Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure the health and survival of your child. However, according to the World Health Organization, nearly two in three babies are not breastfed for the recommended six months. This percentage has not improved for 20 years.
Breastmilk is the most ideal food for growing babies. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients a baby needs in the first few months of life, more than half of the baby's nutritional needs in the second half of the first year. In fact, it has been advised that breastmilk is best babies up to two years.
1. Create a space for breastfeeding
Before the baby arrives, the mother can set up a nursing station. This area has comfortable chairs, nursing pillows, side tables for snacks, water, nursing pads, burp clothes, phones, and good books.
2. The breast pump
Invest in a high quality electric breast pump to milk your milk and start milking as soon as you feel comfortable. Establishing a sufficient milk supply after your baby is born and before returning to work will help maintain your supply when you are away. Start feeding your baby a few weeks before returning to work to help your baby get used to it.
3. Storing breast milk
Freshly squeezed milk can be stored in an insulated cooler box with an ice pack for up to a day. If you want to refrigerate your breastmilk, you may store it up to 4 days. However, it is still best to consume it within 3 days.
4. Plan ahead
Breastfeeding is a learning skill that becomes easier over time. The more you plan ahead, learn the basic techniques, and know where to go for help and support, the more likely you are to succeed in long-term breastfeeding.
5. Take good care of yourself
Avoid restricted clothing and wire bras that can cause obstruction of the breast ducts and increase the risk of breast infections. If the feeding pad is damp, wet, or dirty, replace the feeding pad. Shower every day. Use only plain water for your nipples.
6. Create a routine
Once you begin to recognize your baby's own natural rhythm, both can settle into a feeding routine. If you are breastfeeding, breastfeed your baby whenever you appear hungry for the first few weeks. This can mean feeding up to 12 times a day at completely random times.
Breast-fed children are better off on intelligence tests, less likely to be overweight or obese, and less likely to develop diabetes in later years. Women who are breastfeeding also have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.