To breastfeed

If you give birth, you stand for a choice: breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Doctors and obstetricians will initially advise you to breastfeed. If you support this advice and you have the opportunity to do this, you can read here what breastfeeding means and how you can apply your baby.

Breastfeeding benefits

To breastfeed has a number of very important advantages:

  • Your baby receives the right nutrients;
  • Your baby gets a lot of antibodies through breast milk, this protects against diseases;
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ear infection, obesity, intestinal infections and stomach infections;
  • The fat in mother's milk contributes to a good development of the brain;
  • The composition of breast milk is tailored to your baby;

Benefits for the mother are that by breastfeeding you burn an average of 500 kilocalories per day. This will make you gain weight again sooner. In addition, it ensures that your uterus returns to the 'old size' faster (shrinking) and you have bleeding less often. As a last advantage, the interaction between mother and child during feeding is invaluable!
You will find more benefits and an overview of the disadvantages of breastfeeding or bottle feeding. You can also find more information about bottle-feeding.

How does breastfeeding get going?

There are milk glands in your breasts that can produce milk. When you produce milk, nutrients are removed from your blood and converted into breast milk. As soon as your baby sucks at your nipple, two hormones are produced:

  • Prolactin:

    This hormone produces more breast milk so your baby can continue to drink

  • Oxytonine:

    This hormone ensures that the milk flows from the mammary glands to your nipple.

Laying on baby

The process of producing breast milk is automatic. You have to do your baby yourself and that can be a bit tricky in the beginning. It is very important that you put your baby in the right way. If you apply well, feeding will be smooth and you will enjoy it more. You baby you can do according to the following steps:

  1. Provide a relaxed nutrition attitude. Use a pillow in your back and / or place a feeding pillow under your arm for support.
  2. Turn the belly of your baby on your stomach.
  3. Make sure that your baby's head and body are aligned (not curved).
  4. Bring the head of your baby to your chest and make sure that his or her nose is near your nipple.
  5. Then press the body of your baby against you (not the head).

As an extra stimulation you can try to stroke your nipple over the mouth of your baby. Your baby will now (hopefully) open the mouth and start drinking. When drinking, it is important that you only support the head but do not hold it. Your baby needs a little bit of freedom of movement. If your baby makes clanging noises, moves his or her cheeks and has chubby cheeks, everything goes well!

Do you have trouble with your baby?

Then ask your midwife for advice and ask if that person is watching. You can also follow a breastfeeding course during your pregnancy. In most cases the midwife will help you on your way immediately after delivery.

Nutritional postures and a video

There are many different food positions that you can adopt. For example:

  • Madonna attitudeMother is sitting and your baby is lying on your forearm. This is usually the attitude you start with.
  • Sitting upright: mother and baby are upright
  • Lying posture: mother and baby are lying.
  • Extended attitude: the baby rests on your arm and you hold the head.
  • Rugby attitude: The baby's legs are under your arm or next to you.

There is no nutritional attitude that is best. So experiment a bit and you will automatically find your favorite position for breastfeeding. As soon as you have more experience in your baby, everything will become more and more natural. You and your baby are used to it and at some point it becomes a habit rather than a lot of effort!

Breastfeeding is very easy for this mother. She delivers no less than 7.5 liters of breast milk per day!

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