Reader ‘s opinion The mother should be given time and peace to learn to breastfeed

Instead of substitute feeding, the spouse can help the mother by doing housework and putting in the food.

Managing Director Esa Mäkinen reflected on her writing (HS Markings 8.1.) fatigue of mothers of infants and feeding the baby. She raised the important issue of the need for mother support.

We want to explain why bottle feeding is not a good way to support the well-being of mother and child, and what can be done instead of bottle feeding.

Especially In the beginning, getting used to breastfeeding takes time and dedication. That is why it is important for a breastfeeding mother to give time and peace to learn to breastfeed. There are many ways to support a mother other than infant formula feeding to the baby. The spouse can take care of the baby and other children as well as other household chores, put food for the mother and allow the mother her own time to relax and take care of her well-being.

Breast milk can also be milked in the refrigerator and frozen in advance. This allows the baby to be breastfed, for example at night while the mother is sleeping or going for a run.

The benefits of breast milk are undeniable for both the baby and the baby. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the short- and long-term morbidity of the child and the mother. In addition, breastfeeding promotes early interaction and is economical and environmentally friendly.

Healthcare The practices must be based on the best up-to-date research data, which is why mothers in Finland are encouraged to breastfeed.

The recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) emphasize parental rotation in baby care from the outset. Breastfeeding is a fairly short period in life and can provide wonderful, leisurely and rewarding moments of intimacy. Instead of feeding bottles, families should seek timely support from related parties and health care in case of problems.

The situations of families with babies are different, and breastfeeding is not always possible or ends before the age of one. There is no need to feel guilty about it. In this case, a child under one year of age is fed a breast milk substitute until the age of six months and then a weaning product at the age of 6 to 12 months. You can get guidance from the counseling center about the amount of milk that is right for your child and also about the tasting portions when switching to solid food.

Published by the State Nutrition Advisory Board and THL Let’s eat together – food recommendations for families with children (2019) is available online in three languages. In Finland, all pregnant women can get the We Come Baby guide (2019) or an online link to it from the clinic. The guide provides factual information about the child’s nutrition such as breastfeeding and bottle feeding, and also says that it is good for the spouse to be involved in the care of the baby from the beginning.

In the guide emphasizes the importance of parental resilience and rotation in the care of the child. Parents are encouraged to strengthen their own support network in good time before the baby is born. Parents are also motivated to share their feelings openly with counseling visits and to ask for help so that the counseling center can tailor the help the family needs.

Parenting is a community issue and no one has to survive in parenting alone.

Heli Kuusipalo

Sari Niinistö

specialist researchers

Tuovi Hakulinen

research manager

Suvi Virtanen

Research Professor, Member of the State Nutrition Advisory Board

Department of Health and Welfare

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or learn about the principles of writing at


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