Breastfeeding

breast feedingbreastfeedbreast-feedingnursingbreastfedsucklingbreast feedsucklebreast-fedbreast-feed
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast.wikipedia
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Diarrhea

diarrhoeadiarrheal diseaseschronic diarrhea
Breastfeeding decreases the risk of respiratory tract infections and diarrhea, both in developing and developed countries.
Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.

Infant formula

formulababy formulaformula feeding
Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby, which infant formula lacks.
An upswing in breastfeeding in many countries has been accompanied by a deferment in the average age of introduction of baby foods (including cow's milk), resulting in both increased breastfeeding and increased use of infant formula between the ages of 3- and 12-months.

Breast

breastsbosombust
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast.
During pregnancy, the breast responds to a complex interaction of hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, and prolactin, that mediate the completion of its development, namely lobuloalveolar maturation, in preparation of lactation and breastfeeding.

Menstruation

periodmensesmenstruating
Breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation and fertility, a phenomenon known as lactational amenorrhea.
Periods also stop during pregnancy and typically do not resume during the initial months of breastfeeding.

Oxytocin

oxytocicsfirst synthesis of a polypeptide hormoneBonding in mammals
Oxytocin contracts the smooth muscle of the uterus during birth and following delivery, called the postpartum period, while breastfeeding.
Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream as a hormone in response to stretching of the cervix and uterus during labor and with stimulation of the nipples from breastfeeding.

Breast cancer

breastbreast carcinomacancer
Long term benefits for the mother include decreased risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The association between breast feeding and breast cancer has not been clearly determined; some studies have found support for an association while others have not.

Breast milk

human milkbreastmilkhuman breast milk
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast.
Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfed, in combination with other foods from six months of age when solid foods should be introduced.

Low milk supply

agalactiaagalactorrhealow supply
Low milk supply is usually caused by allowing milk to remain in the breasts for long periods of time, or insufficiently draining the breasts during feeds.
In breastfeeding women, low milk supply, also known as lactation insufficiency, insufficient milk syndrome, agalactia, agalactorrhea, hypogalactia or hypogalactorrhea, is the production of breast milk in daily volumes that do not fully meet the nutritional needs of her infant.

Nipple confusion

According to La Leche League International, "Experienced breastfeeding mothers learn that the sucking patterns and needs of babies vary. While some infants' sucking needs are met primarily during feedings, other babies may need additional sucking at the breast soon after a feeding even though they are not really hungry. Babies may also nurse when they are lonely, frightened or in pain....Comforting and meeting sucking needs at the breast is nature's original design. Pacifiers (dummies, soothers) are a substitute for the mother when she cannot be available. Other reasons to pacify a baby primarily at the breast include superior oral-facial development, prolonged lactational amenorrhea, avoidance of nipple confusion, and stimulation of an adequate milk supply to ensure higher rates of breastfeeding success."
Nipple confusion is the tendency of an infant to unsuccessfully adapt between breast-feeding and bottle-feeding.

Progesterone

endometrinprogestationalProgesterone for prevention of preterm birth
Before pregnancy the breast is largely composed of adipose (fat) tissue but under the influence of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and other hormones, the breasts prepare for production of milk for the baby.
In conjunction with prolactin, it mediates lobuloalveolar maturation of the mammary glands during pregnancy to allow for milk production and thus lactation and breastfeeding of offspring following parturition (childbirth).

La Leche League

La Leche League InternationalLa Leche League Leader
According to La Leche League International, "Experienced breastfeeding mothers learn that the sucking patterns and needs of babies vary. While some infants' sucking needs are met primarily during feedings, other babies may need additional sucking at the breast soon after a feeding even though they are not really hungry. Babies may also nurse when they are lonely, frightened or in pain....Comforting and meeting sucking needs at the breast is nature's original design. Pacifiers (dummies, soothers) are a substitute for the mother when she cannot be available. Other reasons to pacify a baby primarily at the breast include superior oral-facial development, prolonged lactational amenorrhea, avoidance of nipple confusion, and stimulation of an adequate milk supply to ensure higher rates of breastfeeding success."
La Leche League International (LLLI) (La Leche is Spanish for "the milk") is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization that organizes advocacy, educational, and training related to breastfeeding.

Caesarean section

cesarean sectioncaesarian sectionC-section
Current research strongly supports immediate skin-to-skin mother-baby contact even if the baby is born by Cesarean surgery.
A woman can typically begin breastfeeding as soon as she is out of the operating room and awake.

Kangaroo care

kangaroo mother careskin-to-skin contact
There is increasing evidence that suggests that early skin-to-skin contact (also called kangaroo care) between mother and baby stimulates breastfeeding behavior in the baby.
It is most commonly used for low birth-weight preterm babies, who are more likely to suffer from hypothermia, while admitted to a neonatal unit to keep the baby warm and support early breastfeeding.

Postpartum period

postpartumpostnatalpuerperium
Oxytocin contracts the smooth muscle of the uterus during birth and following delivery, called the postpartum period, while breastfeeding.
Thus, to help establish bonding and successful breastfeeding, the caregiver carries out immediate mother and infant assessments as the infant lies on the mother's chest and removes the infant for further observations only after they have had their first breastfeed.

Fertility

fertilemale fertilityfemale fertility
Breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation and fertility, a phenomenon known as lactational amenorrhea.
Certain physical conditions may make it impossible for a woman to conceive. This is called "involuntary infecundity." If the woman has a condition making it possible, but unlikely to conceive, this is termed "subfecundity." Venereal diseases (especially gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia) are common causes. Nutrition is a factor as well: women with less than 20% body fat may be subfecund, a factor of concern for athletes and people susceptible to anorexia. Demographer Ruth Frisch has argued that "It takes 50,000 calories to make a baby". There is also subfecundity in the weeks following childbirth, and this can be prolonged for a year or more through breastfeeding. A furious political debate raged in the 1980s over the ethics of baby food companies marketing infant formula in developing countries. A large industry has developed to deal with subfecundity in women and men. An equally large industry has emerged to provide contraceptive devices designed to prevent conception. Their effectiveness in use varies. On average, 85% of married couples using no contraception will have a pregnancy in one year. The rate drops to the 20% range when using withdrawal, vaginal sponges, or spermicides. (This assumes the partners never forget to use the contraceptive.) The rate drops to only 2 or 3% when using the pill or an IUD, and drops to near 0% for implants and 0% for tubal ligation (sterilization) of the woman, or a vasectomy for the man.

Infant

neonatalinfancynewborn
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast.
Over the first 5–7 days following birth, the body weight of a term neonate decreases by 3–7%, and is largely a result of the resorption and urination of the fluid that initially fills the lungs, in addition to a delay of often a few days before breastfeeding becomes effective.

Prolactin

lactationPRLreceptors, prolactin
Before pregnancy the breast is largely composed of adipose (fat) tissue but under the influence of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and other hormones, the breasts prepare for production of milk for the baby.
In usual circumstances, in the absence of galactorrhea, lactation ceases within one or two weeks following the end of breastfeeding.

Pregnancy

pregnantfirst trimesterpregnant women
Changes early in pregnancy prepare the breast for lactation.
During the time immediately after birth, both the mother and the baby are hormonally cued to bond, the mother through the release of oxytocin, a hormone also released during breastfeeding.

Lactation consultant

Lactation ConsultantsIBCLCInternational Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Lactation consultants are trained to assist mothers in preventing and solving breastfeeding difficulties such as sore nipples and low milk supply.
A lactation consultant is a health professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding.

Postpartum depression

post-natal depressionpostnatal depressionpost-partum depression
Benefits for the mother include less blood loss following delivery, better uterus shrinkage, and decreased postpartum depression.
Formula-feeding rather than breast-feeding

Lactational amenorrhea

lactational amenorrhea methodlactational amenorrhoeaprolonged breastfeeding
Breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation and fertility, a phenomenon known as lactational amenorrhea. According to La Leche League International, "Experienced breastfeeding mothers learn that the sucking patterns and needs of babies vary. While some infants' sucking needs are met primarily during feedings, other babies may need additional sucking at the breast soon after a feeding even though they are not really hungry. Babies may also nurse when they are lonely, frightened or in pain....Comforting and meeting sucking needs at the breast is nature's original design. Pacifiers (dummies, soothers) are a substitute for the mother when she cannot be available. Other reasons to pacify a baby primarily at the breast include superior oral-facial development, prolonged lactational amenorrhea, avoidance of nipple confusion, and stimulation of an adequate milk supply to ensure higher rates of breastfeeding success."
Lactational amenorrhea is the temporary postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic (not menstruating) and fully breastfeeding.

Latch (breastfeeding)

latchlatchinglatched on
If the baby is latching and swallowing well, but is not gaining weight as expected or is showing signs of dehydration, low milk supply in the mother can be suspected.
Latch refers to how the baby fastens onto the breast while breastfeeding.

Blocked milk duct

If symptoms continue and comfort measures are not helpful a woman should consider the possibility that a blocked milk duct or infection may be present and seek medical intervention.
A blocked milk duct is a blockage of one or more ducts carrying milk to the nipple for the purpose of breastfeeding.

Estrogen

oestrogenestrogensestrogenic
Before pregnancy the breast is largely composed of adipose (fat) tissue but under the influence of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and other hormones, the breasts prepare for production of milk for the baby.
Estrogen, in conjunction with growth hormone (GH) and its secretory product insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), is critical in mediating breast development during puberty, as well as breast maturation during pregnancy in preparation of lactation and breastfeeding.

Sudden infant death syndrome

SIDScot deathcrib death
Breastfeeding is actually especially recommended for mothers who smoke, because of its protective effects against SIDS.
Breastfeeding and immunization may also be preventive.