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First of two parts discussing Breastfeeding

Posted by Eamonn Brady on


Part 1


Breastfeeding is the recommended method of infant feeding and has numerous benefits for both the mother and baby. Breast milk contains a perfect balance of nutrients that are easily digestible and provide optimal nutrition for infants. Breast milk also contains antibodies that help protect infants from infections and illnesses.


Breastfed infants have a lower risk of developing respiratory infections, diarrhoea, ear infections, and other illnesses compared to formula-fed infants. Breastfeeding may also be protective against obesity, type 1 diabetes, and other chronic conditions later in life. Additionally, breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby and is associated with better cognitive development and emotional wellbeing.


The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, followed by the introduction of complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed until at least 2 years of age. However, it is important to note that every mother's breastfeeding journey is unique, and some may encounter challenges that make it difficult to breastfeed exclusively.


Challenges new mothers can have breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is a natural and wonderful process, but it may not always come easily for new mothers. Many difficulties can arise, particularly during the first few weeks post birth, that can make breastfeeding a challenge.


The main difficulties new mothers have with breastfeeding include:

  • Latching problems: The most common problem that new mothers encounter while breastfeeding is difficulty latching the new-born comfortably and effectively. Sometimes, the baby doesn’t open its mouth wide enough, causing a shallow latch or a poor seal. It can lead to sore and cracked nipples, which can be painful for mothers and make feeding sessions uncomfortable.


  • Low milk supply: Another issue that many new mothers face is a perceived low milk supply. This perception can be attributed to a baby’s frequent demand for milk, as well as the difficulty of determining how much milk a baby is receiving at any given time. This worry can lead to anxiety and stress, which ironically can reduce milk production further.


  • Pain and discomfort: Many new mothers experience pain and discomfort during breastfeeding. Sore nipples can be a sign of a poor latch, and breast engorgement, a condition in which the breasts become swollen and tender, can be painful. The discomfort caused during feeding can become an issue that discourages mothers from continuing to breastfeed.


To be continued….next week


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).

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