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[Translate to South Africa:] All about breastfeeding

Antibodies, vitamins, trace elements – and a lot of love: breast milk has everything your child needs for healthy development in the first months of life. That is why, along with other breastfeeding aids, we developed milk pumps to simplify your everyday routine, to help relieve your breastfeeding problems. We have put together the basics on this topic for you here.

Making the right decision

Breastfeeding - yes or no? Just listen to what your body tells you

[Translate to South Africa:] breastfeeding mother

Midwives, lactation consultants and doctors all agree: breastfeeding is the best for your child. It is natural for both of you. Nearly every woman can breastfeed. It has been shown in practice that the more a mother knows about the process itself and is prepared, the more successful she will be at breastfeeding her baby.

Of course, you may also have your own personal reasons for not breastfeeding. The only important thing is that you stand by your decision and do not let yourself be given a guilty conscience by anyone. For it does not matter if you breastfeed or not: if you feel comfortable and confident, you will experience a time of intensive closeness with your baby.

The NUK Team of Experts answers your questions on the topic in a video session.


All the benefits outlined

Why breastfeeding gives the best start in life

[Translate to South Africa:] benefits of breastfeeding

Breast milk has everything your baby needs in the first months of life – in exactly the right amount and combination, always available and completely free.

No other baby food offers so much protection against infections and illnesses. Studies show that breastfed babies suffer considerably less often from ear infections, diarrhoea or respiratory and urine infections. Also, in later adult life, they are less prone to some intestinal illnesses or Type 2 diabetes, for example.

Suckling at the breast promotes the development of the mouth muscles and exercises the jaw. This exercising has a positive effect on speech development and eating solid food later.

If your baby is given only breast milk in the first six months, you can reduce the risk of allergies. It is also advisable at the beginning to avoid products with cow’s milk, so that you do not give your child any foreign proteins.

Breastfeeding is soothing – for you too. Even if life can sometimes be strenuous, you calm down and gain new energy. Also, the very first time your baby drinks from you, lots of hormones are released, making your maternal feelings even stronger.

Your health profits too: early and regular breastfeeding reduces the risk of infections and bleeding after the birth. Even the risk of breast cancer can be decreased.

Breastfeeding can also help you get back in shape after the birth. You burn up more calories and can slowly and gently lose weight. Your womb also shrinks back more quickly.

The way breastfeeding works

Follow your own rules

[Translate to South Africa:] how breastfeeding works

As soon as your child suckles at your breast after the birth, your mammary glands set to work: one hormone stimulates the production of your breast milk, while another ensures its release. There is no need to worry about the amount, composition and temperature of the milk.

If you breastfeed for a long time, you do not have to feed your baby anything extra – even when your baby sometimes does not want to drink properly. Babies themselves know when, and how much, breast milk they need to grow big and strong. And the mammary glands in your breasts react immediately. They start producing less on the third day at the latest, and it works the other way round too. If your child is bigger and wants more, the amount increases accordingly. The more strongly and often your child sucks, the more milk is produced by your mammary glands. If you are worried that your baby still seems hungry, then ask your midwife or paediatrician.

Something you should always think about when you are breastfeeding: whatever you consume affects your baby too! Alcohol and cigarettes are like poisons to your child. So avoid anything that can damage health and lead to any poisons deposited in the body getting into the breast milk. And before you take any medication, it is best always to ask your doctor or chemist. By all means eat as much as you like. Best of all, as varied as possible and healthy. Among the things on your menu now should be lots of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as dairy products, eggs, meat and fish. But you should also be aware that, occasionally, healthy food can also have unpleasant consequences. For example, some babies get sore bottoms as a reaction to oranges, or terrible wind from garlic, peas, beans, lentils, cabbage or even wholemeal products.

The NUK Team of Experts answers your questions on the topic in a video session.

Good to know