Every ounce counts
AS a mother, you may have heard that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby. It is nutritionally balanced, providing all the nutrients your infant needs for the first six months of life in the right proportions. What’s more, it is easily digested by your infant’s body and in many ways, superior to formula milk.
Benefits of breastfeeding
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants for the first six months of the child’s life. In addition to numerous nutritional benefits, the physical closeness cultivates some of the most intimate moments between you and your little one.
Here is a look at some of the key benefits of breastfeeding.
For mothers, breastfeeding enhances post-partum weight loss and helps burn extra calories. It reduces post-partum bleeding, helping the uterus return to its previous size.
It lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and post-partum depression. It also decreases the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
For babies, breast milk provides ideal nutrients for optimal growth and development. It provides antibodies that can protect against allergies, diarrhoea, ear infections and respiratory tract infections.
Also, babies are less likely to suffer from constipation and stomach upset. Breast milk may also help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Increasing milk supply
While breastfeeding comes naturally to women, not all mothers produce sufficient milk for their babies. Low milk production may be due to nutritional deficiencies, consumption of birth control pills, hormonal changes, improper latching position of the baby and infrequent breastfeeding.
First-time nursing mothers who struggle with low milk supply must keep in mind that breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand process. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you produce.
You can consider taking herbal remedies to naturally boost your milk supply. Fenugreek seed is one of the most potent galactagogues for increasing milk production by stimulating milk ducts of the mammary glands. It has an oxytocic effect, which helps with the let-down reflex and increase milk flow. It also facilitates the regaining of infant birth weight in early postnatal days.
Other noteworthy herbs include red raspberry leaf, blessed thistle seed and fennel. In addition to its lactation-boosting benefits, red raspberry leaf helps reduce uterine swelling and strengthens the uterus following delivery, assisting in post-partum recovery. Blessed thistle seed enhances appetite and relieves indigestion in nursing mothers while fennel aids in digestion and relieves symptoms of colic in babies.
Breast milk is undeniably the best, loving nutrition you can give your baby. So sit back, cuddle your baby close and enjoy the blissful moment. This informational article is brought to you by VitaHealth.
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Breastfeeding cultivates some of the most intimate moments between a mother and her little one.