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Thursday, September 12, 2013

The 7 Natural Laws of Breastfeeding

I love finding new research/features online that help mothers in their breastfeeding journeys and the below article from BabyMama.ph posted recently on their facebook page. Horay for all breastfeeding moms! You are all wonderful and are doing a good job! :D

The Seven Natural Laws of Breastfeeding by By Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD (Psychology), IBCLC.

The 7 Natural Laws of Breastfeeding


1. Babies are hardwired to breastfeed
2. Mother’s body is the baby’s natural habitat
3. Better feel and flow happen at the comfort zone
4. More breastfeeding at first means more milk later
5. Every breastfeeding mum and baby have their own rhythm
6. More milk out means more milk made
7. Children wean naturally

1. Babies are hardwired to breastfeed
Babies are born with the ability to get to their food source and feed without much help. A mother’s role is mainly to support and encourage her capable newborn. When she learns to use her baby’s hardwiring breastfeeding becomes easier and more enjoyable.
Babies are born with instinctive feeding behaviours, but for mothers breastfeeding is a learned skill. Even so, a complicated list of rules isn’t needed.

2. Mother’s body is the baby’s natural habitat
Babies are born needing to be held skin-to-skin.
Babies need almost constant touch. It is much more than “nice to have”. If they don’t get it, the odds of feeding and behaviour problems and poor growth increase.
Touch releases the hormone oxytocin in both mother and baby, enhancing their emotional closeness and their openness to breastfeeding.

3. Better feel and flow happen at the comfort zone
Pain is not a normal part of breastfeeding. There is an actual place in the baby’s mouth nicknamed “the comfort zone”, and when the nipple reached there breastfeeding is comfortable for the mother and baby gets more milk.
There are several strategies for helping the nipple reach the comfort zone. But once you know what needs to happen you may come up with your very own approach.

4. More breastfeeding at first means more milk later
At birth, a baby’s stomach is about the size of a marble and is not yet stretchy.
The early milk, colostrum, is purposely small in amount and concentrated so that babies can gradually ease into taking their food by mouth and slowly stretch out their stomach. The healthiest way to do this is to breastfeed often from birth.
Breastfeeding often prevents breast engorgement in the mother and also quickly brings in an abundant milk supply.

5. Every breastfeeding couple has its own rhythm
Normal feeding patterns vary among mammals based on the composition of the mother’s milk.
The breast is not like a faucet, with the same amount of milk available at all times. There is a natural ebb and flow of milk supply over the course of the day, and this effects how a baby breastfeeds.

6. More milk out means more milk made
Fluid intake, diet, and rest have little or no effects on milk supply. Draining the breasts is what sends a mother’s body the message to make more milk. The more times a day a mother fully drains her breast, the more milk she produces.
Breastfeeding patterns can differ greatly among breastfeeding babies. The amount of milk a mother’s breasts can comfortably hold can have a major effect on how a baby breastfeeds.

7. Children wean naturally
All children wean eventually, even if a mother does nothing to encourage it. Like all baby behaviour, children outgrow breastfeeding. In most cultures, natural weaning happens after years of breastfeeding, not months.
A natural weaning is safer and more comfortable for both mother and child. No matter what the age, there are many strategies that can make weaning a kind and gentle experience.

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