The joy of motherhood begins even when the baby is still inside her. The joy will be multiplied myriad times when the baby is born. For new moms out there, nursing an infant is challenging but without tutorials, our natural instinct to care for our newly born will be realized soon. As of this moment, it is important that we know things about breastfeeding.
Not all Singaporean mothers consider breastfeeding for various reasons but the World Health Organization strongly recommends mother to breastfeed their babies for at least six months. For six months, mothers should not allow other foods and drinks aside from vitamin D to be given to their babies.
Breastfeeding both benefits the baby and the mother as well. In the part of the babies, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections, asthma, celiac disease, leukaemia, allergies and diabetes. In the part of the mothers, breastfeeding can reduce postpartum depression, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and weight loss.
Experts studied the milk but some properties are still not understood. Studies show that breast milk comes from the bloodstream of mothers. We will be surprised to know that breast milk contains optimal balance of protein, sugar, fat and water which are needed for the baby’s growth and development.
There are different methods of breastfeeding that we should know about. Here are the methods:
- Exclusive breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding refers to the ingestion of human milk without other supplements (like juice or water) except for medications and vitamins.
- Expressed feeding: Some consider expressed feeding. They do this by producing milk and storing it for later use. Mothers only need a breast pump or a massage.
- Mixed feeding: Mixed feeding is common for working mothers. Mixed feeding means feeding the baby with breast milk together with infant formula. Sometimes mothers also consider feeding baby foods and water depending on the age of the baby.
- Shared nursing: In some societies, wet nursing is normal. Wet nurses refer to one woman who breastfeeds more than one child.
- Induced lactation: Induced lactation is a process for women who did not even give birth but needs to produce milk. This situation is common for adoptive mothers.
- Tandem nursing: Tandem nursing refers to breastfeeding two babies simultaneously on each breast. This usually happens when a mother gives birth to another while breastfeeding the older one. This also happens for twins and triplets.
These methods will help us make our decision which one to consider.