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Why breastfeed?


Breastmilk is the one best food for your baby. It is readily available, always at the right temperature, and best of all, its free!


Download breastfeeding research "Why Breastfeed So Long" by Doris Fok, Lactation Consultant, IBCLC.

1) Best for Baby

2) Best For Mother

3) Heart set on Nursing

4) Resources

5) Some Useful Sites

Best for Baby

 
  • Best possible infant food. Breastmilk contains all the nutrients your infant needs.
  • More easily digested than any other infant food.
  • Milk is fresh, and temperature is ideal. No sterilizing of equipment is required.
  • Suckling promotes proper development of baby's jaw and facial structure.
  • Breastfed babies tend to benefit from a normal weight gain, which safeguards against future tendency towards obesity.
  • Protection against allergies.
  • If fully breastfed for first 6 months of life, baby's body gets prepared for other foods.
  • Breastmilk confers protection against infection and other diseases. Prevents growth of harmful bacteria and virus in baby's yet to mature system.
  • Aids in development of baby's brain and nervous system.
  • Breastfeeding builds closeness. Breastfeeding promotes touching.
  • Nutritionally superior to formulas in terms of its content of fats, cholesterol, protein and iron.
  • Reduces risks of SIDS.
  • Fewer problems with reflux.
  • Breastfeeding protects preemies from infections and high blood pressure later in life.
  • Breastfeeding may protect your baby from leukemia.

    • Helps reduce uterus to pre-pregnancy size faster than it would if you were not breastfeeding.
    • Mother's uterus will contract and flow of blodd will be reduced if baby is put to the breast within minutes of delivery.
    • If exclusively breastfeeding, mother's menstrual periods may be delayed for 6 months or more after delivery. Mother will therefore have little chance of getting pregnant.
    • Reduces the risks of developing breast cancer.
    • Protects against avarian cancer, urinary tract infection and osteoperosis.
    • Cost savings from not buying formula milk.
      High level of Prolactins, the mothering hormone, is released when breastfeeding.
    • Promotes post partum weight loss.
    • Breastfeeding can reduce new moms' stress levels.

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Heartset On Nursing:

Ever feel like everyone around you is giving well-meaning yet ill-informed advise about breastfeeding? Do these words sound familiar to you?

  •  "Do you have enough milk?"
  •   "But you just fed him an hour ago, are you sure you've still got milk?"
  •   "He can't be full with your milk, why don't you give him some formula?"

Take heart, you're not alone. Discouraging words such as these can chisel away your confidence in your natural ability to nourish your child with the ONE BEST FOOD - breastmilk. So don't just sit there and take it quietly, arm yourself with the right information. Make the informed choice to breastfeed (and educate your friends and family about the goodness of breastfeeding!)

Here are some sticky situations which I've personally encountered and what I've learned from them.

  • Not enough milk?

Supply Concerns are most often than not, unfounded. It is very rare for a woman not to have enough milk to nurse her baby. If you're wondering if you have enough milk, here's how you can increase your milk supply.

  • But I just fed him an hour ago, do I still have milk?

Follow your baby's feeding cues if he asks to be fed sooner even if the last feeding ended not too long ago. How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

  • My mother says that I probably inherited her trait of not having sufficient breastmilk.

The fact that your mother failed at breastfeeding is more likely due to other reasons such as supplementing of formula (which I later found out was my mom's case when she breastfed us) or introducing the baby to a pacifier, which can jeopardize breastfeeding efforts. Giving bottles or pacifiers in the early days not only disrupts the delicate demand and supply balance, but can also lead to nipple confusion.

  •  My relatives tell me I'm spoiling my baby by letting him sleep with me at night while I nurse him during his nightwakings.

Firstly, it's a fine line between spoiling and attending appropriately to your child's needs. Your responsiveness to your baby's needs is probably Alttachment Parenting at work. There are a lot of reasons why co-sleeping works (it works for us), thought it's not for everyone (but of course, first you have to check for co-sleeping safety).

  • Our baby is still not sleeping through the night. Should I stop nighttime nursing?

Babies can receive up to one-third of their nutrition during nightfeeds. This is particularly important for the baby of working mothers to catch up on the less milk he consumed during the day while mother was at work. Nighttime nursing is also a great opportunity for working mothers to catch up on the daytime nursings and cuddles they've missed during the day. But if baby's nighttime nursing is depriving you of sleep to the degree that you are resenting your nighttime parenting style, here are some alternatives for the all night nurser.

  • My baby is such an attention magnet. I don't have any privacy to nurse him in peace because visitors keep flocking into my room to peek at the new arrival.

Solution 1: Have your husband politely tell them to wait until you're done nursing, or that you and baby need the much needed rest;
Solution 2: Not the most diplomatic, but you can always lock the door to shut unwanted visitors from inviting themselves in.

  • I get stares or strange looks from strangers when I'm breastfeeding in public.

There's nothing wrong with exposing some skin while breastfeeding in public, but in most social situations, people are more comfortable and receptive if the mother had nursed more discreetly. Good mannerism would tell you to observe the feelings of other people,but of course, baby's needs should come first.
You can't please everyone, but if the unwanted attention is really bothering you, be discreet if at all possible (a nursing shirt is made with the sole purpose of being discreet).
Don't get yourself into a discussion you'd rather avoid. 

  •  I have the flu and everyone tells me to stop nursing my child to prevent passing on my germs to him.

Did you know that your breastmilk contains antibodies against that flu you're having?
First and foremost, see a breastfeeding-friendly doctor for your flu, and be sure to inform him/her that you are still breastfeeding, so that he/she can prescribe the appropriate medication for you.
Click here for a drugs and breastmilk interaction chart. Click here for AAP policy statement on transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk.

Got an issue you'd like to see highlighted on this page? Or have you got a suggestion or comment? Drop us an email.


Resources:

Sometimes being adequately informed about the benefits of breastfeeding just isn't enough to ensure your breastfeeding success. We often underestimate the influence of the people surrounding us who are unsupportive of breastfeeding (either from lack of knowledge or for the less fortunate - ignorant). Your confidence can be undermined and you may start to doubt your natural ability to nurture your child with your breastmilk.Therefore during such vulnerable times, it is comforting to know that there are support groups who can help allay your doubts.

  • Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group (Singapore)

    96 Waterloo Street
    #02-04 SCWO Centre
    Singapore 187967
    Tel/Fax: (65) 6337 0508
    Hotline: (65) 6339 3558

  • La Leche League (Singapore)

    Helpline: 7000-LLL-INFO
    (7000-555-4636)

  • New Mother's Group Support (Singapore)
    A volunteer organisation for mums and dads of young children, new or old to Singapore

Some international sites which I've found useful are:

  • La Leche League International, the organization formed for the sole purpose of helping breastfeeding mothers. Invaluable information on breastfeeding and nothing else! Covers topics such as whether baby is getting enoughto eat, why is baby fussing, how can father help in caring for baby, when to wean baby, etc. Also has a very comprehensive research archive.

  • WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) is a global network of organizations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right. WABA acts on the Innocenti Declaration and works in liaison with UNICEF.

  • American Academy of Pediatrics is filled with valuable information on health,nutrition,medicine, psychological support, etc. for children,adolescents and young adults. It's my favorite for its extensive research archives on topics from allergy tips to medicines safe for breastfeeding mothers.

  • www.AskDrSears.com is a powerful website from Attachment Parenting guru/ paediatricians, Dr William Sears, MD and wife, a registered nurse, Martha Sears, RN. I personally like this as it is packed with useful information from pregnancy & childbirth to breastfeeding,nutrition, and behavior. Breastfeeding friendly, and better yet, teaches you what attachment parenting is about. Indispensable to new parents.

  • www.DrGreene.com Another great parenting website by highly acclaimed pediatrician Dr Alan Greene. Topics span wiiiide! Covering breastfeeding, nutrition, infectious diseases, to common childhood ailments such as rashes.

  • www.babycenter.com Great site for parenting information though I personally think it has a bit of advertisement banners to get pass before you get to the topic you searched. Nevertheless, filled with great topics from preconception,pregnancy,baby to toddler.

  • Lactation Consulting Services. Education and support for breastfeeding families by Joan M.Fisher, RN, BN, MEd. IBCLC. Individual pre/post-natal consultations by appointment. Rental of Medela electric breastpumps and electronic baby scales. Sale of Medela breastpumps, maternity/nursing bras and breastfeeding accessories (including Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer supplementers).

   
Great site for parenting information