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       Breast feeding




Advantages of Breast feeding

 The practice of breast-feeding is beneficial not only for your baby but also to you and your family.

Advantages to the Baby

Complete food.

Available in right quantity, at right time, at right temperature.

Easily digestible as it contains digestive enzymes. (Lipase and lactase).

Contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are necessary for your baby’s brain development.

Contains immunoglobulin, white blood cells and antibodies, which protect against infections.

Breast milk contains bifidus factor, which prevents the growth of harmful organisms in the intestine. Also there is no contamination with water or by dirty bottles. This prevents diarrhoeal diseases in your baby.

Breast milk also gives protection against respiratory      infections and allergies.

Suckling at the breast increases the strength of the muscles of the jaw. It also helps in proper dental development.

 It helps in developing an early emotional attachment
 with the mother.


Advantages to the Mother

  • Decreases your workload, as there are no bottles to be cleaned.
  • Formula foods to be bought and preparation of milk.
  • Makes night feed convenient.
  • Oxytocin produced helps in reverting the size of the uterus to the pre-pregnancy state.
  • Nursing mothers are less prone to develop breast cancer.
  • Breastfeeding provides natural method of contraception.     
  • It is economical to the family.
  • It helps in emotional bonding.

When To Start

(i) Feeding for the first time:

 Ideally, the baby should be breast fed within 30 minutes to 1 hour after delivery. If you had a Caesarian Section, breast-feeding should be started within 4 hours or as soon as the effect of sedation has worn off .

(ii) Continuation of the process:

Ideally the infant should be exclusively breastfed    , upto 4-5 months, atleast.A newborn baby should be breastfed every 11/2 –3 hours initially.-followed by breast feeding on demand. If your baby is sleeping for longer period of time, wake him/ her up for feeding. For some mothers and babies breastfeeding go on smoothly. But for e others it may become tiresome. This is normal. Practice will make everything fine. It is necessary to continue breastfeeding.with your baby.

Feeding Discipline

Some Feeding postures

Feeding Hours and Habits:

“Feed on demand” should be the motto. The baby should be fed every 11/2-3hours in the first few weeks. You can develop a feeding routine with your baby. Feed your baby just before going to bed, which will not make him hungry for another 2-3 hours. Thus you can get at least 2-3 hours of peaceful sleep.  Feed again once in the night and then on waking up from bed, before you start working. Some babies take milk rapidly. They may empty each breast in 5-6 minutes. Others may take more time, up to 15 – 20 minutes. You should feed the baby at one breast. When he/she spontaneously releases the first breast, second breast should be given. A satisfied baby may not feed at the second breast. So the second breast should be offered during subsequent feed. After feeding, the baby must be helped to burping. During suckling the baby swallows some air. This excess air in stomach may cause regurgitation and vomiting. This can be done by holding the baby erect over your shoulder.

Some Feeding postures

Why Only Breast Feeding

Exclusive breast-feeding means feeding of an infant with only mother’s milk. If you are breast-feeding your baby adequately     , then there is no need to give extra supplementation; not even water, honey etc.Babies of, 4-5 months, at least, should be exclusively breast-fed.
 Beside the other advantages of breast-feeding     , exclusive breast-feeding protects your baby against the development of allergies, diseases like coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, childhood onset of diabetes and childhood cancers. As no bottles, water or any top feeds are used there are no chances of contamination; so no risks of infections. 

Adequate Breast Feeding
As you start breast-feeding, you may be curious about whether your baby is getting enough milk. A newborn baby should be breastfed every 11/2 to 3 hours around the clock. Even if your baby is sleeping wake him/ her after 3 hours and feed him/her.

 You can make it out by the following things:

  • Your baby passes pale yellow urine for about 6-7 times
     a day from around the third or fourth day of life.
  • Your baby is passing bright yellow, soft stools 2-5 times a day.
  • Your baby is having a steady weight gain after the first week of age. This is because the baby weight decreases by 10% in the first week.
  • Your baby is sleeping well, but when awake is always alert, happy and has good physical activities.
  • Your baby does not vomit or spit after each feed.
  • If your baby does so, then
  1. Hold your baby in upright position. This helps your baby to burp.
  2. Avoid interruptions or sudden distractions.

 If your baby refuses to breast-feed then it may be a sign of an illness. Consult your Paediatrician.


Recommended:  book
"The new parent"
by author Martha


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