At around 30 weeks of pregnancy, Dr Gen offers her Glow families a complementary preparation for breastfeeding session with one of our in-house Lactation Consultants. Topics covered in this session include:
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- What is a normal breast and nipple
- Anatomy and Physiology of the lactating breast
- How long to feed?
- One breast or two?
- Signs of a ‘let down’
- The first feed
- Colostrum, foremilk and hindmilk
- Normal feeding patterns for the first few days
- Engorgement/normal fullness
- Baby led attachment
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both the baby and the mother’s physical and emotional health.
Some benefits are noticeable in infancy, others may be lifelong. There is a growing body of research to support this.
- Breastfeeding can reduce the risk and severity of respiratory diseases, ear infections and allergies. Breastfeeding can also reduce the incidence of SIDS and childhood cancer.
- Breastfed babies also have better eyesight, speech and brain development is optimised and the risk of developing Insulin-Dependent (Type 1) Diabetes Mellitus in childhood is reduced.
- There is emerging research that suggests that breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of children becoming overweight or obese – the longer that a baby/child is breastfed, the lesser the risk.
There is also emerging evidence showing breastfeeding has positive effects on an infant’s microbiome and gut health, with possible lifelong effects.
For mothers, studies show that:
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer after menopause, developing Osteoporosis and developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
- Breastfeeding is associated with better emotional health, including less depression and anxiety; and may enhance couple and family relationships.
- The World Health Organisation recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed from birth to six months and then breastfed alongside age-appropriate, complementary feeding for two years and beyond.