel warm and comforted. They are scared in the real cold world outside the womb especially in the beginning (which is why we swaddle). We as mothers benefit from the closeness the bond that is created and so doesn't the baby.

5. Oxytocin ( the love hormone) is a hormone that is released to help with milk flow that makes a mother feel calm, relaxed it help counter post-partum depression (which is probably why I am so happy). I am prone to depression so I believe that one of the reasons I am so well adjusted filled with joy and serenity is because I breastfeed.

6. Breastfeeding is good for our health breastfeeding it linked and shown to lower the risk of ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression and breast cancer.

7. Breastfeeding protects babies from a contaminated water supply. But remember to boil binkis!

8. Breast milk is the perfect right temperature and helps prevent hypothermia if you ever find yourself displaced or outside with no warm place in sight to go.

9. Breast milk is readily available when other supplies have run out from lets say a disaster such as a hurricane or another natural disaster you always have food for your baby.

Its just such a great thing, I used to be on medication a long time ago before my baby was conceived. And during the pregnancy and the beginning of breastfeeding I struggled with days I wanted to take my medication. I was tempted to go to formula especially during the initial baby blues, and the pain of breastfeeding. But now that I have made it through I never been happier than I am right now. I credit this with breastfeeding. I know it made me love her so much more so much quicker, and I love that I can whip out a boob anywhere and feed her at my convenience. And I dare anyone to make a comment while I am out breastfeeding in public. As long as I am discrete I will breastfeed anywhere I want.

You must make sure to get Vitamin D (a supplement) while breastfeeding. Unless you baby is going to be sitting in the sun all day :).I get drops here in the US. But I am sure they have something in Brazil. I guess Vitamin D is lacking in beast milk and babies need it help facilitate absorption of calcium.

I will write more on breastfeeding and even the breast pump I have. You should get a pump if you are going to breastfeed. IN CASE you can't be with your baby. You can freeze in bags breast milk. Its good for women who work especially but I find I might need it even with being at home. You never know when you will need the supply for any number of reasons.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't trust bottled water either. There's very little control by public health organizations over bottled water compared to the main water supply. And I'm talking about the US.

    Conversely, most Brazilians don't like drinking water from the faucet even though it's absolutely fine (in major cities anyway). They won't necessarily boil it but they will certainly filter it.

    Of course, you always want to be triple sure when your baby is that small. Just don't let prejudices get the better of you.