Breastfeeding: Duration, Frequency and Benefits for Mom and Baby

Breastfeeding is a crucial stage in the life of a mother and her baby. It is a natural process that offers a multitude of benefits for both the health of the child and that of the mother. In this article, we'll explore the ideal duration of breastfeeding, how often, the benefits it provides for both baby and mom, as well as helpful tips for balanced mom nutrition to produce a nutritious milk for her baby. We will also discuss how to manage breastfeeding when the mother returns to work.

Ideal duration and frequency of breastfeeding

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. This means that the baby should be fed only breast milk without any other foods or liquids. Beyond the first six months, breastfeeding should be continued while gradually introducing solid foods appropriate to the baby's age. The ideal is to continue breastfeeding until two years or more, depending on the needs and wishes of the mother and the baby.

The frequency of feedings generally varies according to the baby's age. Newborns need to be breastfed frequently, on average 8 to 12 times a day. As the baby grows, the frequency of feedings gradually decreases. However, it's important to note that every baby is different, and some babies may need more feedings than others to feel full and satisfied.

Benefits of breastfeeding for the child and the mother

Breastfeeding offers many benefits for the health and development of the child. Breast milk is a rich source of essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates and antibodies. These antibodies help strengthen the baby's immune system, protecting it against infection and disease.

For the mother, breastfeeding also has significant advantages. First, it promotes faster postpartum recovery because breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps the uterus contract. In addition, breastfeeding reduces the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as breast and ovarian cancer, as well as osteoporosis.

Tips for a balanced nutrition of the mother and a nutritious milk for the baby

The mother's nutrition plays a crucial role in the quality of breast milk produced. To ensure the production of nutrient-rich milk, it is essential that the mother adopts a balanced and varied diet. Foods rich in calcium, iron, protein and essential fatty acids are particularly important.

Consumption of foods such as dairy products, leafy green vegetables, lean meats, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended. It is also important to stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

Breastfeeding and returning to work: Practical advice to reconcile the two

Returning to work can be challenging for breastfeeding mums, but with good planning and practical advice, it is possible to continue breastfeeding even while working. In this section, we will discuss useful tips for balancing breastfeeding and returning to work.

Organize your schedule and schedule breaks for breastfeeding When planning your return to work, try to schedule specific breaks for breastfeeding or expressing milk. Inform your employer of your intention to breastfeed and discuss the possibilities of flexible working hours. You might also consider reaching out to other moms who have gone through this experience for advice and recommendations.

Use a breast pump to express and store your milk A breast pump can be an invaluable tool for working moms who want to continue breastfeeding. You can use an electric or manual breast pump , such as the electric breast pump, manual breast pump, express breast pump or portable breast pump, to express your milk during breaks at work. It is recommended to choose a quality breast pump and follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe and effective use.

Store and transport your milk properly When expressing your milk at work, make sure you store it properly. Use clean, sterilized containers specifically designed for storing breast milk. Label each container with the date and time of expression. Be sure to store the milk in a refrigerator or cooler bag with ice packs to keep it cool until you get home.

Maintain a healthy and hydrated diet To ensure adequate milk production, it is essential that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you're getting enough calories, nutrients, and fluids throughout the day. Choose foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Find a private space to breastfeed or express your milk It is important to find a suitable and private place to breastfeed your baby or express your milk at work. Ask about your workplace policies regarding breastfeeding and ask if there are dedicated spaces for this. If necessary, you may consider using a privacy screen or asking your employer to provide you with a suitable location.

By following these practical tips, it is possible to successfully reconcile breastfeeding and returning to work. This allows you to continue to provide your baby with all the benefits of breast milk while continuing your professional career.

For additional information on breastfeeding and returning to work, you can consult the following resources:

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