Human breast milk is the best food for newborn babies, and is recommended that breast feeding continue for at 12 months. There is a large body of evidence on the benefits of breast feeding for both mother and infant. With adequate support and good information on preventing some of the common problems associated with breast feeding, a woman's chances of successfully breast feeding her baby are greatly improved. Human milk contains the ideal balance of nutrients, enzymes, and anti-infective and immune support agents for babies. Human milk, made specifically for the needs of the newborn, is superior to all alternatives.
One significant advantage of human breast milk is its abundance of immune-protective and anti-infective agents, including immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, white blood cells, and other factors. These agents are known to help a newborn fight a wide variety of illnesses. Breast feeding has been found to help prevent diarrhea, lower respiratory tract infection, ear infection, meningitis, urinary tract infection, and other serious infections. In addition, it may possibly help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), insulin-dependent diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohns Disease), ulcerative colitis, cancer, allergic diseases, and other chronic digestive diseases. Breast feeding may also enhance cognitive development.
The protein composition of breast milk is perfect for growing babies and is easy for them to digest. Breast milk also provides absorbable nutrients such s iron and zinc. Breast milk is also quick, easy, and cost-effective. Breast feeding promotes bonding, allowing a mother and her baby to be in close physical contact, enhancing the formation of a close mother-baby bond.
Breast feeding a new baby has many important health benefits for the mother as well. Breast feeding immediately after childbirth causes the release of a hormone called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract. This results in less postpartum blood loss and a more rapid return of the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. While breast feeding, most women will not immediately resume their ovulation and menstrual periods. Delaying the return of ovulation may extend the time between pregnancies. Women who breast feed for at least six months lose weight more quickly than women who breast feed for less than three months. And, while breast feeding can cause a short-term loss of bone density, it also seems to improve the body's ability to rebuild bones postpartum. In addition, women who have breast fed their babies may have fewer osteoporosis-linked hip fractures after they've passed through menopause. Breast feeding has also been associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer and a reduced risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch and Mark Stengler
Super Prescription #1 Calcium / Magnesium – LifeSource Products - See All of our Cal/Mag
A very important nutrient in breast feeding, calcium not only protects bone health in the mother, but helps the baby to develop strong bones and teeth.
Super Prescription #2 Omega 3 - LifeSource Products - See All of our Omega
3 – Fish Oil Products.
An excellent source of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids.
Super Prescription #3 DHA – LifeSource Product
Present in cod liver oil, and other fish oils, it is important for normal development of brain and eyes. Doctors advise nursing mothers to supplement their diet with DHA.
Super Prescription #4 Prenatal Multivitamin w/
DHA - LifeSource Product
A mother should continue to take prenatal vitamins in order to meet the nutrient requirements of breast feeding.
Super Prescription #5 Garlic - LifeSource Product
In two studies, infants have been shown to nurse longer when their mothers ate garlic. However, some infants may develop colic if they consume too much garlic in breast milk.
Super Prescription # 6 Iron - LifeSource Products
Iron helps prevent fatigue, among other things, but should only be taken as a supplement if you are tested as anemic.
Super Prescription #7 Vitex - Chasteberry - LifeSource Product
Vitex is one of the best recognized herbs in Europe for promoting lactation. It has been found that 15 drops of a vitex tincture three times a day can increase the milk supply.
here to see all products, articles and studies for Breast Feeding
Pregnant and breast feeding women should choose a well-balanced and varied diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish. The caloric needs of a breast feeding woman are even higher than during pregnancy. Most women should consume approximately 2,800 calories per day to meet the energy needs of breast feeding. A woman should continue to take prenatal vitamins in order to meet the nutrient requirements of breast feeding. Especially important is continued intake of calcium and calcium rich foods.
Breast milk contains essential fatty acids. The fat composition of breast milk varies with a woman's diet. If a woman consumes foods that provide essential fatty acids (canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, nut and seed oils, and fish), the breast milk she produces will contain higher quantities of essential fatty acids.
Drinking to quench thirst is enough to support a healthy milk supply. Women are frequently instructed to drink extra fluids to increase milk supply. This is a common misunderstanding.
Foods to Avoid
Many doctors recommend limiting intake of refined sugars, white flour, fried foods, processed foods, and chemical additives. Caffeine, which is considered a drug, is excreted into breast milk. A morning cup of coffee is not likely to cause problems. However, if the mother is a heavy caffeine user, caffeine can accumulate in the infant. A baby who is irritable or sleeping poorly may be reacting to caffeine in the mother's diet. A woman can switch to decaffeinated coffee and tea to effectively reduce the amount of caffeine her baby receives through milk.
It is best to avoid all unnecessary medications, herbs, and nutritional supplements when breast feeding. Most prescribed and over-the-counter medications, when taken by a breast feeding mother, are considered safe for the infant. However, a doctor should always be consulted before any medication is taken. There are a few medications that mothers may need to take that may make it necessary to interrupt breast feeding temporarily.
Alcohol reaches maternal milk in concentrations similar to those in the mother's blood. Therefore, it is best for breast feeding mothers to minimize or eliminate alcohol consumption. Breast feeding mothers also should not smoke. Nicotine passes to the baby through the breast milk and can cause feeding problems and illness, especially in newborns. Babies should also be protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke, which has been shown to increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Women who wish to use supplements while breast feeding should consult their doctors and use only under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
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