A mother nurtures her baby for 9 months in her womb. In these 9 months she directly completes her baby’s daily nutritional needs. But even after being born, it is very important to breastfeed your baby. Breast milk has the require nutrients which are very necessary for your baby. The antibiotics which are present in the breast milk build the foundation of immunity in your baby. Hence exclusive breastfeeding upto 6 months should be done and supplementary breast feeding should be done upto 1.5-2 years.
Physiology of breast milk
It is a common myth among people, they think that as soon as baby is born, high amount of breast milk should be secreted; if not then there is some problem. But this is not true. Milk is made and stored inside the breast, under the influence of hormone prolactin. Prolactin initiates our body to make milk. It is then stored in the breast. This stored milk is secreted when there is stimulation by the baby. This is known as suckling stimulation. The milk stored varies from every women, thus more the stimulation from the baby, more is milk secreted. Hence the amount of milk will increase gradually and not suddenly. In the initial 6 months the complete hunger needs of baby are dependent on milk. Hence it is obvious that a baby will need milk more frequently. Also the sleep cycle of the baby is not developed; hence baby may be awake at night and may sleep during day. Breast feeding time helps, the baby to develop a sleep cycle
Contents and importance of breast milk
Breast milk contains numerous proteins, minerals and amino acids which are very important for the baby. Globally all researches have accepted that breast milk is superior from any other feeds for infants. It is found that breast feeding increases the intelligence, lowers the chances of mental illness, and lowers changes of diabetes in young age. Apart from this, one of the most important constituents is immunoglobin-A, it is a type of protein. It is very important for the immunity in the baby; it is the antibody which a baby obtains from its mother. And it is known as a natural passive immunity. This helps the baby to fight infections all its life. Also the breast milk has antibiotic and antiseptic properties. It protects babies from small infections until the baby is consuming it.
7 Amazing Benefits of Breastfeeding at Night
Importance of breast feeding at night– breastfeed at night makes up almost 64% of total feed between the ages of 1-6 months. While later as the baby grows, night feed make upto 20% of the total 24 hours feed. This happens because the hormone prolactin is secreted at night very smoothly. Also baby feels hungrier at night. Hence night feeding is very important part of the total breast feed.
Circadian rhythm means the day and night cycle of the baby. This cycle of the baby is not developed, until 2 months. Till that the sleep timing of baby is very irregular. Night feed helps baby to develop its rhythm. It develops a cycle of sleeping after the feed. And hence, it becomes more beneficial for the baby, as well as the mother.
Baby will be less cranky
Babies when get hungry, they cannot speak, they just cry. At night, the time interval between their feeds increases hence they feel hungry and wake more often. Breast feeding at night, will fill their tummy and they may sleep longer. But don’t expect they will wake directly at morning. Babies have small tummies; hence they feel hungry more frequently.
Sleep will not be disturbed
The tummy of baby is very small. The amount of milk stored is also low. Hence they feel hungry every 2-3 hours. But if they are breast fed just before sleeping at night, they won’t wake up feeling hungry. Also breast milk has various proteins and amino acid. Melatonin is such protein which helps to sleep. Breast milk contains it. Hence babies are able to sleep more peacefully after drinking milk. Hence even parents can get some rest.
Night feeding helps to keep milk production
It has been studied that breast feeding at night keeps milk production continue. If breast feeding is stopped at night, decrease in amount of milk is reported. Hence after 6 months when you start supplementary feeds, instead of stopping night feeds, decrease day time feeds. This will help you to produce enough milk for your baby until late.
During lactation female doesn’t get her periods. It is because there is no ovulation. As there is no ovulation, there are no chances of pregnancy. Hence it may be used as birth control technique. Night feeding increases the duration of lactation
Amount of milk at night
At night the hormone prolactin is released more hence there is more milk secretion at night. Thus breast feeding at night is important.
Thus mother’s milk is superior to any other feeds to a baby. But we should know that breast milk is not sterile. It may pass on some dangerous infections like human immune deficiency virus. Hence consult your doctor about any infection that you may have. Take proper care of yourself, as the baby still physically depends on you. Also take care while taking drugs as some times drugs may pass through the milk to the baby. Hence do not self prescribe any drug. Wish you and your baby a healthy life!