Breastfeeding provides the neonate with the optimal supply of all the nutrients it needs and also has many benefits for the mother as well. On this page you will find many helpful information about breastfeeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has numerous health, economic and above all emotional benefits for both mother and child.

Benefits for the child

  • rapid withdrawal of the first bilirubin-containing bowel movement by the digestive pre-milking (lower risk of jaundice)
  • optimal nutrient uptake by simultaneous delivery of digestive enzymes in breast milk
  • optimal nutrient composition of breast milk (see above)
  • Adaptation to increasing energy requirements in breastfeeding by increasing the fat content of breast milk during lactation
  • high content of long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids (promote growth of CNS, brain and thus development of intelligence and learning ability)
  • Milk sugar of breast milk builds up a strong defense of the large intestinal bacterial flora
  • "Nest protection": Antibodies contained in breast milk, which the child can not produce in the first few months, strengthen its immune system
  • proven rarer occurrence of many diseases such as gastrointestinal infections, upper respiratory tract inflammation, otitis media and bladder infections, sudden infant death syndrome and allergies in infancy as well as
  • close mother-child relationship through breastfeeding

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  • Nest protection - What is it?

Benefits for the mother

  • intimate relationship with the child
  • more serenity through the release of the breastfeeding hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which encourage caring and bonding in the mother
  • Reinforcement of self-confidence and intuition
  • Everyday relief and independence: The milk is always available, hygienically safe and properly tempered
  • Cost savings
  • Weight loss due to the increased calorie loss during breastfeeding
  • faster uterine regression due to release of the hormone oxytocin
  • lower risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer or ovarian cancer

The breastfeeding process

The fact that breastfeeding actually starts is justified by a reflex circulation. The child has already learned the reflex sequence seek-suck-swallow in the womb. In some children, this reflex to breastfeeding is not as pronounced, so that breastfeeding initially proves to be somewhat difficult and can lead to pain. After some time, however, children have mostly learned what they need to do to get milk.

Sucking the child to breastfeed now on the chest, sensitive nerves in the nipple vest are irritated. This stimulus is transmitted to the mother's brain and causes a massive release of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. While prolactin causes a milk production, oxytocin ensures the flow of milk, ie the transport of the milk towards the nipple. The woman can perceive this so-called Milchspendereflex as Ziepen or tingling. Since it is triggered on both sides, the milk can sometimes run out of the other breast during breastfeeding. Furthermore, touching the maternal nipple by the child causes the so-called nipple upright reflex: The nipple becomes firmer and longer, making it easier for the child to find and then suck on the nipple while breastfeeding.

In order to get rid of any air swallowed when drinking, many children come across after breastfeeding. Since this also prevents bloating and spitting, you should support his child. To do this, put it over your shoulder after drinking and gently pat your back from bottom to top. A burp cloth on the shoulder prevents "small mishaps". The burger is not a must. If your child has not swallowed air, it will not burst after breastfeeding.

Proper breastfeeding

Basically, when breastfeeding a position should be chosen that is comfortable for mother and child. This can be standing, lying, sitting or walking. Often a cushion is an advantage to relieve the arm or back. If possible, the child should be positioned so that his body is facing the maternal breastfeeding and his mouth is in front of the nipple. The child should always be led to the breast and not the other way around. It is important to change the breastfeeding positions frequently. This ensures a good, albeit never complete, emptying of the breast and the nipples are spared. In the lying position, the mother should be on the side and support her own and the child's back with pillows, so that both lie belly to belly.

The cradle handle is particularly suitable for breastfeeding while seated: The mother has a pillow in her back as well as on her lap, with which she either supports her arm and holds the child's head in the crook of her arm or on her forearm, or the child lies herself up the pillow. The arm should then be supported on a backrest. In large breasts, the back handle is particularly suitable: The child is " clamped " under the arm, so that the legs point to the rear. In contrast to the weighing handle, in which the child lies belly to belly with the mother, it now has its belly at the side of the mother. His head is supported by the maternal hand.

The breast should be offered to the child with the so-called C-grip. The woman grasps her breast from above with her thumb and from below with her remaining fingers and strokes so softly over the child's lips. In doing so, a sufficient distance to the areola of the nipple should be kept with the fingers, so that the child's mouth can grasp this area.

Breastfeeding of multiples

In multiple births, children can be breastfed both consecutively and at the same time. With simultaneous breastfeeding, a child with low drinking benefits greatly, because the milk donor reflex is triggered on his side by sucking on the neighboring breast.
Due to their different sucking behavior, the children should always change the breast, so that an equal emptying and stimulation of the milk production is given. Possible stops are:

  • Parallelism: One child lies in the cradle, the other in the back grip; the heads point in the same direction.
  • Back grip: Both children are "trapped" in the back grip; their heads are pointing against each other
  • X-Position: Both children lie in the cradle, so that their bodies cross over like an X.
  • V-Position: Both children are in the cradle, their bodies form a V.

Still life

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months. If it is already weaned before, the child should be fed with baby milk for as long as possible. Before the fifth month feeding in the form of solid food should be avoided in any case. When being weaned, should adapt to the needs of mother and child and can certainly take place only after the second year of life. From the sixth month, however, depending on the child's hunger, suitable complementary foods should be supplemented with breastfeeding.

Problems with breastfeeding

The breastfeeding works, especially at the beginning, not always immediately and even after some time it can cause problems with breastfeeding. Further information can be found on our pages:

  • Breastfeeding problems with the mother
  • Pain when breastfeeding
  • engorgement
  • Flatulence during breastfeeding
  • Lactation problems with the child

"Still strike"

By this term "breastfeeding" is meant that the child suddenly and suddenly no longer wants to drink from the breast. This behavior can be triggered by foreign odors and the consumption of unknown foods, alcohol or drugs by the mother. Even after an infection of the child, or a shock from a cry of pain the mother breastfeeding, the breast can be rejected in a row.
To bridge it should be pumped out or manually emptied, so it does not come to weaning. This milk should then not be fed with the bottle, but for example with a cup. If this condition does not disappear after some time, medical advice should be sought.

Still obstacles

Breastfeeding should be avoided if the mother has severe general conditions such as diabetes mellitus or cancer. Even infectious diseases such as HIV infection, active tuberculosis or cytomegalovirus and measles infections should not be breastfed. Substance abuse, such as heavy smoking and drug or alcohol dependence are also an obstacle. Child metabolic disorders can also make breastfeeding impossible. Not to mention the intake of lactose-incompatible drugs.

  • Medication while breastfeeding
    • Ibuprofen while breastfeeding
    • Antibiotics while breastfeeding
  • Alcohol while breastfeeding


For weaning directly after birth, the woman usually receives a double dose of the drug Dostinex®. In addition, cool envelopes, taut bras and sage and peppermint tea are used. If there is a desire to breastfeed after some time of breastfeeding, the child should be fed with age-appropriate food. To prevent stimulation of further milk production, the milk should only be emptied manually. Medicines and teas can also stop milk production.

Breastfeeding again after weaning

If the mother still wants to breastfeed again, some patience is needed. The child should regularly have close skin contact with the mother and suck on the breasts about every three hours ( albeit unsuccessfully ) to restart the milk production.
Optimal this can be solved by a breastfeeding set. The mother carries around her neck a bottle of baby food from which a tube leads to the nipple. This gives the baby at the same time additional food and increasingly breast milk and at the same time encourages further milk production, so that soon can only be breastfed.
If this does not work, the use of an electric breast pump can stimulate milk production every two hours during the day and once a night.

Breastfeeding clinics

For breastfeeding it is particularly important that intensive contact between mother and child is guaranteed in the first few hours and days.
The so-called bonding during breastfeeding is made possible that in the first hours after birth continuous intimate proximity between the two can prevail.
Rooming-in again means that the child is in the room with the mother. When bedding in, the child even sleeps in the maternal bed.
Due to these different possibilities one should first inform oneself about suitable hospitals and decide depending on individual needs. Insecurity can be guided by the "Breastfeeding Hospital" award clinics receive from WHO and UNICEF if they follow the "10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding".

Breastfeeding Position and Latch (February 2020).

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