GREAT BAY – In connection with breastfeeding week, Breastfeeding Café – an information session, was held at the Baby Wellness Clinic, Wednesday, where Nurse I. Woodley-Sterling (CPS), Charlotte Pink (parent), Miss D. Sorton (Occupational Therapist), and student midwife O. Simon Lis-Flor provided parents and expectant parents – both mothers and fathers – information surrounding breastfeeding and safety tips to use at home.
“Breastfeeding benefits the mother, the baby and the economy,” says Miss D. Sorton, “When breastfeeding, you feed your baby a very natural, pure, and nutritious fluid that provides the first line of defense for the baby’s immune system. When a baby is new to the world, it needs to be protected from diseases, and breast milk contains a yellowish, translucent fluid called Colostrum – the first secretion from the breast – which provides the baby the antibodies needed to keep it safe.
Other than diseases, breastfeeding can also help prevent early food allergies, and since the milk is lighter and easier to digest, the baby is less prone to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) than babies who drink formula. They also have a decreased chance of developing asthma and respiratory, ear, urinary tract, and diarrheal infections. They will also have a decreased risk of having diabetes, heart disease, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and breast cancer in the future.
For the mother, breastfeeding helps her return to pre-pregnancy weight, reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and stimulates Oxytocin, which is a hormone that causes the uterus to contract and return to its normal size. It also helps to create a bonding between mother and child, but without that bonding, the child can grow to have problems with relationships with others.
And as for the economy, breastfeeding decreases public health costs. You have fewer sick babies, and fewer stressed mothers (due to breastfeeding releasing hormones that help the mother to relax), and there is less absenteeism at work, because the mother doesn’t have to constantly leave her job to take care of a baby who is continuously getting sick due to the lack of immune system protection.”
In addition, when it comes to breastfeeding, “it is also very important to make sure that the baby has properly latched on the breast,” says O. Simon Lis-Flor, “Improper attachment can cause various problems such as engorgement, sore nipples, plugged ducts, or abscess. However, these problems can be avoided by making sure the baby takes the whole areola into the mouth – not just the nipple, and by breastfeeding in correct, comfortable positions such as the Cross Cradle Hold, Cradle Hold, Football Hold, and Side lying Hold. You will know your baby has a good latch when your baby’s mouth is opened wide with lips covering the whole areola of the breast. The baby’s chin will be pressed into the breast, the mouth won’t slip off and breastfeeding will be a pain-free process.”