Breastfeeding – The Optimal Source of Nutrition for Virtually All Babies

By Connie Ortiz, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for virtually all babies, especially in their early days of life.  The beauty of breast milk is that it meets essentially all of the nutritional needs. Premature babies are at a higher risk for illnesses, breast milk has important health benefits for these small gestational babies. Early breastfeeding (withing the first few hours after birth) has many benefits including providing baby with Colostrum and mother has the chance to establish milk supply.

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum, or “first milk,” which is a gold or yellow liquid that is very rich in nutrition and healthy antibodies that help protect infant from infections. It’s important to remember in the early days of breast feeding, quantity of colostrum is small. Due to the high amount of nutrition in Colostrum, the small quantity is sufficient as long as they are receiving it frequently.

Increasing milk supply:

Frequent breastfeeding or pumping signals the breast to make more milk. With frequent feedings, the body naturally adapts to meet your baby’s needs with a natural “demand and supply.”

Basic principles:

Position for comfort- you can breastfeed in many positions, most importantly is that you and baby are comfortable.

Latching – The key step in breastfeeding is latching correctly. Forming a seal around the nipple, covering much of the areola near the baby’s lower jaw. A comfortable latch protects your nipple from pain or irritation and allows for good milk flow.

How to detect a good latch?

  1. Complete comfort during breastfeeding.
  2. Babys cheeks are full and tongue comes out over the lower lip during latch-on.
  3. After feeding, nipple loos normal and full, not creased, sloped or compressed.
  4. Suckling and swallowing, when baby is feeding well, you can hear them swallow.

Mother health benefits with breastfeeding:

  1. Decrease risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  2. Decrease risk of type 2 diabetes
  3. Decrease risk of high blood pressure.

Milk storage guidelines are important to follow to maintain the safety and quality of expressed breast milk for your baby’s health.

Celebration Pediatrics, with 2 offices in Central Florida,  has a certified lactation specialist, Monica Clark, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, CLC.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Connie or Monica, contact Celebration Pediatrics at 877-595-5113

By chwmag

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