Breastfeeding - yes or no? A question that many expectant mothers ask themselves. It is a clear thing for some, but not for others. Many are wondering whether and how to do it “right” or what to watch out for. Uncertainty is often great, especially with the first child, but even experienced multiple mothers experience surprises when the second or third child suddenly signals completely different wishes and reactions regarding breastfeeding than its older siblings.
Breastfeeding is communication between mother and child
However, the experience of mothers and midwives shows that stress or even planning regarding breastfeeding hardly makes sense. Because on the one hand there is knowledge, but on the other hand there is the child. And that also has a say.
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 earthling is the main person when it comes to breastfeeding. If mom trusts her child, can get involved and has some stamina, this is actually the best prerequisite for overcoming initial difficulties.
This also applies to the question of how long you should breastfeed. Here too there is no rule, no regulation. As long as mother and child like it, that's fine. If the need on one side subsides, the other side also reacts intuitively with the feeling that it is time to stop. The communication between mother and child is almost exclusively based on intuition and feelings, which is no 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 the composition is somewhat different again. On the way from the pre-milk to the breast milk, the protein content decreases, the fat and carbohydrate content increases. The quantity produced depends on the relationship between demand and supply, although demand can also fluctuate.
Here are the most important figures when comparing breast milk with cow's milk:
The table shows that only human milk is tailored precisely to the needs of the baby. Cow's milk contains too much protein or too large protein molecules for an infant, 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.
Comfort when breastfeeding
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, when the child has to find its way around in its new environment without the warm protection from mom's belly and still needs a lot of security.
It is precisely then that breastfeeding helps to promote these aspects. The intimate, loving connection between mother and child, which is created during breastfeeding, can hardly be replaced by anything else. What is important here is an environment with a lot of calm, 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 set up the wisdom of nature so that breastfeeding is the optimal start in life for a new little human child. Nutritionally, emotionally and logistically.
Of course there are women who cannot or do not want to breastfeed. The latter is also fine, because there should be no compulsion against your own feelings. That would not be good for either side. However, if there is a desire and the possibility of breastfeeding, this should be preferred to any artificial solution.
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