Breastfeeding: having a doula
Category : Lactation Support
Breastfeeding is the normal continuation of pregnancy. It is a physiological process provided by nature. Sometimes it can be difficult and ongoing support before, during and after pregnancy can be very useful. Studies have also shown that success is more likely with the support of spouses, peers and health professionals. The presence and continued support of a doula during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period also contributes to breastfeeding success.
Results from a combined study shows that the presence of a doula reduces the number of interventions and contributes holistically to improve breastfeeding. Here are some statistics:
In general, women have an easier, smoother delivery when a doula is present
A 50% decrease in the rate of caesarean section
A reduction of 25% of the total working hours
A 60% decrease in the use of an epidural
A 40% decrease in the use of synthetic hormones (Pitocin, Syntocinon)
A 30% reduction in the use of forceps
Decreased postpartum depression
The presence of a doula during pregnancy will help you better prepare for your childbirth and breastfeeding. During prenatal classes, the doula gives a lot of information to help you make informed choices. Her reassuring presence during childbirth and postnatal support can make the difference.
Today we know that medical interventions have an impact on the course of lactation. For example, an epidural has the effect of reducing the alert status of newborns and their sucking reflex and rooting. According to Michel Odent **, attachment may take longer to settle in. In mothers who underwent a caesarean, secretion of oxytocin and prolactin is lessened and lactation takes longer to arrive. The pitocin given in postpartum care may also delay lactation and decrease milk production. It is clear that the reduction of obstetric interventions has a direct impact on breastfeeding.
Support before, during and after childbirth is the best non-pharmacological means to reduce pain and obstetrical interventions. Support promotes attachment parenting, reduces stress and anxiety and increases self-esteem and sense of parental competence. The right support also increases the duration of breastfeeding. The presence of a doula can be a major asset, not just in the success of your breastfeeding, but also in your overall experience of birth.
Community organizations also offer support by providing access to a breastfeeding peer counselor. They are dedicated volunteers who will support you. The support of your spouse is important and your friends and extended family desirable. Support can also come from a nurse, a lactation consultant or a doula. The important thing is to prepare yourself and especially good surround you.
The Inseparable Link of Brain Development and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding and child development have long been thought to go hand in hand and recent studies have supported this fact. Breastfeeding from birth into a child’s early years can greatly help their brain development and give your child a fantastic head start in their life.
While much of the research done does involve a lot of technical terms and jargon, I’ve compiled a list of the main reasons why breastfeeding is great for brain development in infants.
One of the most talked about aspects of this research is how breast milk contains a fat called DHA. DHA is a “smart” fat that greatly helps brain development. The longer you breastfeed, the more DHA your child will receive.
And by adding DHA to your own diet, you can greatly increase the quality of your breast milk. Foods that are rich in DHA include fish, eggs, and meat. They contain 10 to 100 times more DHA than non-marine foods such as nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. Although it is good to keep a healthy serving of these in your diet as well.
Breast milk Contains Cholesterol
Cholesterol has been found to be beneficial for babies developing brain and breast milk contains a portion of it. Cholesterol helps nerve tissues develop in a babies brain. This is just another added benefit of breastfeeding your child.
Breastfeeding Helps Vital Areas Of The Brain Grow
A study conducted by Brown University observed a number of breastfed children who were under age 4. These children had been breastfed since birth. An MRI showed that several parts of their brain developed more than those children who were not breastfed. Cognitive function and language are two of the main areas that showed increased development.
Another area of the brain that was shown to have increased development was the area where emotional development happens.
The benefits of breastfeeding not only create a special bond between mother and child, but is linked to enhanced brain development and cognitive functions.