Can flat-breasted mothers breastfeed a baby?
Breastfeeding or feeding bottles - not all mothers ask themselves this question during pregnancy, as they take it for granted to breastfeed their baby. The National Breastfeeding Commission also advises breastfeeding the baby for the first 4-6 months. Sure, there are many reasons in favor of breastfeeding, but there are also some things that can speak against it.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Probably the most important reason in favor of breastfeeding is that there is nothing healthier for the baby than breast milk (at least as long as the mother does not consume any harmful substances in the form of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or medication). Immune and defense substances are already contained in the first milk, the so-called colostrum, which the baby may need in the first hours and days after birth. This is why it is also known as the first “vaccination” for the first milk.
In many studies it has been proven that the nutritional content of breast milk is composed again and again and adapts exactly to the needs of the baby. In summer, for example, breast milk becomes more fluid to meet the baby's fluid needs. If the baby is in a growth spurt, the amount of milk increases to keep the baby full. In addition, the milk is easier to digest for the little ones. Flatulence, diarrhea, or constipation are less common. In addition, scientific evidence shows that breastfed children are less prone to obesity later than non-breastfed children.
Another advantage is that breast milk is free and you always have it with you. It is available around the clock at a comfortable temperature and does not first have to be heated up like bottled milk and then laboriously cooled down again. The annoying need to get up at night and prepare bottles is no longer necessary, and the baby has to cry less until his hunger is satisfied.
And last but not least, breastfeeding helps you lose weight. The breastfeeding hormone oxytocin causes the uterus to contract back to its original size. In addition, up to 500 extra calories are consumed per day.
Disadvantages of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural processes in the world, regardless of whether it is in animals or humans. But unfortunately it doesn't always work out the way you might want it to. Some women have problems with too little milk. Or the baby is not sucking properly or is too weak to drink. It can also lead to sore, painful nipples, blocked milk ducts, sticky milk ducts or infections. This is enormously frustrating and emotionally stressful for the mother. In this case, you should find out about the correct breastfeeding technique and seek advice from a midwife or lactation consultant.
Many mothers also feel very bound and restricted by breastfeeding. You cannot allow yourself time off without a child, you have to pay attention to what you eat and drink, you are not allowed to take any medication and you always have to “serve” at night. If you feel too burdened by this responsibility, you should actually think about raising your child with a bottle. In this way the mother can maintain a certain independence and the father can be much more involved and develop an intimate relationship with his baby.
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