Naturopathic – Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a learnt skill and can be difficult for some women – help is available…

It often takes 4-6 weeks to feel confident breastfeeding – be patient

 

This handout covers the most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding and resources.

Contact your local Naturopath, Midwife, or Lactation Consultant for personalized assistance.

 

Why Breastfeed? Nursing is convenient, cheap, your best means of bonding and the perfect food for your child even if you are sick or on medication.

 

Why Breast milk?

  • Specific to our species
  • Less digestive upset, diaper rashes and constipation is rare. Your child will have fewer or less severe colds, ear infections, and allergies. Breast milk protects from viruses and bacteria because the mother quickly develops relevant antibodies, passing resistance to the baby through the milk. Baby can still get sick but the immune system will be supported and thus hasten recovery.
  • Better jaw development and optimal teeth positioning because breastfeeding is harder than drinking from a bottle. Children show fewer cavities if nursed longer than 4 months.
  • Better brain development and higher IQs.
  • Essential nutrients: milk will change with your diet (i.e. garlic can be found in milk)
  • Protein is easy to digest = 60% whey protein and 40% casein (Cow’s milk is 20:80 respectively). Protein is lowest in AM and highest in PM.
  • Fats (60% of calories needed in first year) – especially DHA which promotes brain, nerve and intestinal health
  • Lipase – an enzyme that keeps the fats (most efficient energy source for baby) easy to digest
  • Lactose – a sugar important for brain and central nervous system development. Also helps absorb calcium and promotes overall growth. (Lactose is higher in human milk vs. cow’s milk). Lactose is higher in the afternoon.
  • IMMUNE FACTORS: Antibodies, White blood cells, Cytokines, Interferon, and Lysozymes – relevant to local bacteria, viruses and fungi – hours after exposure milk will change to suit mom and baby’s health
  • Bifidus and Oligosaccharides – both aid in intestinal health and colonization
  • (attacks bacterial cell walls) for immunity
  • Water – all that baby needs till solids are introduced (baby should be sitting unassisted, showing curiosity in foods, have a good pincher grasp and teething, ~6 mos).
  • Vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Vitamin D and iron levels are low but absorbed easier than iron in formulas or supplements. If your stores are low talk to the appropriate health care professional. Going outside for 5-10 minutes at least twice a week (face and arm exposure) can help establish vitamin D levels.
  • Hormones and enzymes promoting healthy intestinal tract and ensures protective organisms dominate in the digestive tract.
  • Formula has no immune factors like breast milk

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