Breast feeding is the natural way for infants to eat. A woman's Breast milk contains large amounts of antioxidants and disease fighting cells called antibodies, these help to protect babies from germs and illness. Breast feeding is not only the healthy choice for babies but also the least likely to upset their digestive system.
Baby formula cannot exactly match the chemical makeup of human breast milk, it does not contain the hormones and antibodies that infants may need. Breast milk changes over time to give the baby what it needs. During pregnancy and right after birth the breast milk is usually thick and yellow, this type of breast milk is called colostrum, it contains all the nutrients that newborns need. Around about day three or day five it thins out and begins to look white and contains all the things your baby needs at that time including sugars and fats.
One main part of knowing how to breast feed is to know how the breast makes milk. The breast is essentially a gland comprised of many parts. Cells called aveoli make milk in response to the hormone prolactin. The hormone oxytocin causes the muscles around the aveoli cells to move the milk through small tubes called milk ducts that are located in the nipple itself and the areola around the nipple.
Some new mothers have difficulties getting their babies to latch. Its important to remember that infants are born with the knowledge of how to latch as well as how to find the breast, but if it seems to just not be happening there are ways to help your baby. To make sure it gets a good latch you point the nipple directly toward the back of the babies mouth and keep the base of the nipple as far from the babies lower lip as possible.
Breast feeding shouldn't hurt if it does then you should help your baby re latch by placing a clean finger in the corner of your babies mouth to break the latch. The infant may be only sucking on the nipple which could cause pain. The nipple should not look flat or compressed when it comes out of the infant's mouth it should look long and round or the same as it did before it fed.
To make breast feeding work as well as possible and to develop a strong relationship as the child's mother, the woman should breast feed as early as possible and as often as possible especially within the first hour after birth. Breastfeed at least eight to twelve times every twenty four hours to continue to make plenty of milk for the baby.
It is also useful to keep the infant in the same room at night so that the mother can see the first signs it being hungry. Babies show hunger by acting more alert and active they may put their fists to their mouth or make sucking motions, crying is a late sign of hunger. Let your baby decide when to stop nursing, if the baby still seems hungry after the first breast, offer the other.
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