Page 53 - Great Expectations

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Great Expectations – 53
It is your job as a newmother to make sure your baby will have a good nutritional start. With your choice to breastfeed,
you have joined the majority of women who understand the evidence that breastfeeding is the best and most ideal
way of feeding your baby. In addition to being a great nutritional start, breastfeeding also contributes to emotional
development of your baby. Breastfeeding will also promote wellness in your infant due to the presence of antibodies
in breastmilk.
There is no doubt that breastmilk contains all the nutrients required and is perfectly matched for your baby’s needs
for proper growth and development. Studies prove that breastmilk provides optimal health and benefits the newborn
for as long as you choose to breastfeed.
If you decide to breastfeed, here are a few things you should do:
• Become well-informed about breastfeeding through information you can
obtain from your lactation consultant, healthcare provider or take classes
on breastfeeding from your healthcare provider’s office or hospital.
• Attend a breastfeeding support group meeting or contact your lactation
consultant who can answer questions.
Anatomy of the Breast
The breasts are delicate organs made of glandular, connective and fatty tissue.
The nipple contains tiny openings through which the milk can flow. These tiny
openings are surrounded by muscular tissue that cause the
to stand
erect when stimulated. Surrounding the nipple is an area of darker skin called
. This area will become darker and larger in size during pregnancy
due to hormonal changes. The areola contains pimple-like structures near its
border that are called
montgomery glands
. These glands secrete a substance
that helps to lubricate and cleanse the area.
Your Newborn
Both popular and medical opinions
agree that there are many benefits to
breastfeeding for both mother and baby.
Milk Producing Cells
Milk Ducts
Breastfeeding Benefits
For Baby:
• Easily digested
• Perfectly matched nutrition
• May have protective effect against
• Less gastrointestinal disturbances,
ear infections and allergies
• Stimulates senses of taste and smell
• Filled with antibodies that protect
against infection
• Skin-to-skin, eye and voice contact
For Mother:
• Convenient
• Economical
• Helps the uterus return to its
normal size faster
• Helps with weight loss
• Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
• Less likely to develop uterine,
endometrial or ovarian cancer
• Reduces the risk of breast cancer
For Baby and Mother:
• A beautiful and intimate way a
mother can bond with baby
• Contributes to a very special and
loving relationship
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement on Breastfeeding, women who do not have health problems should exclusively
breastfeed their infants for at least the first 6 months of life. The AAP suggests that women try to breastfeed for the first 12 months of life because of the
benefits to both the mother and baby.