The birth of a new prince this summer has once again kick-started the great breastfeeding debate. Is she or isn’t she? It seems the question that was on everyone’s lips was finally answered when Kate Middleton was seen wearing a dress specially designed for breastfeeding mothers. But Duchess of Cambridge aside, why should new mothers choose breast over bottle? What are the health benefits for mum and baby? And what are the rules surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace?
“Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the best nutrition for your baby,” says Sioned Hilton, Medela’s Lactation Consultant on breastfeeding. “It is tailor made to meet their needs and adapts as the baby grows. It is free, on tap, and always the right temperature.
Not to mention the fact that new research has confirmed the presence of 415 individual proteins in there to help the baby develop and grow.
Breastfeeding In The Workplace
Going back to work does not mean that mothers have to give up breastfeeding. “With the help of a good breastpump, mums should be able to express enough milk to keep their little ones satisfied while they are out at work,” explains Sioned.
All employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees. While you are breastfeeding, you and your baby have special health and safety protection under the same regulations that give protection to pregnant employees. You will need to discuss this with your employer, as well as where you can express milk and when. A large employer may have a ‘mother and baby room,’ or you may be able to use a first aid room, spare office or any private room. “Expressing means you can keep up with your supply and then breastfeed as normal during the evenings and on weekends,” says Sioned. It also means you can keep up the bond with your baby, even when you aren’t together.
Breast vs. Bottle
Breast milk contains all your baby needs: proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, water and enzymes in the exact amounts required for the optimal growth and development. There are 415 proteins in breastmilk; this can never be recreated artificially.
|Formula is less digestible than breastmilk, therefore formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.|
Breastmilk contains substances, which prevent harmful bacteria from growing in intestines and causing gastrointestinal and diarrhoeal infections. Breastfed babies also have fewer middle ear infections, fewer respiratory infections and a decreased risk of developing allergies, cancer, childhood diabetes and obesity.
|Women who decide to use formula do not have to worry about the things they eat or drink, which could have an adverse effect on their babies.|
Breastfeeding is also great for mum! It reduces post-delivery bleeding and chances of anemia, helps the uterus contract and helps mums regain their figure. Breastfeeding can burn 500 calories a day. It also has a proactive effect against several types of cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.
|Either parent (or another caregiver) can feed the baby a bottle at any time. This gives others the chance to build up a relationship with the newborn and enables the mother to share the feeding duties.|
|The skin-to-skin contact established through breastfeeding can enhance the emotional connection between mother and baby. Many nursing mothers say they really enjoy the experience of bonding so closely.||
Breastfeeding can sometimes be too difficult or stressful for new mothers. Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and some even contain vitamins and nutrients that you cannot get from breast milk.