The Importance Of Breastfeeding and The Benefits It Provides For Both Mother And Baby
Breastfeeding has long been considered the best way to feed a baby. A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2016 found that breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of asthma, eczema, and other allergies in children. The benefits of breastfeeding go beyond the child; lactating women have lower rates of some cancers, such as ovarian cancer. It also supports maternal weight loss and can reduce post-partum depression symptoms.
There are many reasons why breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and baby. The physical connection between mother and baby during breastfeeding helps to build a strong relationship that can last into adulthood. Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and develop properly, including antibodies that help protect against infections. It’s also comforting for babies, who instinctively know how to latch on and drink milk from their mother’s breasts.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, but it’s well worth the effort. Mothers who breastfeed are more likely to initiate longer-term contact with their children than mothers who bottle-feed them or use formula milk. Considering all of the benefits that breastfeeding provides—for both mother and child—it’s important that everyone understand its importance so that everyone can benefit from it.
Tips for Increasing Breastmilk Supply
Breastfeeding has been shown to be a beneficial activity for both the mother and child. It can increase the breast milk supply, which is particularly beneficial if breastfeeding is not an option or if the mother’s milk production is low. Here are some tips for increasing breast milk supply:
- Allow enough time for nursing sessions—breastfeed for at least two hours each day. This will help stimulate your milk production.
- Be sure to pump regularly. Pumping increases the volume and quality of your milk. Plus, it gives you a chance to empty your breasts and give your baby the freshest possible milk. Pumping also makes it easier for you to determine when you are producing enough milk.
- Feed your baby on demand rather than on a schedule. When your baby is hungry, he or she will let you know by crying or becoming restless in his or her crib or bassinet. Letting your baby cry for a short period of time will help him or her learn that hunger is the signal to drink breast milk. This way, you will both get the nutrition and hydration that they need.
- Keep things comfortable for both mother and child by wearing comfortable clothes and using pillows that support breastfeeding while sleeping. These tips should help increase breast milk supply through breastfeeding.
- Get plenty of rest—breastfeeding requires a lot of energy, and fatigue can decrease your milk production.
- Sleeping in a dark and quiet environment has been shown to increase breast milk production in women. In one study, women who slept for eight hours or more per night had an average increase of 2.5 ounces of breast milk each day when compared to those who slept six hours or less. The increased production was seen even when the women were not breastfeeding their babies.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol—these substances can interfere with lactation by slowing down the release of oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates milk production in women.
- Eat healthy foods—eating high-quality protein, carbohydrates, and fiber will help nourish your breasts and promote lactation.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in nutrients and vitamins that help support lactation
- Eat healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, and seeds. These foods contain essential fatty acids, which help support lactation by increasing the level of prolactin in the body.
- Take supplements such as folic acid or iron if you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet. Folic acid helps reduce the risk of birth defects while iron helps boost breast milk production.
- Exercise regularly—exercise increases blood flow to the breasts, which helps release hormones that promote lactation in women. Exercise is one of the most common techniques that women use to increase their milk production. Exercising increases blood flow and oxygen levels in the area where breasts are located, which can stimulate lactation.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough exercise. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each day, such as brisk walking or biking.