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Formula Feeding Is the Best Way to Feed a Baby

Updated August 8, 2022

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Formula Feeding Is the Best Way to Feed a Baby essay

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As a new mother it is your job to make sure your baby has a good nutritional start. With your choice to breastfeed, you have joined the majority of women who understand the evidence that breastfeeding is the best and most ideal way of feeding your baby. Besides being a great nutritional start, breastfeeding also contributes to emotional development of your baby. Breastfeeding will also promote wellness in your infant due to the presence of antibodies in breastmilk.

There is no doubt that breastmilk contains all the nutrients required and is perfectly matched for your baby’s needs for proper growth and development. Studies prove that breastmilk provides optimal health and benefits the newborn for life.

Your touch is how you communicate with your child. The best start for breastfeeding is when a baby is kept skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth for at least an hour. The baby’s sense of smell allows them to find the breast to begin the initial latch-on. Research has shown that skin to skin babies breastfeed better and stay awake during the feeding. In addition, skin-to-skin babies have shown to breastfeed an average of 6 weeks longer.

Now experts agree and understand how important it is for an mother and her baby to be close to each another as early and for as long as possible in the first few weeks and months of life. There are many reasons why skin-to-skin contact is vital for a baby’s healthy growth and development. It may also allow you to feel more confident in caring for your new baby.

Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has these positive effects on a newborn and new mother: Babies; breastfeed better, cry less and are calmer, stay warm, have better blood sugar levels, have more stable and normal heart rate and blood pressure, and are protected by some of your good bacteria. Mothers; breastfeed more easily, learn cues that your baby is ready to feed, bond more with your baby, and gain confidence and contentment in caring for your baby.

It is very important for you to get all the facts about why breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby. There are many benefits of breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding. For however long you choose to nurse, your baby’s immune system benefits greatly from breastmilk. The following are just a few benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby:

For baby: For Mother:

  • – Easily digested – Convenient and economical
  • – perfectly matched nutrition – Helps the uterus return to its normal size
  • – May have protective effect against SIDS
  •  – Helpful with weight loss
  • – Less gastrointestinal disturbance ear and
  • – Reduces the risk of osteoporosis lower respiratory infections and allergies
  • – Less likely to develop breast, uterine,
  • – Stimulates senses of taste and smell endometrial and ovarian cancer
  • – Protects against infection with antibodies – May reduce the risk of heart disease
  • – May reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases and infections
  • – Receives skin-to-skin, eye and voice contact

Having knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the breast is important for the mother to know. The breasts are delicate organs made of glandular, connective and fatty tissue. The nipple contains tiny openings through which the milk can flow. These tiny openings are surrounded by muscular tissue that causes the nipple to stand erect when stimulated. Surrounding the nipple is an area of dark skin called the areola. This area will become darker and larger in size during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. The areola contains pimple-line structures near its border that are called Montgomery glands. These glands secrete a substance that helps to lubricate and cleanse the area.

Stimulation of the nipple by the baby’s sucking sends messages to the tiny pituitary gland in the brain. It in turn secrets a hormone known as prolactin. Prolactin stimulates the milk gland cell within the breast to begin producing milk. This occurs after the baby is born and the placenta and comes out of the birth canal. The second hormone that is released is known as oxytocin. This hormone causes the cells around the milk gland to contract. This contraction squeezes the milk down through the milk ducts and out of the nipples. The milk pools behind the nipple and beneath the areola. This response is known as let-down or milk ejection reflex. Oxytocin also aids in the mother’s ability to relax. It may take a minute to several minutes of sucking by the baby until the milk ejection reflex occurs. Some mothers only know that their milk has let-down by seeing milk in the baby’s mouth or the other breast leaking.

There are three types of breastmilk. By 16 weeks of pregnancy, your breasts are fully capable of producing milk. Some women will notice drops of fluid on the nipple during these early months. This fluid, known as colostrum, is the “first milk.” It is what the baby will receive until your higher volume milk is produced.

Colostrum is the first stage of breastmilk that develops during pregnancy and lasts for a few days after birth of the baby. It is also much thicker than the milk that is produced later in breastfeeding. Colostrum is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that pass from the mother to the baby and provide protection for the baby from a wide variety of bacterial and viral illness. Colostrum will be replaced by transitional milk 2 to 4 days after milk.

Transitional Milk occurs after colostrum, and you will find your milk changing and increasing in quantity. When you breastfeed regularly, your breasts will be stimulated to produce transitional milk. The content of this milk includes high levels of fat, lactose, and water-soluble vitamins. This milk contains more calories than colostrum and is very high in protein content.

Mature Milk starts being produced about 48 to 72 hours after the baby is born. It may take longer depending on when breastfeeding was initiated. Mature milk is mostly water, which is necessary to maintain correct fluid balance for the infant. The rest is comprised of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that are necessary for both growth and energy. It is also composed of wonderful immunologic properties. These properties do not disappear after colostrum, but remain throughout breastfeeding.

The mother and the baby will Breastfeeding Relationships- For many women, breastfeeding is a new experience. It is for the baby as well. As a new mom, you may tend to have unrealistic expectations of yourself and your newborn. Even though a baby can suck, swallow and breathe by reflex, they have to LEARN to eat. You and your baby will both learn together through trial and error.

As long as your baby nurses immediately after birth, frequently thereafter, and is allowed to find the feeding completely, he will have all the milk needed for proper growth and development. Milk production is regulated by supply and demand. The concept being the more milk that is removed, the more milk that is made. The less milk that is removed, the less milk that is made.

Research has shown that 2 hours following birth, a baby is in a state of quiet alertness. If possible, it is best to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth. Putting the baby to breast as soon as possible after birth allows for a great starting point on an amazing connection and bond between mother and baby. While in the hospital, learn as much as you can from the nurse or lactation consultant about breastfeeding you baby.

There are different positions to hold your baby while nursing. These different positions prevent placing the same pressure points on your nipple and help with a more even breast draining throughout the day. It is important to know the different options for holding your baby for a feeding. This will allow you to choose which works best for you and your baby. Positioning of the baby for your comfort is important for effective milk transfer. There are 5 different positons for mothers to choose from:

Biological Nursing or Baby-Led Latch- This natural position is based on a semi-reclined position that is comfortable for both you and your baby. In this position, you are encouraging your own, as well as your baby’s natural instincts. With very few rules, this position allows your baby to get a better latch and helps to relax you as well. Use a bed or couch where you can comfortably recline with good support of your head, shoulders and arms.

Cradle or “Madonna” Hold- This classic hold is a commonly used position that is often found to be comfortable for many mothers.

Cross-Cradle or Transitional Hold- This hold differs from the cradle hold in that your arms switch roles. If you are feeding from the left breast, you will use your right arm to hold your baby.

Side-Lying Hold- Lie on your side and place pillows all around you to make it comfortable. One behind your back, between your legs and under your head.

Clutch Hold– In this position you tuck the baby under your arm. Place a pillow behind your back and along the side you are going to nurse on. This will help to support the baby and get his nose at the level of your nipple.

Getting the baby to latch-on correctly is one of the most important steps in successful breastfeeding. The baby must open his mouth wide enough to get a good amount of areolar into the mouth. If the baby latches on to just the nipple, you will become sore and the baby will get a limited supple of milk. It is the proper compression of the areolar tissue from the baby’s suck, along with the motion of his tongue that allows the milk to be drawn out through the nipple.

It is very important to make sure your baby is receiving the feedings he needs to grow and thrive. Once breastfeeding is established, the best way to ensure a good milk supply is by allowing your baby to feed on cue. Babies need at least 8 to 12 feedings in a 24-hour period. It is important to nurse until baby shows signs of being full, such as self-detach, sucking less vigorously, or the baby becomes sleepy and relaxes body.

While nursing, offer both breasts each feeding; this helps stimulates milk production. Keeping your baby interested and awake during feedings is important. If the baby chooses to take only one breast at a feeding, make sure you then begin with the other breast at the next feeding. Alternating breasts when feeding will help the mother with proper milk removal of the breasts. Following these simple steps will help you to ensure proper ilk removal completely and regularly, increase milk production, reduce breasts engorgement and nipple tenderness and maximize infant weight gain.

A common concern that mother have is if their baby is getting enough to eat. There are many clues to indicate that everything is going well. For example, the number of feedings your baby has each day is important. Also, remember that his intake of breastmilk is usually reflected by his output of wet and dirty diapers. The baby will be passing meconium for 1 to 2 days after birth. Meconium is the sticky, black substance that the baby passes from his bowels. Stool changing to mustard color, runny and seedy in texture once the milk is in greater supple is a great cue. Weight gain is an important clue to your baby’s healthcare provider that the baby is feeding properly. Expect initial weight loss of baby after his birth; weight gain of 4 to 7 ounces per week once milk is in greater supply. The baby should be back to birth weight be day 10.

It is important when storing breastmilk that you label and date the container so you can be sure your baby is receiving breastmilk that is not outdated. You may want to store breastmilk in 2 to 4 ounce amounts to cut down waste. Make sure the containers you choose are clean. You may find conflicting information on the best type of container to use when storing breastmilk, whether to use glass or plastic. There are also special storage bags for breastmilk available. Never microwave or boil breastmilk. Microwaving could cause “hot spots” in the milk because it heats unevenly and could potentially burnt the baby’s mouth and throat. In addition, it can alter the protein make-up of the breastmilk and may destroy the antibody composition of the milk. All you need to do to bring it to room temperature is to run it under warm, tap water. You can also place it in a bowl of warm water to thaw or warm the milk.

Nutrition- According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 300 extra calories are needed daily to maintain pregnancy. When you are breastfeeding, you need a total of 500 extra calories each day to stay healthy and to produce nutritious breastmilk. Your diet should be balanced and contain the appropriate amount of calories and nutrients to fulfill these special needs. The MyPlate food program was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist adults in choosing foods that provide the nutrients they require. You may lose up to 20 pounds’ fairy easy in the postpartum period. More weight loss will be easier with moderate exercise and a smart eating program. Choose MyPlate can serve as a guide to both balance and moderation.

Breastfeeding mothers need extra fluid, calories, protein and calcium. Calcium and protein can be supplied by milk and other dairy products including yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese and other cheeses. You should avoid tobacco, alcohol, and non-essential medications while breastfeeding, as they can affect your baby.

Regardless of how well you prepare for your new baby, there will still be a period of adjustment. Excitement, nervousness, joy and being overwhelmed are just a few of the emotions you may experience. These feelings are normal. As you look back on your experience with breastfeeding, what you will remember most is the closeness and intimacy that developed between you and your baby. Only you, as the baby’s mother, can ever possibly know such an experiment.

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Formula Feeding Is the Best Way to Feed a Baby. (2022, Aug 08). Retrieved from