Although the benefits of breastfeeding seem to be a common knowledge amongst the birthing populace, there remains a depth of information that are not disseminated especially to aspiring or expectant mothers. I am a classic example of a mother who did not have enough information about breastfeeding when I gave birth. Twenty years ago, I gave birth to cesarean section with the use of epidural anesthesia. My child and I both struggled when I first attempted to breastfeed her. With the lack of knowledge, I did not pursue breastfeeding because of the first unsuccessful attempt. My daughter and I have missed the life-long benefits of breastfeeding because of a wrong assumption and lack of information. It was just a week ago, when I researched about birthing that I came across a research about the effects of epidural anesthesia and cesarean section to breastfeeding. According to research, the post-operative pain drugs can suppress breast-feeding. Moreover, mothers who have undergone surgery to deliver especially if unplanned, score higher in somatic anxiety and muscular tension. Stress experienced by the mother and infant can adversely affect the supply of milk on the onset of breastfeeding. The stress that the baby experienced affects his or her ability to suck.
Breastfeeding, in general, has numerous effects that are beneficial to both babies and mothers. In simple lay man’s term, the contents of human milk contain substances that can provide infection such as such as H influenza, S pneumonia, V cholera, E Coli, and rotavirus. A research noted that breastfeeding a known as a natural first vaccine because of the colostrum present in the mother’s milk contains numerous antibodies that help the infant fight different forms of infections. Aside from its protective properties, breastfeeding has definite indications of cognitive development. On the other hand, mothers who breastfeed can have protection against premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, and the metabolic syndrome. Failure to breastfeed implicates the use of alternative feeding that is the use of formula milk. The World Health Organization recommended communicating the risks of using formula milk. Some of the adverse effects are higher risks of allergy, asthma, heart disease, diarrhea, childhood cancers and infection caused by contaminated formula.
Sema Kuguoglu, Hatice Yildiz, Meltem Kurtuncu Tanir and Birsel Canan Demirbag (2012). Breastfeeding After a Cesarean Delivery, Cesarean Delivery, Dr. Raed Salim (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0638-8, InTech, Retrieved from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/cesarean-delivery/breastfeeding-after-a-cesarean-delivery