If you’re thinking about starting a baby or an expecting mom, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s one of the best ways to feed your infant and ensure they get many essential vitamins and minerals. But unfortunately, not as many people know much about what it means to nurse your baby. In addition to being a great parent, nursing has numerous health benefits for you and your child. Therefore, if you’re looking into it as an option for your child, ensure you take everything in before making a final decision.
What is Breastfeeding?
Breast milk is the biological liquid passed from a mother to her baby through breastfeeding. Breast milk comprises around 100 essential nutrients and is the perfect food for infants. It contains the perfect amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats lacking in other foods. There are numerous reasons why breastfeeding is a good idea. For one, it helps babies develop immunity and build resistance to certain diseases. It also helps with weight loss since it’s high in calcium and low in sugar.
Breastfed babies also develop a healthy gut microbiome and are less likely to develop allergies. Interestingly, breastfeeding also has many psychological benefits. Studies have found that breastfeeding is linked to lower rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in adulthood.
Why Should You Nurse Your Baby?
Breastfeeding is a great bonding experience for both you and your baby. You get to create your unique type of nutrition and feel the closeness of someone who depends on you for their survival. There are many reasons to breastfeed, but the most important is ensuring proper nutrition. Breastfeeding gives your baby antibodies and nutrients they would never get through formula. These antibodies protect them against many diseases, including diabetes, allergies, obesity, and mental health issues!
Another great reason to nurse is that it seems to positively impact your weight loss efforts. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, breastfeeding is a great way since it’s packed with protein and low in sugar.
How to Start Nursing
If you’re ready to start nursing your baby, start by expressing your milk. Once you’ve collected a few ounces, you can feed your baby from your breast. After a few weeks of breastfeeding, you can introduce solids to your diet. After that, you can either continue breastfeeding or mix formula with breast milk to ease the transition. Solids should be given after your baby sleeps and only for a few hours. You can do a few other things to make breastfeeding easier, including avoiding sugary drinks and dairy products. They can cause bloating and gas, which can be uncomfortable when nursing.
The Health Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has many great benefits, but one of our favorites is that it can reduce your child’s risk of developing obesity. Obesity is a growing problem in the United States; over one-third of American children are obese or overweight. This is a huge issue since it increases your child’s risk of developing diseases and negatively affects their education and life expectancy. Breastfeeding can also help your child build stronger immunity. This is so important because it gives your child the antibodies they would have never gotten from a bottle-fed formula. This includes protection against many common diseases, such as diabetes and infections!
Tips for New Moms and Breastfeeding moms
- Plan ahead – While breastfeeding may seem like a simple process, it’s a lot harder. One of the hardest things about nursing is getting back into the rhythm of feeding. It can take a few tries before you get it right, and make sure your baby gets the right amount of milk. If you plan ahead, you can ease this transition, making breastfeeding much more comfortable.
- Offer comfort – As your baby nurses, offer them warm, comfortable breastfeeding positions. You can sit on the couch, a pillow behind your back, or lie on your side with your baby on your chest. This will make it easier for your baby to latch on and get the necessary nutrients.
- Clean your boobs – Trust us, you don’t want to think about this, but you have to clean your boobs. You can use warm water and a washcloth. Make sure you get all the milk residue off and make sure you wash your hands after.
If you’re thinking about breastfeeding your child, you should know a few things. For one, it can be hard to get into the rhythm of it and uncomfortable while getting used to it. Also, it may take a few tries before you get it right. Another thing to remember is that breastfeeding has many health benefits for you, your child, and the environment. It can protect against many diseases, aid weight loss and build immunity. So if you’re considering it as an option, consider it before making a final decision.