Breast milk contains everything that your baby needs. It provides all the necessary nutrients and protects your baby against all kinds of infections and allergies. It reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and hypertension later on in life. Breast milk always has the right temperature, it is free, and it comes in a beautiful and environmentally friendly package!
Breastfeeding also has many advantages for you as a mother. Breastfeeding causes the uterus to contract and return to it's original size. As a result, blood loss will be minimal. Prolonged breastfeeding will eventually reduce the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer.
However, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. In the beginning, it might take some extra time and effort. Especially during the first week, things might not go as smoothly or as easily as you might have hoped. Your maternity nurse and midwife will invest much time and effort to help you. If there are any specific problems, we will contact a lactation specialist.
Some health insurances cover an appointment with a lactation consultant.
We follow the WHO’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The following websites provide more information about breastfeeding.
Not every mother can or wants to breastfeed. Formula is a good alternative. Formula is sold in the supermarkets and your maternity nurse can help you prepare it. She can give you advice on different bottles and teats and the quantity of milk that your baby needs.
The rule of thumb after the first week is: 150 ml x the amount of kilos that the baby weighs divided by the number of feedings in 24 hours. For instance, a baby of 3 kilos and 1 week old should get (150 x 3 = 450 ml per 24 hours, divided by 8 feedings is) 56 ml per feeding. If the baby gets 6 feedings per 24 hours, you should make (450 : 6 =) 75 ml per feeding.
It is very important to stick to the prescribed amounts, because there is a causal relationship between too much formula and obesity in later life.
The most commonly used bottles and teats are those by Avent, Difrax and Dr. Brown. We recommend that you do not buy a lot of bottles before the baby is born, but to wait and see what your baby prefers.