Do you think that when you deliver your baby, the hard part will be over? Once the baby is born, the new challenge that presents itself is nurturing the infant. Breastfeeding can start within moments of giving birth as long as there are no problems with the baby and the mother. Breastfeeding should be carried on for at least the first 6 months of the baby’s life, but can continue for up to one year, or until such time as your pediatrician feels the baby can handle other liquids.

Some persons question ending breastfeeding that early, and believe that breastfeeding can continue on until the baby becomes a toddler. It has been shown that children who continue to be breastfed seem to get sick fewer times and recover more quickly from sickness than children who are no longer breastfed.

This is because breast milk has just the right concentration of protein, fat, water,  sugar and antibodies. These protect the toddler from harmful viruses and bacteria, and defend against disease and infection better than any medicine available in the market. Other advantages of breastfeeding are:

1. Breastfeeding helps burn calories, helping the mother shed the extra pounds gained during pregnancy.

Mom cuddling her child

2. It provides time for the mother to bond with the baby, building a sense of security,  comfort, warmth,  and strengthen the relationship between mother and child.

3. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer in the ovaries and breasts.

4. It helps stop the post-partum “Period” women get, and helps the uterus get back to its original size.

5. Breastfeeding until the child opts to wean promotes emotional growth. Parents and pediatricians have seen these children grow up to emotionally independent and secure.

6. Toddlers who have been breastfed score higher on IQ tests than children who were not.

7. Breastfeeding helps the toddler grow normally and avoid becoming obese or overweight in the future.

Breastfeeding can, however, be awkward for mothers when their baby becomes a toddler. If this is the case, one can still continue breastfeeding with the help of a breast pump. This can cost a little or a lot depending on the model of breast pump you purchase and if you choose to pump manually or electronically.

Selecting  what kind of breast pump to get depends on the lifestyle of the mother. If she only requires it to go shopping for a few hours without the baby, then a manual pump is enough. If the mother, however, goes back to work after the child is born, then it is best to get an electronic breast pump.

You can purchase breastfeeding equipment from a department store, a baby specialty store, or from the hospital.  You can also rent if you don’t want to buy. A breast pump can be ordered off of the internet and shipped to you in just a few days.

Feeding breast milk in a bottle is still okay for the baby since the child is still able to get the correct nutrients for his or her growth and development. As the baby gets bigger, solid foods can be used in conjunction with breast milk.

Whether expressed with a pump, or taken directly from the breast, breast milk is the healthiest thing for your baby to drink. And with the great breast pumps available these days, you can give your child breast milk even longer than ever.

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Filed under: Post-pregnancy