Breast milk is the first food for the baby that comes to this world. The marvellous composition of the milk that is uniquely designed helps the little one to grow and adapt to the conditions outside the safe intrauterine environment (inside the mother?s womb).
Lactation is the phase wherein the process of secretion of milk occurs in the post-pregnancy period so that the mother can feed her little one. The main purpose of Lactation is to give the young one adequate nourishment and help in the growth.
Many hormones are involved in lactation and while feeding the baby the signals are sent to the brain to keep the milk flowing and the hormone responsible for this is termed as Oxytocin. The building up of the ducts that secrete the milk occurs during pregnancy during the second and the third trimesters and the hormones responsible for this are Estrogen and Progesterone. The hormone Prolactin apart from being responsible for the growth of alveoli is also responsible for regulating milk flow.
Why Breastfeeding your little one is so important?
Breastfeeding is essentially important for the little one because:
- Breast milk is packed with crucial proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that are required for the adequate development of your baby.
- It also contains critical antibodies that are required for building up the baby?s immunity to fight diseases and helps in lowering the risk of many diseases such as Asthma, allergies, etc.
- Mother?s milk is easily digestible and does not contain hard proteins that are present in formula feeds.
- Babies who are fed with Breast milk have lesser infections of the ear, illnesses of the respiratory tract and spells of diarrhea.
- The brain development is known to be better in babies who are exclusively breastfed for 6 months
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of diseases such as Diabetes, Obesity and some forms of Cancers too
- Apart from benefits to infant breastfeeding also does benefit the mother by getting her back to normal pre-pregnancy weight; reduce the size of the uterus with the help of the Hormone Oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding.
Some Facts and Myths regarding Breastfeeding
- Breast milk might not be sufficient for your baby is one of the biggest myths. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is mandatory and is sufficient enough for your little one. The weight loss of the infant that occurs in the first few days after birth is not related to breastfeeding. The infant is trying to adapt and adjust to his/her new extrauterine environment so has to burn more energy, hence the weight loss.
- Feeding the infant while having a cold or flu might cause an infection is a myth. Breastfeeding will not spread the infection to your baby. In fact, there might be antibodies that are secreted that might help your little one to build up his/her immunity.
- Formula feeds are more satisfying than breast milk. This reduces the number of feeds to the child. This is true because Formula feeds are much heavier to digest. However, we must know that nothing can substitute Mother?s milk. Formula feeds were made for the ease of mothers who cannot be readily available to feed every time.
- Colostrum or the first milk is filled with vital nutrients. This is a fact and even though the amount of Colostrum is less, it is enough for your baby.
Enhancing flow of Breastmilk
Many individuals face reduced milk flow post pregnancy. Some foods that aid in easy milk flow are:
Fenugreek seeds, Fennel seeds, Nuts that are known to increase breast milk in women. Eating a healthy nutritious diet rich in nutrients is essential while breastfeeding. Apart from foods, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest (though it might not be easy) also aids in enhancing breast milk flow.
The Homoeopathic Product Doliosis D20 Lacto Plus helps to regulate and promote the flow of milk in lactating mothers. There are no side effects upon the use of this medicine. It is easy to take this product and also it can be consumed with other medicines (That are safe to use while breastfeeding).