Breastfeeding tips by Dr. Basema Jamal to help mothers get off to a good start
Breastfeeding may be a very natural process, but it’s not always easy. It is something new for mothers and babies. While both the mother and baby are learning, it can be harder for some mothers and babies.
According to Dr. Basema Jamal, Specialist, Gynecology at Al Zahra Hospital, breastfeeding has many health benefits for mothers and babies. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to have allergies, asthma, and other infectious diseases.
From the moment the baby is born, there are a number of things mothers can do to improve the chances for breastfeeding success. Dr. Basema Jamal shares expert tips, benefits and misconceptions about breastfeeding that can help make the journey easier for mothers and babies.
Health benefits of breastfeeding
- Breast milk protects your baby from infections and diseases right into adulthood.
- Breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby.
- Breastfeeding helps reduce the babies’ risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), cardiovascular diseases (in adulthood), obesity and diabetes.
- Breastfeeding also lowers the mothers’ risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Tips for breastfeeding
- Keep your baby with you after the birth as it will promote a feeling of closeness and a strong hormonal response that is linked with breastfeeding success.
- Get your position and attachment right, as the ?rst few days after the birth offer the best opportunity for you and your baby to learn to breastfeed.
- Feed the baby on demand and according to need as frequent and effective feeding will help you to make enough milk for your baby.
- Avoid complementary feeds because if the baby has ?uids other than breast milk, they will breastfeed less, and your breast milk supply will decrease.
Common misconceptions about breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding hurts: Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed a baby, and it should not hurt. If you experience pain in your breasts or nipples, it’s usually because your baby is not positioned or attached correctly.
- Formula milk is the same as breast milk: All formula milk is made from cows’ milk, containing bacteria. Which means it does not protect your baby from infections and diseases as breast milk does.
- Breastfeeding will make breasts sag: Breastfeeding does not cause sagging of breasts, but pregnancy hormones can stretch the ligaments that support your breasts.
- Babies do not need breast milk once they start solid foods: Breastfeeding has lots of benefits for the mother and baby even after 6 months. It protects them from infections and helps them digest solid foods.
Lastly, Dr. Basema recommends mothers to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet that includes eating from all 5 food groups. She advises mothers to get 5 servings of milk or dairy products each day. For those mothers who don’t eat meat or dairy, they can opt for other high calcium food items. Certain food can bother the baby, so one must pay attention to what they eat and how their baby acts after feedings.