Breastfeeding Brings Added Benefits and Responsibilities

One of the best things about teaching is that I am always learning from my students. This summer I was teaching Western nutrition to Masters of Acupuncture Students, and the topic of breastfeeding came up. Many of the students in the class are mothers so they were able to give their personal perspectives on this topic. Intellectually we talked about the benefits of breastfeeding. They responded from their experience. Practical tips for making breastfeeding easier enabled them to maintain breastfeeding for at least four to six months.

Studies have shown that breastfeeding is supportive to the infant by providing easily digestible nutrition and protective antibodies. Breast milk also is able to change its nutrients based on the children age and maturity.

Emotionally, breastfeeding creates a bonding environment for both the mother and the child. Breastfeeding can also be reduce the risk of diseases for the mother and the child.

Health benefits are often highlighted, however the process of breastfeeding is a physical and emotional commitment for mothers. Women who decide to breastfeed literally become the nutrition lifeline for their children.

Breastfeeding in the first several days can be challenging in terms of getting their children to latch and feed for some mothers. Sore nipples, low milk supply, engorgement, breast infections and the like are the not-so-glamourous reality of breastfeeding.

 

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