Breastfeeding refers to the process by which a mother feeds her infant with milk directly from her breasts. Assuming the mother does not have certain illnesses, breast milk is widely believed to be the most beneficial for feeding young infants. It is even said that breastfeeding can strengthen the bond between mother and child. Still, some mothers choose not to participate in breastfeeding their infants and opt for store bought formula instead.
There are a number of benefits, which result from breastfeeding for infants. Among them, immediate milk that does not have to be heated as it is already at body temperature. In addition, some experts believe that breastfeeding decreases the risk of certain ailments, while increasing the healthy development of teeth and gums.
Along with the infant, there are positive results that stem from breastfeeding for the mother. Among them, a nurturing feeling toward her infant, a quicker return to the mom’s pre-birth weight and may help to prevent certain illnesses later on in life.
Often, the infant may refuse breastfeeding at first for a variety of reasons. Normally, these can be determined and corrected with proper instruction from a physician. These may be occurrences that go away by themselves or it may be an indication of an infant that has certain medical conditions that prevent them from feeding properly.
Mothers who have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications should not participate in breastfeeding her infant. The reason is because either the illness or the medication itself may be transmitted to the infant during this time, which can be very harmful to him/her. For this reason, the mother must inform her doctor about any medications or ailments that she currently has prior to beginning to breastfeed her child.
Many new mothers do not realize it, but breastfeeding may cause soreness and even bruising. This is not unnatural, but can be a sign of improper positioning. These instances will usually clear themselves up, but should be checked by a physician just to be safe.
This article is to be used for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice or recommendations for or against breastfeeding. Before deciding to breastfeed their child, the new mother must consult a licensed medical doctor in order to determine the best course of action for his/her individual situation and the safe feeding of her child.