How Breast-feeding Benefits You and Your Baby?

Breast feeding benefits the nursing mother in many ways. It is good for your figure. Fat stores developed during pregnancy are laid down specifically for lactation. In the absence of breast feeding, that fat will look unseemly in various parts of your body. With breast feeding you burn almost 1000 calories each day. With a little care and management your beauty can blossom forth. Nursing does not ruin the breast. Instead you become a fuller blossomed woman and with proper care of the breasts light massage etc. during breast feeding, you may yourself be surprised to see how shapely your breast look after a year of delivery. It is an established fact that breast feeding, causes the uterus to shrink more quickly to pre pre-gnancy size. It also decreases the post delivery bleeding. There is no menstruation generally for the entire period of active breast feeding. It is good for health because you get many spells of relaxation every day when you are feeding and making love with your child. Hormone prolactin also enhances this feeling of relaxation. Breast feeding is nature’s contraceptive. Hormonal balance in your body will prevent ovulation. But, please note that breastfeeding, on its own, is not a very reliable method of family planning.

Breast feeding is convenient for the nursing mother, no bottle have breasts with are not limited by the size of the breasts. You can breast-feed a premature baby. You can breast-feed even if you have started mensurating and even if unluckily you have become pregnant again, in which case quantity of breastfeeding will have to be reduced. In case of breastfeeding your child continues to smell good. Even his bowel and milk spit do not have the strong odour of a bottle-fed.

After a couple of weeks, breast feeding becomes pleasurable for the mother. Many nursing mothers say that the pleasure sensation they feel in their breasts and in their genital region while they are nursing are very similar to the sensations they experience during sexual excitement.

Breast milk alone is the best feed for a baby upto 4-6 months of age. Breast milk is nutritionally and chemically balanced. It is at the right temperature. It is sterile and contains immune substances. And it is available to the baby always. It is always ready to drink, sanitary and uncontaminated. Its protein is nutritious and digestable than cow’s milk protein. Mother’s milk has higher level of zinc which is important for growth and for a strong immune system of the child. It prevents constipation and lowers the incidence of food allergies. Breast-fed infants use their calories more economically.

Dr.A.S. Goldman of the University of Texas Branch at Galveston says, “it is already widely accepted that human milk is rich in factors that protect directly against infection, but we found evidence that it contains at least one factor that activates the baby’’ own immune system”” Mother’’ milk transmits antibodies and protective substances Scientists have found that 75% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages that kill bacteria, fungi and virus. Those cells also help to stop the growth of cancer cells. Scientists have also recently discovered that a solution containing 5% content of human milk killed half a culture of parasites in a test tube within 30 minutes. Cow’s or goat’s milk was unable to produce a similar result.

Breast feeding causes less diarrhoea, no respiratory illness and less of other infections. It promotes better digestion by forming softer curds in his in his stomach. There are no allergic reactions, no eczema, asthama or running nose. Suckling at the breasts is good for baby’s teeth and jaw development as these muscles are exercised in suckling.

The main case against breast feeding is that it is a solitary pursuit and becomes boring for the mother. Of course this activity cannot be shared by others. But imagine how much opportunity it provides for forming bonds between the mother and the child and thus laying a foundation for a happy family relationship. It does require an effort and a commitment. But if such a commitment is not there, why go in for a child at all. Another objection raised is that there is no easy way of knowing as to how much milk has been consumed by the child in case of breastfeeding. The wet diaper, regular bowel movement, sleep following nursing, the bright eyes, alert look, the glow and the smile on the face of the child all show his contentment. Mother also feels the flow and a periodic weight gain will by itself show how much is the intake. The only problem faced in case of breast feeding is that the medicines taken by the mother get transferred to the milk. But only a few commonly used drugs are contra indicated for the child. Most vitamin supplements are contra indicated for the child. Most vitamin supplements are safe. The mother as also her physician have to be careful in this behalf.