The benefits for mother and baby
There relationship between mother and child that is already established during pregnancy is strengthened immediately after birth, when the baby is placed on the mother for the first time. During this first contact outside the womb, mother and baby get to know one another through the sense of touch, hearing, smell, sight and taste, essential to establishing the first link after birth, defined by the term “bonding“.
Das Wiegen, das Baden, die physische Beurteilung und die Tests müssen nach dem Ende des ersten Stillen durchgeführt werden. Tatsächlich beginnt das Neugeborene, nackt auf dem mütterlichen Bauch, damit, spontane Saugbewegungen zu machen und dann den Kopf nach rechts und links zu streichen und zu pendeln. Mit diesen rhythmischen Bewegungen des Kopfes, die als Orientierungsreflexe oder Rooting bezeichnet werden, sucht das Baby die Brust: innerhalb von 45 Minuten nach der Geburt gelingt es ihm, geleitet durch den Geruch des Fruchtwassers und der Wärme der Haut der Mutter, die Brustwarze zu erreichen.
The search for the nipple with such full body, coordinated movements is lost within a few hours, and may not occur if during childbirth the mother was administered sedatives (for example, if a Cesarean section was performed). Allow the mother and the baby, to stay 24/7 in the same hospital room (rooming – in) facilitates the start of breastfeeding. In fact, it is predominantly during the first hour of life, through “skin-to-skin” contact with the mother, that the baby is particularly ready to suck breast milk.
The presence of both parents right after birth is essential to make it clear to the father that the mother’s role is not exclusively a woman’s experience. In addition to being useful for the growth and consolidation of individual, couple and family life, the father’s involvement appears to have a positive effect for the beginning and the duration of breastfeeding.
The benefits of the breast milk
Even today, breast milk is the ideal food for newborns because it contains all the nutrients required for its healthy growth and is always at the ideal temperature, sterile and without additional costs for the family. Breastfeeding your child, therefore, means providing an adequate nutritional intake, effective protection against infections and a lower risk of developing allergies later on. Breast milk is full of every nutrient, is easily digestible and is particularly important because it promotes the optimal growth of intestinal bacteria (Bifidobacterium), with beneficial effects on overall health. It also noted, that breastfeeding has a protective role against obesity and is effective in cognitive development of preterm newborns. Breast milk is a very versatile food. Its composition changes to suit to the needs associated with the growth of the child. For example, breast milk that a mother produces for a premature baby is different from the kind that would be produced if the child were born at the end of the ninth month.
The benefit of breastfeeding for the baby:
- It reduces the incidence and duration of gastroenteritis.
- It protects against respiratory infections.
- It reduces the risk of developing allergies.
- It improves eyesight and psychomotor development.
- It improves the digestive system maturation and reduces the risk of occlusion.
- It reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, meningitis, botulism, and urinary tract infections.
- It reduces the risk of diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
- It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- It reduces the risk of obesity.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother
- It accelerates recovery from childbirth and uterine involution, reducing the risk of postpartum hemorrhage and mortality.
- It reduces blood loss, helping to maintain iron balance.
- It extends the period of infertility after giving birth.
- It promotes weight reduction and recovery of the ideal weight.
- It reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer before menopause.
- It improve the bone remineralization processes, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
In addition to the individual benefits in terms of health, breastfeeding also produces social and economic benefits, while reducing costs for medical expenses and parent’s absence from work related to their children’s illnesses.