Women's Health
Breastfeeding
​Overview:
  • Breastfeeding provides health benefits for mothers and infants.
  • Mothers' milk is one of the best sources of energy and nutrients for babies between 6-24 months old.
  • Breast milk adapts as your baby grows to meet its changing needs.
  • Formula milk does not provide the same protection from illness, nor does it give you any health benefits.
  • Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
 
Introduction:
Mother's milk is the best way for providing young infants with all nutrients for healthy growth. Breast milk adapts as your baby grows to meet its changing needs, protects it against infections and diseases, and is available whenever the baby needs it.
Breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between mother and baby, and make your baby feel affection and warmth.
 
Colostrum:
Colostrum is the first milk produced in the breast during the first days after birth. It is thick, golden yellow in color, rich in proteins and antibodies that help to prevent jaundice in infants and keep them healthy. Mother can start nursing within an hour or so after birth. The more you breastfeed, the more your baby's sucking will stimulate your supply and the more milk you'll make. 
 
Health Benefits of Breastfeeding:
  • Mother's Milk Benefits for Baby:
  • It contains all nutrients the baby needs during its first six months.
  • It contains a host of factors that protect the baby while his immunity system is still developing.
  • It helps the baby to resist infection and illness, even later in life.
  • It reduces the long-term obesity risk.
  • It helps develop eye, brain and other physiological systems.
  • It helps develop the jaw.
  • Breastfed children will achieve better results in IQ tests.
 
Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for the first six months (26 weeks) of your baby's life.
 

Breastfeeding also has health benefits for you. It lowers your risk of:

  • After birth uterine bleeding. 
  • Breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Obesity.
 
Proper Breastfeeding Positions:
  • Sit upright with your back and feet supported. 
  • Wrap your arms around the baby’s back and bring it closer to you.
  • Instead of supporting your baby's head, place your palm under its neck and shoulder to allow it to take the proper position for breastfeeding. You can also use pillows to support the baby.
  • Bring your baby closer to your beast without bending your back. 
  • Make sure your nipple touches your baby's upper lip.
  • Gently rub the nipple on his mouth and you will notice his response by opening mouth and moving his tongue down.  
  • Make sure his lip latches firmly on the nipple and part of the breast.
 
It is better to switch sides when breastfeeding, if you fed your baby form on side, use the other one in the next feeding and so on. Make sure to clean your nipple with a wet cloth before feeding.
Feeding Your Baby:
 
It is important to feed your newborn at least 8–12 times every 24 hours during the first week. You must also feed your baby as soon as it shows signs of hunger, including: 
  • Making sounds or screaming. 
  • Crying.
  • Sucking on fist or fingers. 
  • Putting hands in mouth.
  • Moving arms and legs.
  • Tightened fists.
  • Turning head toward anything that touches his cheek or mouth.
Duration of breastfeeding:
 
Breastfeeding may take 10 to 25 minutes or until the baby shows signs of fullness (such as slowing down in sucking, spitting out the breast and loosening hands, arms and legs).
 
Breastmilk Storage Guidelines:
  • It can be stored in small and clean bottles that is enough for one feeding session. 
  • Get rid of the remaining milk after feeding your baby.
  • Do not refreeze milk after thawing.
  • Do not shake breatmilk. 
  • Label your milk storage container with date of pumping session.
  • It is not required to make you breast milk very hot, you better keep it at room temperature. 
  • You can thaw your frozen milk by placing it in the refrigerator overnight (it will be safe for 24 hours), or place it in warm water (it will be safe for an hour or two). 
  • Avoid adding warm milk to already cooled or frozen milk
    Never microwave breast milk. 
 
Duration of Storing Mother's Milk:
  • 4 hours at room temperature, no need for reheating.
  • 3 days in refrigerator. 
  • 3-6 months in freezer compartment, but this may reduce the milk nutrition quality.
 
Please consult the medical team for further information and assistance.
 
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s):

1- How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?

- When it has 5+ soft bowl motions a day during the first weeks after birth, with soft and yellow faeces.
- When its growth is healthy and his weight is commensurate with his height and age.
- When he is swallowing with a clear sound. 

2- What shall I do if I have breast congestion and sore nipple?
Having breast congestion:
- Empty your breasts by repeated feedings or breast pump.
- Place a warm compress on the congested breast.

Prevention of Sore Nipple:
- Use moisturizing cream upon approval of your doctor.

3- Does the baby breastfeed at night?
- Yes, whenever it shows hunger signs particularly during first days after birth. 

 
4- Can I breastfeed my baby if I have an infection (like influenza…etc.)?
- Yes, you can continue to breastfeed, but it is recommended to pump your milk and have a family member to give it to the baby.

5- Can I feed my baby if I take medicines?
- If you take some medicines, first ask your doctor if you can continue taking them while breastfeed your baby because some medicines are safe during breastfeeding and do not harm the baby, while others do.  

6- What working mother can do to feed her baby?
- If she remains at work for a short period, it is preferable to feed her baby before leaving her home and after returning.

- If working hours are flexible, she can be late for work for one hour and leave early.

- If she will be out for a long period, she may take her baby to a nursery adjacent to her work so she can feed it any time.

- If she cannot take her baby with her, be sure to squeeze and empty your breasts either by hands or by using a breast pump, which is available in different types for each mother, to collect the milk to be given to the baby while she is out, and ask the babysitter to feed him. Pumped milk can be kept in a clean and covered cup or sterilized container. 

 
Misconceptions:
  • You Cannot Breastfeed After C-section:
    There is no reason that prevents mothers from breastfeeding their babies, only they need help during first days and choose the best way.
  • Breastfeeding Makes Breasts Sag:
    Breastfeeding does not make breasts sagg; however, pregnancy hormones can stretch ligaments that support the breasts. Wearing the right bra during pregnancy and after childbirth protects the breast form sagging. 
  • Some women don't produce enough milk:
    Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed; the best way is to start early and continue with breastfeeding. The more milk your baby nurses from your breast, the more milk your breast produces.
  • Breastfeeding Hurts:
    Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby and it should not hurt. If you experience pain in your breasts or nipples, it is usually because your baby is not positioned properly. Ask your doctor to help spot the problem.
  • My nipples are flat or even inverted, so I won't be able to breastfeed:
    You can breastfeed your baby. Different sizes and shapes of nipples have nothing to do with milk production. Some women may need help to learn how to breastfeed. 
  • Babies don't need breast milk once they start solid foods at about six months:
    Breastfeeding still has many benefits for your baby after six months. It provides him with antibodies and nutrients that are essential for his growth.  There is some evidence that it helps them to digest solid foods. It also continues to provide the balance of nutrients they need. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all babies are breastfed for up to two years or longer.
Health Enhancement and Health Education General Department
For more inquiries, please contact us via the following email: 
 
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