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Lactancia materna, el regalo de una madre

La lactancia materna es una de las mayores mejoras en salud que podemos ofrecer a la madre y al niño a lo largo de sus vidas. Es la leche fabricada específicamente para cada niño en cada momento concreto de su crecimiento y desarrollo y la única que puede cambiar su composición en función de las necesidades del bebé. Se ha demostrado que los niños amamantados tienen mejor salud a corto y largo plazo (menos gastroenteritis, infecciones respiratorias, asma, alergia alimentaria, obesidad, diabetes…) y un mejor crecimiento y desarrollo psicomotor.

Pero no solo los niños se benefician de la lactancia materna, las madres tienen una mejor recuperación postparto y una reducción de la incidencia de algunas enfermedades, como el cáncer de mama y de ovarios o la depresión postparto.

Beneficios

Otro de los beneficiarios es la sociedad, ya que la leche materna es un alimento ecológico que no necesita una industria de fabricación ni de procesamiento. Además, al mejorar la salud de madres e hijos, se reducen los gastos por absentismo laboral.

La lactancia materna fomenta el vínculo entre madre e hijo, «pero no debemos olvidar que el momento de alimentación con biberón debe ser también un momento tranquilo, de cariño y comunicación entre padres e hijos», apunta nuestra pediatra, la Dra. Eva Parra.

Muchas madres se preguntan qué tienen que comer mientras están amamantando a sus hijos. La respuesta es bien sencilla, según sugiere nuestra pediatra: «no se requiere ningún tipo de alimentación específica para amamantar. Lo único que la madre no debe consumir es alcohol, drogas de abuso o algunos fármacos».

lactante

Primeros días

Los primeros días son claves y no tienen que desanimar los problemas que pueden surgir, como el dolor en el amamantamiento o el retraso en la producción del calostro, casi siempre asociados a dificultades en el enganche al pecho. Por eso, es muy importante cuidar el enganche y la postura en estas primeras tomas y contar con la ayuda de los profesionales de la lactancia (matronas, enfermeras, pediatras, asesoras de lactancia).

Una vez superada esta fase, las madres deben enfrentarse a la reincorporación al mundo laboral en el que horarios muy exigentes y poca ayuda en la conciliación pueden interferir en la continuación de la lactancia.

Hay que tener en cuenta que la Organización Mundial de la Salud recomienda la lactancia materna exclusiva (sin la introducción de otros alimentos ni bebidas) hasta los 6 meses de vida. A partir de ahí, se recomienda introducir alimentación complementaria a la lactancia, que seguirá siendo el alimento principal. La OMS recomienda continuar amamantando al menos hasta los 2 años y posteriormente todo el tiempo que la madre y el niño lo deseen.

Partos múltiples

Y, ¿qué pasa con los partos múltiples? Las madres de partos múltiples pueden producir toda la leche que sus hijos necesiten, tanto en cantidad como en composición. No obstante, la Dra. Eva Parra recuerda que la lactancia de múltiples puede ser complicada en los primeros días. «El cansancio, las dificultades para enganchar a dos niños de forma simultánea y el hecho de que uno o ambos gemelos tengan que ingresar por bajo peso o por prematuridad a menudo complican la situación», explica nuestra pediatra, quien recomienda acudir a la ayuda de profesionales para que esta situación se pueda resolver de la mejor forma posible y estas madres puedan contar con apoyo familiar para hacer frente a estas primeras semanas.

 

Contenido validado por la Dra. Eva Parra, pediatra del Hospital Universitario de Torrejón.



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