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Breast-feeding


I have devoted an entire page to breast-feeding because I feel it deserves it. First I want to say that breast-feeding does not come easy to every mother. It may not matter if you are a first time mom or a third time mom. Each child may latch different. Your first child may latch immediately with no problems for you or the baby, but the second may have trouble latching or may have an improper latch, which can cause you pain, bleeding and pealing skin. On the other hand, you may have no problem at all and breast-feeding might be an enjoyable time from the start.

The purpose of this website is to give you some basic information. I can not stress enough how important it is to read or take a class on breast-feeding if you choose to breast-feed your child. I recommend,
The Nursing Mother’s Companion to Breastfeeding by Kathleen Huggins. You can also find a wonderful resource at 2 websites, kellymom.com and mother-2-mother.com

Why Breast-feed?
Breastfeeding is good for both the mother and baby. First, breastfeeding is the beginning of a secure bond between an infant and it’s mother. When a mother is nursing, the hormone oxytocin is released and this creates feelings of love in the mother and infant. Oxytocin also causes uterine contractions. This is important for the mother to help her uterus to return to it’s pre-pregnancy size and it reduces postpartum bleeding and iron deficiency anemia. Mom’s who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, pre-menopausal breast cancer and post-menopausal hip fractures. Natural spacing of children is also a benefit due to delayed ovulation in women who exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding is also very convenient for the mother. There is always food, you don’t have to worry about it going bad, you don’t have to worry about bottles and it’s free.

Ok, these reasons may not seem that big of a deal to you, but they are simple conveniences. Here are many more reasons why breast-feeding is best for your child. Breast milk is your child’s first defense against disease and illness. I will go ahead and just list the benefits of breast milk for your infant:

- Breast milk contains
all the nutrients necessary for a babies physical and mental development for at least 6 months.
- Breast milk contains natural antibodies that help to build the newborn’s immune system. Some of these antibodies bind to the lining of the nose and through so that when an illness enters these passageways, it is killed off before it has a chance to infect the baby.
- Breast feed babies have fewer ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, childhood lymphoma, sudden death syndrome, and diabetes.
- Breastfeed babies have fewer allergies and infants are never allergic to their mother’s milk, ( they may be allergic or sensitive to something in the milk).
- Breastmilk contains almost 300 ingredients not found in formula.
- The way the baby sucks on the breast helps to form the jaw in the proper way.
- A nursing mother-baby pair have the same sleep and breathing rhythm. When sleeping in the same bed if the baby arouses to nurse so does the mother and the mothers breathing keeps the babies regular, this is one of the reasons why breastfed babies are less likely to die of SIDS.
- Breastfed babies wake more because of a different chemical in their brain, which is another reason for the lower incidence of SIDS. An infant’s sleep shouldn’t get too deep so they don’t stop breathing. So your baby not sleeping through the night is a good thing.
- Breastfeed babies have a higher IQ, better vision, softer skin and they smell better.
- You can use breast milk to treat many common childhood ailments like ear infections, pink eye, infections from a cut or scrap and fungal infections.

That’s pretty amazing stuff!


How Can a Doula Help?
A doula has taken classes and done reading in breast feeding and has experience in helping mothers latch their newborns to the breast properly. She is taught to see if the baby is sucking properly and to recognize if there are any problems. If there are the doula can also see if the problem is one that can be easily fixed, or if the mom needs further help from a lactation consultant.

As a doula, I have this training and experience, along with the experience of nursing my 2 children each for over the first year of life. My daughter was actually exclusively breastfeed for the first 15 months of life. Her doctor said, she just wasn’t ready for solids. Aside from helping clients, I have helped numerous friends to breastfeed in the beginning and building up a milk supply that has diminished.

When to seek additional help?

Breastfeeding and guilt

Breastfeeding facts

Conscious Birth is serving Placentia, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Brea, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Alicia Viejo, Mission Viejo and other Orange County, CA cities. I am also very near, some Riverside and San Bernardino County cities. If you are interested in meeting with me, please e-mail kristen@bestocdoula.com or call 714/269-0172.