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Human Milk For Human Babies
Human milk is made for babies: Breastfeeding is a natural continuation of pregnancy. Human babies need their mother’s milk immediately after birth, and for the first six months or so of life, breast milk is all that babies need for normal, healthy growth and development. Breast milk contains scores, even hundreds, of factors that protect the newborn from disease and provide the exact balance of proteins, healthy fats and sugars, and everything else that a baby needs to continue the growth that began in the womb and give birth to the wonderful little person he is about to be. A healthy newborn needs nothing but mother’s milk; in fact, anything else given to a baby changes the perfect balance in his gut (intestinal tract) and disrupts the perfect system created by nature to protect him from all the bacteria and viruses around him when he leaves the baby. the safety of the womb and comes into the world. Therefore, the baby should not be given formula, water or anything else, unless there is a medical reason. (AAP Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. (Source: aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/ sisu/täis/pediatrics;115/2/496). Water or formula supplements given to a nursing infant “also interfere with the biology of breastfeeding in the mother’s infant” ( A Woman’s Guide to Breastfeeding, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2002, p. 11), which results in the mother having less milk production and the baby getting less benefit from the milk.
Although formula manufacturers want us to believe that their products are close to breast milk, and they spend millions of dollars promoting the “new” ingredients they discover and add to the ever-increasing number of formulas available, the truth is that breast milk can never be duplicated. Breast milk is a living, changing fluid. Each mother’s milk contains antibodies specific to the microbes that she and her baby are exposed to in their environment. As the baby grows, the composition of the milk also changes, making it ideal for the changing needs of the newborn, infant and toddler. Dr. Jack Newman, a leading expert on breastfeeding, states, “The differences between cow’s milk and formula are much smaller than the differences between formula and breast milk.” (Newman, Jack, MD. The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, Prima Publishing Roseville, CA: 2000, p. 13.) He continues, “All pregnant women and their families need to know the risks of formula feeding. This is important. Everyone should be encouraged to breastfeed. and everyone should get the best possible support to start breastfeeding after the baby arrives.” (Ibid.)
Why does breastfeeding seem so difficult when it is the natural way to feed a baby? Why do so many moms try and fail? Why do so many pediatricians advise mothers to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula at the first sign of trouble?
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breastfeeding without other foods for the first six months and continuing to breastfeed by gradually adding other foods during the second half of the child’s first year. They recommend breastfeeding for at least 12 months and then for as long as mutually desired. (American Academy of Pediatrics Work Group on Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, Pediatrics Vol 100 No. 6, December, 1997, p. 1037)
Despite this strong belief in the importance of breastfeeding, many nurses, doctors, and other health care providers lack the specialized training necessary to adequately assist mothers and infants with breastfeeding difficulties. Breastfeeding failure often happens because hospital procedures in the hours and days after the baby’s birth prevent the normal course of lactogenesis (the process by which the mother’s milk supply is created), or a misunderstanding of the newborn’s feeding habits leads to early use of bottles and bottles. pacifiers, if there is no medical necessity for such an intervention. This causes subtle changes in the baby’s sucking and causes some babies to refuse the breast and prefer the very fast flow of milk from the bottle. Even if your baby has had a few bottles and has started to prefer the bottle to the breast, it’s not too late! Most babies can learn to breastfeed effectively, and most mothers can produce good milk with the right help and support.
Board Certified Lactation Consultants have special training to help with some breastfeeding issues. The sooner the mother gets help, the easier it should be to start breastfeeding, even if mother and baby have a rough start and problems at first. Other good sources of help are La Leche League, a volunteer organization with chapters in most places in the US and Canada, as well as many other countries. In the US, most local WIC offices have resources to help mothers who want to breastfeed. To go [http://www.ilca.org/falc.html] for a list of certified lactation consultants in your area.
Although it is ideal for mother and baby to be together so that the baby can feed frequently both day and night, many mothers today are faced with the fact that they return to work within weeks of giving birth. It is perfectly possible to give milk to your baby even if you have to be apart for several hours a day. Don’t let having to work outside your home rob you and your child of this priceless gift.
Find out about pumping if you have to be away from your baby and still want to offer your milk.
Breastfeeding is the gold standard for your baby!
“While researching the difference between human milk and formula, I discovered that breast milk has over four hundred nutrients that formula does not have.” said Dr. Frank Oski, former professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, as quoted by William and Martha Sears in The Breastfeeding Book (Sears, William, MD and Martha Sears, RN, The Breastfeeding Book, Little, Brown and Co, Boston ., 2000, p 14.)
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