Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why is it important to breastfeed immediately after birth? Coping with breastfeeding

Coping with breastfeeding: Just like any new skill, breastfeeding takes time and practice to work. In the first few days, you and your baby will be getting to know each other. Close contact and holding your baby against your skin can really help with this.
The more time you spend with your baby, the quicker you will learn to understand each other’s signs and signals. The next few articles will help you to understand how breastfeeding works. And remember, it’s OK to ask for help.
Should I breastfeed immediately after birth?   
Every pregnant woman has milk ready for her baby at birth. This milk is called colostrum and it is sometimes quite yellow in color.
It is very concentrated, so your baby only needs a small amount at each feed, which might be quite frequent. It is full of antibodies to boost your baby’s ability to fight off infection.
Holding your baby against your skin straight after birth will calm them, steady their breathing and keep them warm. It will also encourage them to breastfeed. Babies are often very alert in the first hour after birth and keen to feed. Your midwife can help you with this.
Best way to breastfeed newborn  
Colostrum is sometimes called ‘liquid gold’. This extra-special breast milk is full of germ-fighting antibodies that will help protect your baby against infections that you have had in the past. The first few feeds ‘coat’ your baby’s gut to protect them from germs and reduce the chances of them developing allergies as they get older.
Later on, your breast milk will still contain antibodies, and as you come across new infections you will have new antibodies in your milk. This means that if you get colds or flu while you are breastfeeding, your baby will automatically get some immunity from those illnesses.

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