Regardless of whatever opinion you may have, research has shown that breast milk remains the most complete meal for infants (that is, children less than a year old), and that “infant formula” is yet to be a perfect replacement for breast milk.
However, with evolving medical, social, and economic conditions in our world today, one may argue that infants have successfully been raised on infant formula and other alternatives. This, then, begs the question: “is breastfeeding worth it?’’
I shall answer some common questions about breast-feeding and lay bare (and un-maze) some of the concerns people often have regarding breastfeeding.
#1: WON’T BREASTFEEDING MAKE MY BREASTS TO SAG?!
Don’t let the fear of your breasts sagging stop you from breast feeding your baby if you really want to. The truth is, whether you breastfeed or not, your breasts will sag!
While it’s not uncommon to wonder how your breasts will be affected by breast feeding, it might interest you to know that research has shown that breastfeeding doesn’t affect the shape or volume of your breasts.
So, why do breasts sag, you might ask? [And, the answer to that is another article on its own]. But, know that no single factor is not responsible for breast sagging. In other words, breast sagging is the result of an interplay of several factors. Breasts sag after they lose their elasticity with resultant laxity (weakness) of the tissues (structures) which support the breasts.
#2: WHAT WILL I GAIN FROM BREAST FEEDING?
According to health experts, there are social, economic, and health benefits of breast feeding which a woman derives. Some of these benefits include:
(a) Improves social bonding between the mother and the child.
(b) It is cost-effective as it saves you money (since it is provided to you free-of-charge by nature!)
(c) It requires no special storage technique as long as it is in your breasts!
(d) Women who breast feed have reduced risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
(e) It is a form of natural family planning [Lactational amenorrhoea].
(f) It could help you lose some pregnancy weight.
#3: ISN’T BREASTFEEDING PAINFUL?
Normally, breastfeeding should be a painless process. It actually gives a pleasurable sensation (ask women who have breastfed before!).
However, if you experience pain while breast feeding please, visit your doctor. There must be something wrong somewhere.
Let’s pause…for now!
Watch out for the second part of this article.
Dr. Adindu Ikenna,
Clinician, Special Treatment Clinic,
Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia,