Nature in its absolute wisdom starts milk production during pregnancy! The mother’s breasts begin to prepare themselves to offer a wealth of nutrients and vitamins that guarantee the defense system of your child. Breast milk is like a built-in vaccine for the newborn, as antibodies are passed from the mother to the baby, thus strengthening the child’s immune system, which is still very fragile to face viruses, bacteria or diseases alone. Ideally, breastfeeding should be the baby’s exclusive food for the first 6 months of life, and breastfeeding should continue at least until the baby is 1 year old.
Women plan for labor, but few prepare for breastfeeding. In our culture, little is said about this important postpartum phase and in the life of the newborn. We know that breast milk is the best food, but little is said among health professionals about the importance of breastfeeding, its challenges, and the necessary care. Therefore, they don’t inform their patients about this important subject that will soon be their reality.
Unfortunately, there can be a social and commercial pressure to use formulas, and sometimes health professionals aren’t accessible with this important information to better guide mothers and families. New mothers can go through all the prenatal care without hearing about breastfeeding.
Few know what breastfeeding is like before they have to do it. Then the negative rumors begin: you’ll feel pain when breastfeeding, the baby takes the nipple in the wrong way, cracks in the breast start to appear, which then becomes an infection, causing an abscess and then the chest is calloused. The mother needs guidance on how to position correctly and how to handle challenges if and when they appear; they need care and hopefully they can be directed and supported by professionals so that they can breastfeed with peace of mind. Continuous monitoring is highly encouraged.
In addition, breastfeeding builds relationships, it strengthens the bond between mother and child, as there is direct contact with the skin and the baby is able to look into their mother’s eyes; the breastfeeding process makes the baby feel safe.
Unfortunately, we know there are many cases of mothers who don’t produce milk for physiological or psychological reasons. Many experts claim that this is rarely due to an anatomical problem, so it is very important for the mother to have support from the family and specialized professionals on breastfeeding as well, with all necessary guidance on the breastfeeding routine. But, if that happens, you may look into the option to utilize the milk bank, which is a way for your child to have access to this vital and beneficial liquid for all his development.
At the end of the day, though, I would like to make it clear that the most important thing is to have a fed baby! So, don’t beat yourself up if you’re one of the moms who can’t produce milk. Get in touch with the milk bank and if it really is not possible, do your research on the formulas that still provide the necessary nutrients for your baby!
Breastfeeding prevents diseases
Breastfeeding is a creation of nature that man would be unable to create, as there is a perfect harmony between the mother’s breast and the baby’s mouth. The milk substances vary from one nursing session to the next, they can even be changed at the same feed, as their substances are adjusted according to the child’s needs at each contact. If your baby is vulnerable due to infection, milk offers them a more antiviral load.
According to a study by The Lancet, breast milk saves the lives of more than 820,000 children worldwide annually, due to its substances that cause a drop in the rates of childhood diseases, such as diabetes, respiratory and intestinal infections, and it even prevents obesity.
Rich in nutrients
This gold-liquid, as it is rightfully called, is a source of phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc. Breast milk has its nutrients much more absorbed than cow milk because it is the most appropriate for humans; in addition it has a variety of vitamins, proteins, enzymes, and fats as well. While some formula has only 50 components, breast milk has 250! Obviously there will be situations in which it will be necessary to use formula, but we hope these are exceptions in your daily life if you are able to breastfeed.