The best way to feed and nurture an infant is through breastfeeding. Most health experts say that breastfeeding is a highly essential way to feed a newborn healthily and naturally. In an ideal case, breastfeeding will start from the first or second day of the birth itself and extends till 15 months. However, many of the diabetic mothers have speculations regarding the same. Diabetic mothers can breastfeed, as well. Having diabetes shouldn’t prevent you from breastfeeding. In fact, there are impressive benefits for both the mother and baby. Know the diversified aims of breastfeeding for diabetic mothers and their babies.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for a Diabetic Mother
Apart from the regular benefits of weight loss gained during pregnancy and relieving stress, Diabetic moms have higher advantages when it comes to breastfeeding. They help you regulate the conditions of insulin and diabetes. Check all the advantages associated with breastfeeding for a diabetic mother.
Breastfeeding tends to increase insulin sensitivity and thus shows a more remarkable change in the long run. This will help the mother in managing insulin and controlling diabetes in a better manner.
In Type-1 Diabetic mothers, the amount of insulin required for the body is reduced by breastfeeding. In turn, these reduced needs will make the mother’s body produce less insulin, controlling diabetes condition.
In Type-2 Diabetic mothers, breastfeeding directly reduces the severity of diabetes. This impact is not just during the phase of breastfeeding; its results are observed throughout life.
For Gestational diabetes, the risk of developing later diabetes is significantly reduced with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding also suppresses periods and monthly hormonal changes for diabetic mothers.
The hormone oxytocin, which is released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly. The release of oxytocin will also reduce the postpartum bleeding condition.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for your Baby
It is well known that breastfed babies tend to have fewer health problems and infections for the rest of their life. The tremendous amounts of antibiotics present in mother milk help them prevent digestive trouble, asthma, ear infections, and respiratory troubles. Babies might also be less likely to develop type 1 or type 2 diabetes with breastfeeding immunity.
Tips for Diabetic Mothers During Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is excellent and beneficial for women with diabetes, but it may make your blood glucose a little harder to predict. You will observe variations in glucose levels. Here are the tips to help prevent low blood glucose levels:
Plan to have a snack before or during nursing
Keep something to handle low blood glucose nearby when you nurse, so you don’t have to stop your child’s feeding midway.
Drink enough fluids and plan to sip a glass of water or a caffeine-free drink while nursing.
Have a perfect feeding schedule prepared by discussing with your midwife or pediatrician. They will guide you and help you regulate your diabetes and a healthy feeding procedure for your infant.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before making any decision.
Breastfeeding has several benefits for a baby. Those babies who are only fed breast milk for the first six months of their lives can gain antibodies that are present in the breast milk. These help babies fight off any virus or bacteria that may infect them.
However, not all women might want to breastfeed and that’s completely ok. Breastfeeding your child is a personal choice and you need to make that decision before your baby is born. Although experts will advise you to exclusively breastfeed your child for six months, you may even go for formula milk on the advice of your doctor.
If you do decide to breastfeed, here are some ways to prepare for it when you’re pregnant:
Preparing for Breastfeeding
Although many may think that breastfeeding comes naturally to women, the reality is that it may not always be as easy as you think. A few things can be done in advance to make it easier for new moms. Here are a few ways in which you can prepare for breastfeeding while you’re still pregnant:
Massage your breastsWhen you go for your prenatal check-up, your doctor will advise you to massage your breasts regularly. During the last six weeks of your pregnancy, massaging your breasts can clear your milk ducts. Apart from this, you should also try to keep your breasts well moisturized to prevent any cracking. Cracked nipples can cause a lot of pain during breastfeeding so taking the right precautions can ease the process. If you have flat or inverted nipples, you can think about investing in Breast shells.
Keep your supplies readyEven before your baby arrives, it might be a good idea to invest is breastfeeding supplies and keep them ready. You will need nursing bras, pads, ointment for sore and cracked nipples, and comfortable clothes to nurse in. These are the bare necessities of breastfeeding. You should also consider investing in a good nursing pillow as it can greatly ease the physical pain mothers experience while breastfeeding. You can also try more positions when you have a good breastfeeding pillow.
Create your nursing spaceBefore your baby arrives, make sure you create a comfortable space at your home where you can easily nurse your child. Add a comfortable chair or allocate a place in which you can sit while breastfeeding your little one. Put some pillows around and make space to put things away. You can also keep things for yourself, like books or music, so that you can enjoy these little comforts while your baby is breastfeeding.
Try for a natural birthStudies have shown that babies who are born naturally with very little medical intervention are more likely to breastfeed well. On the other hand, babies born with more medical assistance have lower rates of successful breastfeeding. However, that doesn’t mean if you have a C-section your baby will not have breastfeeding success. Many women who have had C-Section deliveries have nursed their babies successfully for a long time. One way of ensuring breastfeeding success is to try your best to have your baby nurse from your breast within the first two hours of birth.
Tips for Breast and Nipple Care during Pregnancy
Many women do not follow a proper breast care routine during pregnancy. This can make it difficult for them when their baby arrives and is ready to breastfeed. Here are some tips for proper breast care during pregnancy:
Choose your bra carefullyYour breasts will continue increasing in size right from the first trimester. This means you may have to change your bra size a couple of times during your pregnancy. Make sure you wear the right sized bra to avoid suffocation and discomfort. Avoid tight-fitting bras and go for softly padded cotton ones. Stay clear of underwired bras as they tend to block milk ducts and hamper milk production.
Maintain HygieneDuring the last trimester, nipples tend to leak colostrum which is a yellow milk substance. This can happen often and you must maintain your hygiene by changing your bra frequently. This prevents your nipples from being too wet and avoids cracks and infections from forming. You can also use breast pads to keep your nipples dry. Remember to wash your nipples regularly to prevent the liquid from forming a crust around it.
Protect your nipplesAfter stepping out from your shower, apply moisturizing cream on the nipples if they feel too dry. Some women may also suffer from sore nipples. In this case, nipple protectors can be used as a pad between the clothing and the nipples. These are some of the many ways in which you can care for your nipples when you’re pregnant.
Other precautionsWhile some changes in the breasts are a part of pregnancy, others can be avoided with proper care and precautions. Here are some of them:
Use warm water to wash your breasts.
Change your bra on a regular basis, at least once in a day. This prevents discomfort due to sweat and leakage from the nipples.
Check your breasts every day for any changes. If you notice any irregular changes that cause you worry, contact your doctor.
Try simple exercises like arm rotations and make them a part of your everyday work out. This prevents your breasts from sagging during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be a testing time for new mothers and many may not take care of their bodies. It is important to pay attention to your breast and nipple health during this time. Not only does this help keep your post-pregnancy body in a good shape for many years, it also ensures breastfeeding success. If you need to know more about breastfeeding tips and ways to overcome common discomforts during breastfeeding, get in touch with our lactation experts in KIMS Cuddles.
There’s a popular saying that “Breastfeeding is the best feeding”. Quite rightly so, too, seeing the myriad benefits of breastfeeding. It is a natural source of nutrition for you baby and benefits both child and the mother. Apart from satisfying your baby’s vitamin and nutrient needs in the first six months, breast milk contains substances that help fight diseases and build their immunity.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding your child for the first six months, at least. Lactation consultant and breastfeeding expert, Amy Spangler, once said, “While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby”.
Here are some of the reasons why breastfeeding is good for the child, as well as for the mother:
Benefits of breastfeeding for the baby
Babies have lower risk of illness
“The incidences of pneumonia, colds, and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies,” says Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at University of Rochester School of Medicine. Studies around the world have found that exclusive breastfeeding (i.e no formula, water or solid food) for six months protects children from cold, stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infection, pneumonia, and meningitis etc. Gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea are also less common.
Protects babies from developing allergies
According to La Leche League, certain immune factors such as secretory IgA, available only in breast milk, provide a layer of protection to the baby’s intestinal tract and prevent an allergic reaction to food. Human milk and colostrum have antibodies that fight germs and help baby to remain allergy-free.
Lowers your baby’s risk of SIDS
A German study found that breastfeeding lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The research indicated that exclusive breastfeeding at the age of 1 month reduced the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by half.
Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother
Reduces the risk of breast cancer
Research has found that breastfeeding helps mothers to lower their risk of pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer. Breastfeeding women experience hormonal changes. This causes delay in menstrual periods and reduce a woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones like estrogen, which promote cancer cell growth.
Reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer
Estrogen levels are lower during lactation. This is because breastfeeding prevents ovulation and results in lesser exposure to estrogen. Thus, the lining of the uterus and breast tissue aren’t stimulated as much, which lowers the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.
Aids in quicker recovery and promotes Postpartum weight loss
Breastfeeding helps new moms recover faster. Nursing releases oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract and reduces postpartum blood loss. Thus, the uterus is back to its normal size more quickly – at about six weeks postpartum, compared to 10 weeks if you don’t breastfeed. Breastfeeding also helps moms in losing their “baby weight” faster.
Even though exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by pediatricians and lactation experts worldwide, it might not be the obvious choice for many new moms. There might be many reasons for anxious new mothers to not breastfeed. At KIMS Cuddles, our team of lactation experts helps ease you into the breastfeeding process.
Several cultures have their own myths which might discourage some mothers from nursing. Here are some popular misconceptions, and facts to counter them:
Myth: Your milk supply is low
Fact: If your baby is nursing all day, it doesn’t mean you aren’t producing enough. Sometimes your baby might just want to be close and feel comforted by your touch. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand process – the more you nurse, the more milk you produce.
Myth: Breastfeeding is painful
Fact: It is normal for new breastfeeding moms to feel a slightly tingling sensation in the beginning. But if you’re experiencing pain, bleeding or cracked nipples, there are high chances of improper latch or tongue-tie. You can seek the expert opinion of the lactation consultants and KIMS Cuddles to rectify this.
Myths: You must set a breastfeeding schedule for your child
Fact: Sometimes, well-meaning family and friends suggest feeding newborns at an interval of 2 to 3 hours. The truth is – every baby is different. Breastmilk digests very quickly and thus newborn nurses almost all the time. They could be hungry or might just be craving the sucking action. So, don’t follow a set pattern – feed on demand.
Myth: Certain foods might make your baby gassy
Fact: Many new moms stay away from beans, lentils or any kind of gas-inducing, spicy foods. However, there is no evidence to indicate that gas molecules from some foods can pass through breast milk. Babies can taste certain foods through the breastmilk, which might be the cause for your baby to seem irritable or uninterested in nursing.
Now that you know the benefits and myths associated with the benefits of breastfeeding, you can opt whether you want to breastfeed and continue it for the recommended duration of six months (or longer). If you face any problems with breastfeeding, the lactation consultants at KIMS Cuddles will provide you with adequate support.
*The opinions expressed in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance