Breast milk is the “best food” for your baby and breastfeeding benefits mothers too. Breast milk contains all the nutrients such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals that your baby needs to grow healthy, in the exact quantity required for her age. Through breastfeeding you share with your baby part of your immune defences in the form of antibodies contained in your breast milk. This strengthens your baby’s immune system, as their own natural defences are not yet fully developed.
Most of all, breastfeeding can heighten the bond between mother and baby.
Preparation for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a skill that may or may not come to you naturally in the beginning, but you will pick it up eventually once you get started. Therefore, it is important to prepare yourself mentally and physical for a good start.
It is important to maintain a well-balanced diet during your pregnancy and after you have delivered. Go shopping for nursing bras with good support and clothes (preferably 2-piece clothing) with loose fitting for breastfeeding. If you have any doubts or worries about your physical conditions, you can seek advice and help from doctor by taking a breast examination.
Read up more about breastfeeding and experiences that other mothers are sharing. Find out where you can look for help if needed. Most maternity hospitals have trained lactation nurses that you can call up for help regarding breastfeeding. You can also attend a breastfeeding talk with your partner to learn more.
Do think and plan how long you would breastfeed your baby so that you can make the necessary arrangements, especially if you are returning to work after your maternity leave. Check if your workplace has a nursing or private room for you to express breast milk and seek your superior’s understanding that you will need some time off during work to do so.
Most importantly, keep a positive mindset and be confident that you will succeed!