Breastfeeding and Its Challenges

Breastfeeding and Its Challenges

Mothers always wish the best for their children, no matter what their age. Having said that, the starting point in the journey of motherhood is when a baby is born. The new parents pin their dreams, hopes and their whole lives, in fact, on that moment, when they hold in their arms, their very own little prince/princess.

From the mother’s point of view, one of the first challenges, after labor and childbirth is to feed the child. Breastfeeding comes naturally for a few mothers, for others, it might take a while to establish flow and routine. Lactation consultants vouch for the ease of breastfeeding, and will even endorse the fact that all mothers are born to breastfeed.

Situations, too numerous to account for, might present, such that mothers are not able to breastfeed. It could be either due to their baby’s health, or their own. Many resources exist that provide mother’s milk to mothers unable to do so, thus alleviating their concerns. Breast milk can be pumped into bottles, and fed to babies. For pre-term infants, mother’s milk can still be provided, even fortified if required.

Mother’s milk: Secret to child’s health

Breast milk is the best and a complete food for infants, and provides the infant with all the nutrients needed for growth and development. There are numerous milk banks, which perform extensive medical testing on the donor, and make sure the quality of milk delivered is of best quality. These reliable sources, pasteurize and process the milk extensively, in order to provide optimal nutrition to premies in hospitals. As per the need of the premature infant, breast milk is even fortified. The movement of breastfeeding advocated by lactation consultants and many doctors, is gaining tremendous speed in this country, so why wouldn’t every mother pine to give their child the best food, if provided with an opportunity?

Beware of unfamiliar sources of Breast milk

This study collected samples of breastmilk from internet donors, and assessed the milk’s quality, and unfortunately found it lacking in quality. Various factors, like transportation, storage, age of expressed milk, unknown hygiene and health of donors, were studied and found to be responsible for inferior quality of the milk. It is hard to be certain of the sterile conditions, if any that were used for expression of milk, given that these donors were never monitored at home. These samples of human milk, obtained through the internet, besides, being unpasteurized, were found to have high levels of bacterial growth and harmful bacteria were also seen.

The benefits of human mother’s milk far outweigh the risks associated with it. But contaminated sources could lead to infections like neonatal sepsis, which could be a big problem, if used in immune-compromised infants. Even healthy infants have succumbed to infections by Salmonella bacteria.

This study cautions that even procuring all health information from donors, is still not sufficient to promise one, of good quality human mother’s milk. Thanks to the medical organizations, the prevalence of breastfeeding has increased to 77% in 2011, but mothers should be advised against the lurking dangers associated with purchasing or feeding milk that comes from unfamiliar sources.

Written By: Dheepa Balasubramanian

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