Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby, but it could come with a very painful price for some mothers, especially if the latch on technique is not right. Pain or not, at the end of the day it is all well worth it.
Not too long ago, new mums were told and sometimes pushed by their elders to get injections to make them lose their milk supply. Back then, the belief was that breast milk has more disastrous consequences than it does benefits. Amongst the many unreasonable beliefs of breast milk’s shortcomings was that if the mother has allergies, then the allergies would be transferred down to the nursing infant.
As shocking as it may sound, breast milk was considered to be a shoddy substitute to the (supposedly) far superior baby formula that was chemically altered with nutrients and vitamins...in a factory somewhere. And in an era where women were still trying to prove themselves in the workplace and deemed a better parent if she could afford the most expensive formula there was, this belief reigned supreme. [pullquote]Breast milk is undoubtedly the best source of infant nutrition[/pullquote]
We’ve come a long way, baby
Thankfully for mums now, the science of breast milk has evolved for the better. Today, we know that breast milk is undoubtedly the best source of infant nutrition. Protein found in breast milk has high amounts of amino acid, Taurine, which holds a central role in the development of the brain and the eyes.
Fats in breast milk have large amounts of certain omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain development (provided the mother eats those good omega-3 fats herself). Breast milk also contains substances that enhance the absorption of minerals and vitamins which are extremely crucial in your baby’s development and growth.
Paediatrician, Dr. Jose Enrique Clemente from the Philippines said, "Breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrients in infants. It is the best source of nutrition, if available.” Though the science surrounding breast milk is much better understood now, breastfeeding your baby could still be a painful process.
Of babies and teething
A real concern amongst breastfeeding mums is when their babies begun teething.
Mum, Irena Yap wrote on theAsianparent Breastfeeding Mums Facebook page:“My 4 mth old is already teething now and I dun really want to wean him off ... He havnt bite yet but got a little paranoid. Have tried the shield but not really good to use.”
Mum, Angeline Moon, shared her woes.
“My gal bit me but I'm still latching her. Cos wen she's hungry she'll drink. Bite wen she's not. It's very painful but I'm not giving up yet ;)”
As with any other problems, there is a solution and mums were quick to point out that there is a way out of this biting predicament.
“It's normal for baby to bite when they have teeth. when my son bite, I will pat on his cheeks and say no. sometime I will pinch his nose and he will automatically let go. I do it everytime when he bites and he gets the message, no biting or else mummy will pinch my nose.... heheheh,” wrote another mum, Selina C. Ali.
Chelsea HO offered a similar if not slightly different solution: “My gal is now 13 month has almost the full set of teeth already and I am still breastfeeding. When she first stqarted teething during 4 month old she do bite as well. WHat I did was each time she bite I pull her out and squeeze her cheeks telling her that its painful. After a few time she understood and stop biting.”
Perhaps this is the very definition of a mother’s love, to brave thorough the pain of being bitten by your own child just so you could feed them the best source of infant nutrition there is; the breast milk.