Small giants 14 August, 2017 Isabel Vallejo
During World Breastfeeding Week, we focused on the importance of feeding babies exclusively with breast milk during the first six months of life and discussed the best techniques to do so.
The nutrients in breast milk are unique: they support the development of newborns’ brains, digestion, immune systems and their emotional development. Despite all of this, myths tend to appear and disappear regarding this topic. There is plenty of information out there, especially on the Internet, that shows how scientific studies agree on the importance of the exclusive consumption of breast milk during the first months of life. “Babies that breastfeed get all of the nutrition they need, and in addition, an affectionate and emotional bond is established with the mother,” state documents released by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, who also promote this nurturing act as a way to ensure the survival of newborns (Also read: The benefits of breastfeeding).
Babies that are breastfed grow into children and adults with lower chances of developing infections, allergies and diseases. They are also less vulnerable to suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is the task of all of us to work together to understand that breastfeeding is the first step to eradicating childhood malnutrition throughout the world.
Most breast-feeding problems are related to the use of poor technique, whether this be because of a bad position, an incorrect hold or a combination of both.
- Biological nurturing: This position is based on a study of maternal and neonatal reflexes. The mother lays down on her back at between a 15° and 65° angle while the baby is on its stomach. This position frees the child from their bodyweight and allows it to develop search and crawling reflexes.
- Seated: This tends to be more comfortable when the mother’s legs are propped up on a chair and if she lays back a little in a biological nurturing position. Being freed from this part of a chair’s constraints relieves a lot of the discomfort.
- Side-lying: The mother lays down on her side, with her head slightly raised on a pillow. The baby is on the bed, also on its side and its body is facing and is right next to the mother’s body. She can get the baby to come to her and encourage latching by gently pushing the baby from its back towards her when it opens its mouth.