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Healthy Pregnancy A to Z

Healthy Life Column

Breastfeeding Room

Breastfeeding is beneficial not only for babies, but also for mothers.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby
  • Breastfed babies tend to have higher IQ scores (at least 10 points higher) than formula fed babies
  • Colostrum from breast milk also contains numerous protective factors against infectious disease and may influence immune system development
  • Protects against allergies and eczema
  • Helps improve emotional and social development
  • Enhances mother-baby bond
  • Helps with teeth alignment and helps prevents obesity
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
  • Breast milk is always available, sterile, perfect temperature and fresh
  • Saves you money
  • Stimulates the secretion of oxytocin, causing uterine contractions to prevent postpartum bleeding
  • Delays menstruation and can give you natural birth-control protection
  • Helps you lose pregnancy weight
  • Lowers your risk of breast cancer
  • Gives confidence to mothers with their abilities
Nutrition During Breastfeeding
  • Intake enough calories. In order to produce breast milk, about 490kcal is needed. Since about 170kcal is supplied from body fat that was stored during pregnancy, consuming an additional 320kcal is needed. However, if the nursing mother is eating a heavily unbalanced diet or doing a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding, individual adjustments are needed.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Eating a healthy balanced diet while you are breastfeeding is important because what you eat determines the energy, protein, nutrient and vitamin content of your breast milk. Nutritional demands during lactation are high and can have a negative impact on both you and your baby if they are not met. Eat a balanced amount of milk, fish, vegetables, and fruits every day.
  • Drink enough fluids. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day to provide the necessary water for breastfeeding. Avoid foods containing caffeine (coffee, black tea, green tea, cocoa, soft drinks, chocolate) whenever possible. Ingested caffeine is secreted into breast milk and the infant will take a long time to excrete it. As a result, the baby may not sleep well or may be excessively hyper.
  • Avoid drug use, smoking and drinking If you inevitably need to take medication, be sure to consult with your physician. Cigarette nicotine and alcohol are secreted into breast milk and can lead to nicotine toxicity or poor growth.
  • Relax and get enough rest. After giving birth, you are very tired and tense, and your mood tends to decline. Tension and fatigue make breastfeeding difficult, so think about your baby, relax, and feed often, even if the breast milk doesn't come out.