How to Achieve Successful Breastfeeding?

In the World Week of Breastfeeding, it is Essential to Understand this Stage of Children with their Mother and Know How to Achieve it Successfully, to Avoid Using the Market Products.

Young woman breastfeeding with her son

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LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo conseguir una lactancia materna exitosa?

Breastfeeding has recently been the subject of research for various reasons, one of them is about the deceptions and strategies that manufacturers of powdered milk for babies have incurred, which have not only influenced natural breastfeeding, but have also put in risk the lives of newborns. It must be remembered that this information was revealed thanks to an investigation carried out by UNICEF in the previous months.

However, the World Week of Breastfeeding seeks to highlight the importance of this process between mother-baby, as well as to resolve the doubts surrounding the subject, the social and biological implications, but, above all, to promote and detail how successful can be achieved in this way of feeding babies in their first six months of life.

The importance of breastfeeding

According to an article published by Harvard University, research was conducted that followed premature babies over a period of seven years. In the study they found something very particular and it was that those children who received large amounts of breast milk while they remained in the neonatal intensive care unit (and after that), had better performance in academic processes, better IQ development and less symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (these data were exposed in JAMA Network Open).

"Our study finds that there may be long-term neurodevelopmental benefits of providing premature infants with breast milk," said Mandy Brown Belfort, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, an author of the research.

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Now, the foregoing reaffirms how necessary breastfeeding is in babies, since this allows children, as they grow, to have greater cognitive and health capacities, unlike the consumption of artificial milk, which could be counterproductive in different factors.

For this reason, breastfeeding is the best way to feed newborns, but more pedagogy is needed so that mothers do not opt for alternatives that have been scientifically proven to be harmful.

Keys to successful breastfeeding

Before talking about the recommendations for successful breastfeeding, we must talk about some situations that influence women to prefer artificial milk for their babies.

One of the causes is the communicative practices in which the companies that manufacture powdered milk have incurred, because through misleading advertising they have made people believe that breastfeeding does not have sufficient nutritional value and that their products are better for immune development of the kids.

Another reason has to do with the social stigma to which women who breastfeed their children in public spaces are subjected, but which makes no logical sense when it is a completely natural process. However, there are also biological reasons that cause hormonal failure in some women and that is why it is difficult for them to do it correctly. Meanwhile, there is the lack of pedagogy, since most do not receive induction to get the most out of this stage of life.

However, the World Health Organization offers keys to successful breastfeeding:

  1. Early breastfeeding allows for proper placement of the breast.
  2. Breastfeed the baby every time he/she requires it regardless of the times of the day.
  3. Check that you are in the correct position and that the baby is feeding effectively.
  4. Let the newborn nurse as much as he wants until he releases it him/herself.
  5. The more the baby suckles, the more milk the breast will produce. It is important that this happens.
  6. Do not use bottles, as they may reduce the child's interest in sucking for the breast and therefore less breast milk will be produced.
  7. Do not give them a pacifier during the first weeks. This can make it difficult to learn to breastfeed. It is necessary that the bond is well established in breastfeeding.
  8. If you feel doubts, it is important to seek advice to be able to develop a correct breastfeeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding

According to UNICEF, one of the most important benefits for babies in breastfeeding is that it helps prevent almost all kinds of infections and childhood diseases, thanks to the nutritional value that breast milk has.

While for moms, in the short term it helps their postpartum physical and mental recovery. In the long term, it contributes to a lower chance of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, anemia, and osteoporosis.

As for the social benefit, it helps reduce costs in the care of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, among others. In the same way, breastfeeding contributes to caring for the environment, since it does not produce the solid and polluting waste left by artificial milk manufacturers.

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