Understanding Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is good for you and your baby

You might have known the benefits of breastfeeding. Here are the summaries of benefits:

• Baby

  • Breastmilk is the best food for your baby. It is natural and changes in composition depending on your baby's needs at different stages.
  • Breastmilk, especially colostrum (also known as the “first milk”) could enhance baby's immunity, and reduce the chance of illnesses like respiratory and intestinal infections. It acts as a protective film in the intestine to protect the body from bacteria and reduces allergies.
  • Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby bonding

You might have known the benefits of breastfeeding. Here are the summaries of benefits:

• You

  • Breastfeeding helps contraction of the uterus and reduces postpartum bleeding or anaemia.
  • Breastfeeding helps to reduce body weight in postpartum period.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient, economical and environmental-friendly.


What is “Colostrum”

It is also known as the “first milk” or the “liquid gold” that is produced for the first ten days after the baby is delivered. It contains vast amount of proteins, antibodies, vitamins, growth factors and living immune cells, which provide better protection to the health of the newborn baby. It is your baby's first dose of “natural vaccine”. It also helps your baby to pass the first stool and reduces the chance of severe jaundice

It is very small in quantity compared with later milk production. As most healthy and full term babies are born with sufficient reserve of water and nutrients inside them, and the sizes of their stomachs are just like the size of a marble. Hence the low in volume but thick and sticky colostrum is just the right amount for the newborn's tiny stomach capacity. It also helps your baby to learn and coordinate the techniques of suckling, swallowing and breathing.

Here are some useful websites which also provides comprehensive information on breastfeeding.

Department of Health (Hong Kong)
http://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/class_topic/ct_child_health/ch_breastfeeding.html

Hong Kong Breastfeeding Mother’ Association
http://www.breastfeeding.org.hk/

World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

The Breastfeeding Network (UK)
http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/