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Dra. Andrea Masada
August is the month of breastfeeding incentive. Breastfeeding creates a bond between mother and baby and offers many health benefits.
The birth is marked by the baby's abrupt transition from the mother's silent, warm womb into the world. The mother suffers from the pain and difficulties of childbirth. This initial separation must be followed by acceptance and love. At this point, skin-to-skin contact is developed, when the mother holds the baby naked or dressed only in a nappy against her skin. Having skin-to-skin contact with the baby straight after giving birth helps to keep them warm and calm and steady their breathing. The newborn must stay for at least one hour in the arms of the mother (or as much as possible), connected in a unique moment when the two meet for the first time.
During this contact, instincts align so that natural behaviors manifest themselves: there is a synchronization between baby and mother so that the baby signals its hunger, and the mother receives the stimulus to produce breast milk.
August is "golden" for a reason: the color chosen is an ode to the richness in nutrients of breast milk and its unique role in the baby's development. Breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for about six months of life and complemented with other foods for two years or longer.
It is through breastfeeding that the baby develops immunity and its diverse microbiome and becomes more protected against diseases and allergies. Breastfeeding also improves cognitive development - not to mention the affective bond established with the mother, helping emotional growth throughout life, to the extent to which the baby can place itself as an individual in the world.
It is common to hear romanticized stories about motherhood and all of which concern this remarkable moment in the life of a woman. Women are overwhelmed by unrealistic portrayals that show the experience without mentioning the difficulties. Complications can happen when breastfeeding - for example, if the baby is not positioned and attached properly at the breast.
High expectations can cause pain and discomfort to the mother. She can be affected by a feeling of guilt for believing that she is unable to feed her baby. But that guilt is not justified. After all, each experience with motherhood is unique and challenging. Naturally, some things may not go smoothly. So, it is crucial to offer the mother a welcoming environment, support system, and professional help to guide her in nursing her baby.
Cracks in the nipple and areola, pain when breastfeeding, dryness, and cracking are some problems that the mother can experience. Wash the area with warm water and liquid soap during the shower and dab the nipple and areola with a little expressed breast milk before and after the feeding to keep the area hydrated and strengthened. Such actions also protect the skin against the proliferation of bacteria.
One of the meanings of the name enviva.me is "put life into me", a phrase that perfectly describes the role of breastfeeding and its importance. By breastfeeding the baby, the mother feeds life and all the most precious resources into the formation and growth of a healthy and complete individual, with overflowing love and companionship.