Here are some things you should know about breastfeeding before you actually get started, including expert tips from Singaporean lactation nurse Jophia Bok.
So you’re pregnant and you can’t wait to meet your cute little bundle of joy… You’ve read every parenting book there is and you’re well-armed with information regarding everything that’s related to babies.
But there are some things related to parenting that perhaps require a bit more information-gathering and preparation than other topics.
Breastfeeding is one such topic.
Jophia Bok, who is a qualified lactation nurse here in Singapore, shares her tips on achieving a positive and successful breastfeeding experience. According to Jophia, when preparing for breastfeeding, you could:
- Gather information from trusted sources.
- Talk to and meet up with other breastfeeding mums.
- Gather basic breastfeeding accessories.
- Put up a list of contacts, including those you’ll need for lactation help and breast pump rentals.
- Do a final recap of breastfeeding after delivery and clarify your doubts about breastfeeding with a lactation consultant.
Here are 10 more things you need to know before you start breastfeeding.
1. Breastmilk is incredibly healthy for your baby
Human breastmilk is perfect for human babies — there’s no doubt about it.
According to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore (HPB), breastmilk has been clinically proven to be a complete diet for your baby.
Your first milk, known as colostrum, is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby.
Even though your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold.
What’s even more amazing about breastmilk is that colostrum changes into what is called mature milk by the 3rd to 5th day after birth.
This milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein to help your baby thrive.
Jophia elaborates that your body will adjust the nutritional composition of your milk as your baby grows, coming up with the right amount as needed.
The health benefits of breastfeeding don’t stop here.
According to a report by the HPB, breastfeeding may also result in a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) for your child.
2. Breastfeeding is good for your health too
It’s not just your baby who benefits from your breastmilk — you do too!
Breastfeeding, according to the HPB, has benefits for mothers, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer.
What’s more, breastfeeding releases “mothering hormones” such as prolactin and oxytocin.
Jophia points out that while oxytocin helps create an emotional bond between the mother and child, another benefit is that it helps in uterine contractions after delivery.
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