Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the natural way to ensure a human baby’s survival. Your milk is able to ensure everything your baby needs and, of course, you only want what is best.

While pregnant, you probably came across groups of mothers on social media and read many posts about how difficult breastfeeding can be. You may have seen young mothers complaining about how exhausting and restrictive breastfeeding is for them, mothers who constantly search for ways to ease their burden.

I advise you not to lose hope and do your research. Be prepared for any situation you might encounter and search for correct information from trusted sources. In most cases, it is correct information that saves you from failing and makes everything including breastfeeding easy for you.

Did you know that most restrictions that you have heard about breastfeeding are, in fact, nothing but myths? You have probably been told that in order to avoid harming your baby you must keep a strict diet, endure pain because you are not allowed to take medicines or even worse, that you need to stop breastfeeding, even though this would cause more harm than good.

Have you ever been told that you must stop breastfeeding in order for you to receive medicines or to do a certain medical procedure? Have you ever been told that you can’t receive treatment until you completely stop breastfeeding? Even though mothers are often told that they need to interrupt breastfeeding in order to receive a much-needed treatment, the reality is that this is seldom necessary. It is true that traces of all medicines can be found in mother’s milk, however, in most cases, the quantity is so small that it can’t cause any harm to the baby. In some cases, even if the medicines prescribed for the mother are also recommended and safe to take for children, the mother is told she needs to stop breastfeeding. The negative effects that formula feeding has for the baby’s health are rarely taken into consideration.

Most pharmaceutical companies choose, as a safety measure, to write on prospects that you are allowed to take a certain medicine only if a doctor recommends it. This expression is used because there are no studies made on humans to show in what way a certain substance found in that medicine would affect breastfeeding or in what quantity it can be found in breastmilk.

There are also doctors who recommend for mothers to interrupt breastfeeding in order to take a certain treatment. This is either because they do not have adequate information or simply because they would rather be safe and not assume any risk.

If you find yourself doubting one doctor’s opinion, you must know you can always choose to have another opinion. It is not only that most medicines are safe to use while breastfeeding, but also X- rays and C.T.  are compatible.

You must know that now there are sites such as e-lactancia.org and lactmed toxnet.nlm.nih.gov where you can see whether a medicine its active substance to be more precise, is breastfeeding compatible or not. You will also find safe alternatives in case your result comes back as high risk for breastfeeding.

If you are the kind of person who will run to the pharmacy for a bag of medicines whenever you find yourself having even the slightest symptoms of a disease, then you might wish to reconsider. Do not take medicines unless they are really necessary. If you see a doctor and he finds it inappropriate to recommend medical treatment or he would rather not prescribe strong medicines, do not argue his decision.

For your own peace of mind, use, when possible, medicines that are also prescribed to children. If it is safe for a baby to take a certain medicine, it is also safe for him to be breastfed by a mother who, taking the same medicine, will only pass the substance in a very small quantity through breastmilk.

Breastfeeding is sabotaged even while the mother is still pregnant, subconsciously, through certain discussions found in mass -media about toxins and pollutants found in breastmilk. And, of course, you as a woman and future responsible mother, are frightened by the thought of hurting your baby, you would not choose to hurt your baby. Worried about your baby’s health, you choose artificial feeding. However, your decision to give your baby formula does not guarantee to keep him or her safe from any toxins.

There are toxins found in breastmilk, there are also toxins in all other kinds of food, they can even be found in milk formula, among aluminum and other heavy metals, which, in time, may cause damage to the central nervous system. I advise you to do your research before making any decision. Weigh your options responsibly, while considering both advantages and disadvantages.

Don’t make your decision based on a feeling. You may also want to consider that a breastfeeding mother is not only doing the best for herself, as there are many health benefits like a lower risk for cancer, but also for her baby and family as well as the community she lives in.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are forced to temporarily  wean your baby due to certain circumstances, here are some aspects that you need to consider:

– the baby’s condition, how he or she will go through this “separation” and if you will be there to comfort him/her. The age of your baby has an important role, how often you are breastfeeding, as well as how the baby sees and how much he or she is able to adapt to this change;

– the baby’s food – what type of milk you will use for feeding and especially from  what kind of recipient and whether  your baby will accept a recipient during this period or not;

– your breasts – what will you do about the milk your breasts produce and how you will maintain the supply. Also, it is important to know how to avoid  dealing with blocked ducts and mastitis;

– whether your baby wants to continue breastfeeding after this period or not. Not all babies that were temporarily weaned wish to continue breastfeeding.

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