Should I breastfeed my baby? A question many expectant mothers ask. For some it is a clear thing, but not for others. Many wonder if and how to do it "right" or what to look for when breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding - a matter of feeling
The first child in particular is often insecure, but experienced multiple mothers experience surprises again and again when the second or third child suddenly signals completely different wishes and reactions regarding breastfeeding, as his older siblings.
Breastfeeding as nonverbal communication between mother & child
However, the experience of mothers and midwives shows that stress or even breastfeeding planning makes little sense. Because on the one hand there is the knowledge, but on the other hand the child.
And that has just a say in the matter. His preferences, needs, feelings of hunger, but also the desire for closeness and security will determine the course and rhythm of breastfeeding over time. After all, the little earthly citizen is the main person in terms of breastfeeding.
If Mom trusts her child, gets involved with it, and has some stamina, that's actually the best way to overcome initial difficulties. This also applies to the question of how long one should breastfeed. Again, there is no rule, no rule. As long as it likes mother and child, that's fine.
If the need for one side lapses, most of the time the other side also intuitively reacts with the feeling that it's time to stop. The communication between mother and child is almost exclusively about intuition and feelings, which is not different when breastfeeding.
If breastfeeding is also considered on the nutrient side, it remains to emphasize that there is no equivalent substitute for breast milk. The substitute mixtures offered in the trade are based on cow, soy or mare's milk and mimic the milk as far as possible. But they have no such composition.
Because only these contain the vital immune substances that the little person needs, especially in the first half of the year for his nest protection. These are mainly contained in the colostrum, the so-called foremilk, which is delivered in the first days after birth. Then it comes to the formation of the actual breast milk.
Here is the composition again something different. On the way from the foremilk to the mother's milk, the protein content decreases, the fat and carbohydrate content increases. The quantity produced depends on the demand-supply ratio, but the demand can vary as well. Here are the most important figures comparing breast milk with cow's milk:
The table shows that just human milk is exactly tailored to the needs of the baby. Cow's milk contains too much protein or protein molecules for a baby, which can damage the kidneys. Therefore, cow's milk should not be given in the first year of life. The carbohydrate and fat content, on the other hand, is too low.
The feeling of security while breastfeeding
However, in addition to the nutritional question, breastfeeding also fulfills another important task: the emotional bond between mother and child. Especially at the beginning, when you first have to "get to know each other", if the child is to find his way without the warming protection from Mama's stomach in his new environment and still needs a lot of security. Just then breastfeeding helps to promote these aspects.
The intimate, loving bond between mother and child, which is produced during breastfeeding, is also hard to replace with anything else. Important here is an environment with plenty of peace, warmth and comfort.
No TV or radio should run by the way, the phone should be turned off and housework should be delegated in the first weeks if possible. In this environment, both can enjoy the closeness and build an intimate relationship with each other.
Of course, breastfeeding also has very practical aspects. It is always and everywhere the right food, in proper composition and temperature, freshly prepared and germ-free. No transport of bottle, bottle warmer and other accessories is necessary. This also allows the mother more flexibility and less organizational effort.
All in all, it has fashioned the wisdom of nature so that breastfeeding is the optimal start in life for a new little human child. Nutritional, emotional and logistic. Of course, there are women who can not or do not want to breastfeed. The latter is also okay, because there should be no compulsion against your own feelings. That would not be good on both sides. However, if there is a desire and possibility to breastfeed, this should be preferred to any artificial solution.