Why is breastfeeding considered the preferable method for feeding a newborn?
- Breast milk is a complex and living fluid and discoveries continue to be made about its unique properties.
Breastfeeding is considered the best start in life because it:
- Provides all the nutrients in the ideal form
- Contains antibodies that protect babies from infections
- Is free from germs
- Protects against some diseases of later childhood and adult life
- Bonds mothers and babies and makes them both feel warm and secure
- Reduces the risk of allergies
- Is convenient and economical
- Lessens the chance of diarrhoea which is more common in artificially fed babies
- Alters daily and even during a feed to suit baby's changing needs
What happens when you breastfeed the newborn?
The first milk made by the breast is called colostrum. It is:
- thick and creamy yellow in colour
- rich in special properties protective properties
After a few days the mature milk comes in.
- The breasts become fuller due to the increased milk supply and swollen breast tissue
- Engorgement, an uncomfortable feeling of tenderness and fullness, can occur if the milk comes in quickly. This usually disappears as baby's feeding matches the mother's milk supply.