Pregnancy is seen as a woman’s precious joy. Being able to bring life to this world is special and comes with a huge responsibility. When a newborn baby arrives in this world, breast milk becomes the most important food for the baby. A woman produces milk after childbirth under the influence of two hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. It becomes the primary source of nutrition for the baby. Milk is produced by the mammary glands located in the breast in the woman’s body. Breastfeeding has various advantages for the baby as well as the mother.
What is the importance of breast milk?
Breasts produce colostrum during the first days after birth. It is a thick and yellowish fluid that is high in protein, low in sugar, and fully packed with beneficial compounds for the baby. Colostrum helps develop the baby’s digestive tract. After a few days, the breast produces a larger amount of milk as the baby’s stomach grows.
Breast milk is fully packed with antibodies. Colostrum contains high amounts of immunoglobulin A along with several other antibodies that help the baby fight against bacterias and viruses. This develops the health of the baby.
It also reduces the baby’s risk for various illnesses and diseases. They include middle ear infection, sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory tract infections, colds, gut infections, intestinal tissue damage, allergies, asthma, bowel diseases, diabetes, and childhood leukemia.
Feeding breast milk promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent obesity in babies. Breast milk contains leptin which regulates appetite and fat storage in the baby. These babies can self-regulate their milk intake which helps in developing healthy eating patterns.
Premature babies can benefit a lot from breast milk as it offers the best protection against fatal conditions like sepsis, chronic lung disease, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Breast milk helps premature babies to develop and grow healthily.
Feeding the baby breast milk is advantageous to the mother as it accelerates postpartum recovery. It burns calories and helps shrink the uterus. Breastfeeding helps lower the risk of depression, breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, uterine and ovarian cancer in mothers.
Breastfeeding produces the naturally soothing hormones oxytocin and prolactin that promote stress reduction and positive feelings in the nursing mother. These mothers learn to read their infant’s cues and babies learn to trust caregivers. This helps shape the infant’s early behavior.
What are the advantages of breast milk over formula milk?
Breastfeeding is free of cost while formula milk can be expensive.
Formula milk lacks antibodies that can only be found in breast milk.
Breast milk can change according to the growth and needs of the baby. Formula milk cannot match this complexity of breast milk.
Breast milk is available all the time and is ready whenever the baby needs it. But formula milk needs proper planning and organizing.
Formula milk increases the chance of producing gas and constipation in babies compared to breast milk.
Breast milk ensures that the baby will have a better vision.
Breast milk is known to lower the rates of infant mortality.
Breast milk provides skin-to-skin contact which develops the bonding between the mother and the child. This is not possible with formula milk.
Breastfed babies have a slightly higher IQ compared to formula-fed babies.
Breastfed babies tend to accept solid food easily compared to formula-fed babies.
Breast milk helps babies go to sleep sooner due to the hormone oxytocin produced in the baby’s body. This can not be achieved by formula milk.
Breastfeeding benefits the mother too in many ways. It promotes a positive mood for the mother.
Breastfeeding increases the confidence and self-esteem of the mother.
What are the challenges of breastfeeding?
New mothers might feel slightly uncomfortable in this process. With proper guidance and education, the mothers overcome this barrier.
Breastfeeding can be a painful process. The latch-on pain is normal for 7 to 10 days and is supposed to last less than a minute. But in case of more latch-on pain or sore nipples, the mothers are advised to visit a specialist.
Breastfeeding needs commitment from the very beginning. The breastfed babies need to eat more compared to babies who take formula. Hence a breastfeeding mother might have to feed the baby every 2 to 3 hours.
Breastfeeding mothers might have issues with their sleep schedule or work due to the process. They can also face problems while traveling with the baby.
Mothers who breastfeed their babies need to be cautious about their diets as whatever they eat or drink can pass down to the baby.
Mothers who are engaged in medication or treatment for some specific medical conditions need to consult doctors before breastfeeding. The medications might make breastfeeding unsafe.
Much needed extra care for the mother
Breastfeeding initially can be exhausting and tiring for mothers. Hence the health of the mother becomes very crucial. Hairfall, acne, stress, depression, weight gain, etc, are a few of the problems faced by mothers during postpartum. Hence a properly balanced diet is considered important for breastfeeding mothers. While taking care of the baby many times the mother ignores her health. Vitamins and nutrients are very important for the breastfeeding mother. The mother might or might not get an adequate supply of the nutrients through the food only. Due to this reason, supplements and vitamin tablets are considered a necessity. This will ensure the mother’s body is getting the complete nutrients required for the body.
andMe Post Pregnancy Care Comboprovides the ultimate care for lactating mothers. The combo has two products:andMe Lactation BoosterandandMe Women’s Multivitamin.
andMe Lactation Boostercontains fenugreek seeds, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Choline that combined aid in lactation and breast milk. This drink contains Vitamin B9, Iron, DHA that helps in the growth of the infant. Ingredients like Moringa, Vitamin D helps with the postpartum weight while Vitamin B6, Selenium, Turmeric helps with postpartum anxiety and stress.
andMe Women’s Multivitaminare capsules that are made with food extract. Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Zinc are some of the major components of the capsules. This product improves energy and digestion in the mother’s body. It targets promoting healthy hair and skin. The capsules also promote healthy bones and joints.
Both the products are plant-based. They are made with all-natural ingredients and with the goodness of Ayurveda, added preservatives, and no added chemicals. They are completely safe to consume. This combo is a natural gift for all those brave lactating mothers who are taking care of their newborns.