Human Development and Health Families: Managing Effects of Breastfeeding
Date of Submission
Breastfeeding is an activity that most mothers have well upheld in the world as it provides the foundation of the child and its cognitive development (Gibbs & Forste, 2014). Among the mothers, breastfeeding reduces overweight while preserving maternal health in general. World Health Organization recommends a mother should provide exclusive breastfeeding to the child up to six months, from which the child can start to be fed solid food (Binns & Lee, 2014). Not only has exclusive breastfeeding favor the child during the early months with nutrition, but it also protects the child under five years from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea. However, breastfeeding has its pros and cons, which need to be considered to ensure both the mother and the child are in good health. The essay evaluates the methods that a family can adopt to control the effects of breastfeeding, like family support services from a father, changing behaviors in terms of dietary and nutrition, and implementing parenting methods.
Introducing the family support services like the role of a father helps manage the new mother’s stressful experience mostly. When a woman becomes a mother, she adapts to how to live with the unique environment of motherhood. In taking care of the new baby, stress has ended up increasing over time. The modest women find it hard to breastfeed the child, for instance, when in public. The role of a father plays a significant role in ensuring the mother is stress- free curing breastfeeding. The father is determined to provide emotional support and make decisions for the mother during breastfeeding if need be (Demontigny et al., 2018). Most fathers have argued that during breastfeeding, a child bonds more to the mother than the father. To control the bonding and stress during breastfeeding, the mother can provide the father pumped milk in a bottle, and he gives the baby. Not only will it build a father-child bond, but it also provides time for the mother to take rest and gain new energy to breastfeed the baby.
Family support can also be evident when the members employ maternal facilities like nurses to offer help to the mother during lactation. It applies to the new mothers who have no experience in the activity. The nurses provide support like assisting the mother in positioning the baby’s head during lactation, how the child should suck the nipple, and the mother’s position during lactation. Many mothers reported experiencing nipple pain due to continuous lactation on the baby, leading to mastitis inflammation. Experienced nurses can manage the pain by educating the new mother on feeding the child and when he or she should be fed. Providing family support to the new mother reduces stress and ensures no pain is experienced during breastfeeding.
By introducing parenting methods, it ensures the health of the mother and the baby is looked after. A baby-led process is a standard style that mothers have been practicing whereby the baby provides the time he or she will be breastfed (Fallon et al., 2016). The method has been lately seemed to favor the child as the mother goes with the child’s schedule. The baby now controls the milk supply from the mother and ensures that the milk supply is enough according to its demand. By doing so, the mother and child build a stronger bond every day. The method also provides the mother’s not experiencing swollen breasts and aching nipples at any time of the day since the child controls the milk production. On the other side, many mothers and nurses support the scheduled methods, whereby the mother provides the specific time when the child should be breastfed and still provides a positive impact on the child and the mother. The technique dramatically provides an excellent way to the mothers since she can plan on when to feed the baby, especially if she is working in an office or a firm. The mother can concentrate at work and reduce the stress of breastfeeding her child. On the side of the child, equal bonding is achieved between him or her and the mother. The child can adapt to new patterns and develops the mother’s mechanism to produce sufficient milk only when the baby wants it and the mother needs to make it.
By changing the behavioral practices of the mother, the effect of breastfeeding like sudden infant death syndrome among the child is reduced. High cases of newborn babies dying out of SIDS have been reported to the new mothers since the new mother experiences the first time in her life sleeping next to her baby (Huang et al., 2013). Bed sharing, however, is an activity that most of the mothers have been practicing while arguing that it offers a strong bond between her and the newly born baby. On the contrary, as the mother continues to share a bed or a sofa with the body, the bond is built to the extent that the baby develops the baby-led milk supply pattern from the mother. The mother will not monitor her baby in terms of hunger and distress but only assume that he or she requires breast milk when the baby cries.
The bed-sharing activity also tends to affect the mother and her daily activities. Most mothers tend to avoid their daily activities as they spend most of their time in bed with the child and only wake up when the child is asleep and wakes up when the child is awake. According to the study done among the United States mothers, over sixty percent of the mothers reported that the main aim of sharing a bed with the newborn babies was to breastfeed them and not take a rest (McKenna, Mosko & Richard, 1997). The bed-sharing concept has dramatically affected how the mother operates on a daily routine. Not only does she becomes stressed out, but she also ends up suffering from mastitis, inflammation of the breasts.
To prevent SIDS from occurring on the child and diseases upon the mother, patterns need to be developed on the bed-sharing concept. With the help of a nurse, the mother needs to develop the way the mother will change the bed-sharing behavior to ensure it benefits the mother and the child. They can plan on specific days when the mother will sleep with the baby and when not to. As time goes by, the child can sleep on his or her own while the mother can get enough rest and reduce nipple pain due to excess breastfeeding. A significant impact of reducing bed-sharing is on the child’s side as studies have shown that reduced bed-sharing of the child with the mother reduces the delayed child’s development in terms of independence and sleep issues. To also ensure the bond of the mother and child is maintained, the parents can buy cribs or bassinet and put it near the bed. It offers the child its own sleeping space and ensures that the mother can monitor the baby closely.
Breastfeeding is a stage that a mother goes through to bond considerably with the new baby. Despite it being a long-term stage, every mother must ensure that she eats a balanced diet with incredible nutrition to provide it to her child during lactation. The lactation period calls for nurses, family members, and even the mother to play a significant role in ensuring the child has experienced tremendous growth as he or she breastfeeds.
Binns, C. W., & Lee, M. K. (2014). Exclusive breastfeeding for six months: the WHO six months recommendation in the Asia Pacific Region. Asia Pacific Journal of clinical nutrition, 23(3), 344-350.
Demontigny, F., Gervais, C., Larivière-Bastien, D., & St-Arneault, K. (2018). The role of fathers during breastfeeding. Midwifery, 58, 6-12.
Fallon, A., Van der Putten, D., Dring, C., Moylett, E. H., Fealy, G., & Devane, D. (2016). Baby‐led compared with scheduled (or mixed) breastfeeding for successful breastfeeding. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (9).
Gibbs, B. G., & Forste, R. (2014). Breastfeeding, parenting, and early cognitive development. The Journal of pediatrics, 164(3), 487-493.
Huang, Y., Hauck, F. R., Signore, C., Yu, A., Raju, T. N., Huang, T. T. K., & Fein, S. B. (2013). Influence of bedsharing activity on breastfeeding duration among US mothers. JAMA pediatrics, 167(11), 1038-1044.
McKenna, J. J., Mosko, S. S., & Richard, C. A. (1997). Bedsharing promotes breastfeeding. Pediatrics, 100(2), 214-219.
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