Definition of "Breastfeeding"

Last modified: 9 hours



Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant with milk produced by the female breast via lactation. Babies have a primitive sucking reflex that when anything touches the roof of their mouth (the palate), the child instinctively presses it between their tongue and palate to draw out the milk. Working mothers can also express milk to be used for their child whilst cared by others.

Colostrum (aka beestings, bisnings, first milk) is a form of milk produced by the mammary gland in late pregnancy, generated just prior to giving birth. it contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease. Protein concenctration is substantially higher than in milk. Fat concentration is lower in colostrum than in breast milk, although in some animal species, it is higher (e.g. sheep, horses).

FBF is an abbreviation for Fully breast fed. EBM is an abbreviation for Expressed breast milk, which can be expressed either by hand, or with a manual or electric breast pump. EBM must be collected and stored correctly to prevent risk of bacterial growth.

Indications
  • Children should be breastfed within one hour of birth, exclusively for the first six month, and in combination with nutritionally adequate and safe foods until 2yo. It can remain for as long as mutually desired by the mother and baby. Breastmilk NEVER loses its nutritional and protective value, and it changes to meet the needs of the child. Anthropologically, the natural age of weaning for humans has been between 2.5-7yo.
Advantages

Breast milk is the primary and best complete source of nutrition for newborns before they can eat other foods, before being introduced in combination with other foods when a toddler. Breastfeeding:

  • Promotes child eating more due to faster digestion
  • Assists in strengthening the child's jaw
  • Decreases allergies
  • Decreases risk of diabetes and celiac disease
  • Decreases risks of SIDS
  • Decreases risk of obesity in adulthood
  • Improved cognitive development
  • Better mental health through childhood and adolescence

Benefits in the mother include:

  • Assistance in uterine shrinkage
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased osteoporosis
  • Bonding experience for both mother and baby
  • Less expensive than formula

There are concerns about the effects of artificial formulas, and is associated with deaths from diarrhea. Exceptions are when:

  • Mother is taking certain drugs
  • Mother has active untreated TB
  • Mother is infected with HTLV
  • WHO has provided national authorities with the right to decide what practice will best avoid HIV infection transmission maternally
Social attitudes
  • Although breastfeeding was the rule in classically, with industrialization, mothers began dispensing breastfeeding in favor of work requirements, causing significant decline from 1900-1960, also due to negative social attitudes, and the introduction of infant formula. Since 1960's, breastfeeding has experienced a revival, although some negative attitudes still remain
  • Under Austalian Law, you have a RIGHT to breastfeed your child in public. It is protected by the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 if you are discriminated against. You do not need to use a Baby Care Room. It doesn't matter if there is a "NO FOOD or DRINK ALLOWED" sign
Problems

Breastfeeding difficulties are problems that arise from breastfeeding, the feeding of an infant or young child with milk from a woman’s breasts. Although babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk, and although human breast milk is usually the best source of nourishment for human infants, there are circumstances under which breastfeeding can be problematic, or even, rarely, contraindicated. Difficulties can arise both in connection with the act of breastfeeding and with the health of the nursing infant. Problems include:

  • Breast pain
  • Inverted nipples
  • Engorgement
  • Nipple pain
  • Candidiasis
  • Milk stasis
  • Mastitis
  • Overactive let-down
  • Raynaud’s of the nipple
Alternatives
  • Infant formula is a manufactured food designed/marketed to feed infants <12mo, represented to be similar in composition to breast milk of a mother 1-3 months postpartum, that can be prepared for bottle feeding from powder (mixed with water) or liquid. Nonetheless, there are significant differences in nutrient content of these products from breast milk, containing purified cow's milk (or soybean) whey and casein as protein, vegetable oils as fats, lactose as carbohydrate, vitamin-mineral mix, etc. UNICEF has found that in unhygienic conditions, children who are formula fed are 15x more likely to die of diarrhea, and 4x more likely to die of diarrhea than breastfed children. There is also high risk of infection. Examples include Aptamil. Comp with formula is shorthand for Complemented with formula
See also

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Definition of Breastfeeding | Autoprac


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