When a woman gets pregnant, she gains weight especially with the baby growing inside the womb for the next nine months until the baby comes out. As the baby is born, a new challenge presents itself and that is raising the infant. A mother should start breastfeeding the child for the first 6 months after the baby is born.
This can continue on for about a one year or until such time that the mother thinks that other liquids can already be given. This can begin an hour or two after giving birth as long as there are no problems with the baby and the mother.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother. These are:
- It provides time for the mother to bond with the baby giving a sense of security, warmth and comfort.
- Breastfeeding burns calories making the mother lose the excess pounds gained during pregnancy.
- This gives time for the uterus of the mother to return back to its original size and stops the bleeding that usually happens after giving birth.
- Studies have also shown that breastfeeding reduced the risk of cancer in the breast and the ovaries.
- Studies have shown that milk that comes from the mother is the best for babies. This is because the milk that comes out has the right concentration of fat, water, protein and sugar that is needed in the first few month’s of the infants development. It also contains antibodies which protect the infant from harmful bacteria and viruses and helps defend against disease and infection.
Other benefits of breastfeeding which is visible in the future will help avoid becoming overweight or obese and make the infant score higher in IQ tests compared to kids who did not.
The first thing that the baby will be feeding on is thick yellowish milk called colostrum. This comes in small amounts that might let the mother think the infant is not getting enough nutrients but rest assured that it is all the baby needs. Newborns are sleepy most of the time and will not cry when its time to eat so the mother must wake the baby every hour or every couple of hours to give it some milk.
A mother should start breastfeeding the child for the first 6 months after the baby is born. This can continue on for about a one year or until such time that the mother thinks that other liquids can already be given. This can begin a few days after giving birth as long as there are no problems with the baby and the mother.
There are 2 ways to know the baby is getting enough milk in her system.
The first is observing the baby’s weight. Should the infant lose some weight averaging between 7 to 10% during the first few days, the doctors can tell the mother that it is normal and everything is ok.
The second is by keeping track the number of diapers for the baby. Initial breastfeeding gives out milk on low volumes but are high in nutrients. During this time, the baby will have to be changed a maximum of two times a day. As the supply of milk increases, changing the baby can happen up to 6 times in a day and normalize to around 3 or 4 later on.