Failure: Myth or Reality
milk is the universally acknowledged ideal and
complete food for her and the baby. Breastfeeding
is instinctive and most mothers adopt to it naturally.
However, at the slightest problem they encounter,
they switch over easily to top milk. Normal healthy
newborns do not require any type of pre lacteal
feeds, as colostrum is sufficient to meet the
needs of the newborn baby. The administration
of pre lacteal feeds interferes with sucking and
prolactin production and ultimately undermines
your confidence in your ability to breastfeed.
commonest reason when you feel that you are
having insufficient milk
is because your baby cries a lot.
From the clinicians viewpoint, it is necessary
to ascertain whether the baby is getting sufficient
milk or not or
whether there is a genuine problem.
cry for a variety of others reasons (feeling
cold, being in a wet diaper,colic,etc) and
not only because of inadequate feeds.
- Your baby who
is on exclusive breastfeeds and is showing appropriate
weight gain 18 – 30 grams a day or 500 – 1000
gms per month and who passes urine at least
6 – 8 times in a day,1 is definitely getting
sufficient milk and you requires only
positive support and a reiteration of the
adequacy of your milk for your baby.
Feeding In Situations
situations arise when you may have a query about
continuation of breastfeeding.
Common Maternal illness:
most common illness like common cold, bacterial
infections, flu, fever etc. you should continue
breastfeeding. This, infact, benefits the baby.
If you are breastfeeding, by the time you show
the symptoms of an illness, your baby has already
been exposed to it. So continue breastfeeding.
During your illness you have started producing
antibodies (fighter cells). These pass on to your
baby through your milk. Thus providing adequate
protection against the illness.
in some cases you may be advised not to breastfeed
with untreated tuberculosis cannot breastfeed
till the treatment begins for both the mother
and the baby.
with hepatitis B infection can breastfeed
their babies if the baby has received
the hepatitis B vaccine in the first few days
such babies milk from the human milk banks
can be given.
is the infection of a blocked
milk duct. This can causes swelling, redness and
pain in the breast. If this occurs consult your
doctor. Lots of rest, warm compresses, antibiotics,
adequate breast support and breastfeeding is required.
Continue feeding, as the
infection doesn’t contaminate your breast milk.
Frequent nursing helps in draining your breast
thereby preventing the spread.
/ Sore nipples:
called sore nipples, in early days, is due to
improper positioning of your baby. Therefore proper
during breastfeeding should be adopted.
Proper care of the sore nipples
should be taken.
if present, in the last months of pregnancy
should be corrected with the doctor’s advice.
If feeding is not possible then breast milk can
be given to the baby after expressing the milk .
you have twins, it is possible to breast-feed them
at the same time, having one baby at each breast.
You can hold one baby at each side, called the
“football hold,” or you can cradle them both in
front of you with their bodies crossing each other,
as they would have been in ruterus. Alternate
the breast, each baby uses at each feeding or
at least once a day. If you have any difficulty,
please consult your Gynaecologist or Paediatrician.
after ceaserian section:
Nursing after caeserian
section is little painful in the beginning. With
the help from a relative nurse one should start
breast-feeding within 4 – 6 hours. It is preferable
to put the baby on breast directly and help the
baby to suck on the breast. OR the mother can
turn to one side gently and nurse the baby by
First 24 hours, she can take the posture, which
is comfortable to her and baby for breast-feeding.
Many premature babies
are unable to breast feed, directly in the beginning.
8 –10 times/day and collect it in clean bowl, wati
or cup for feeding your baby. This will enable
adequate secretion when your baby is able to
suck the breast in future. Human
milk has been shown to be very beneficial to premature
and sick newborn by helping growth and preventing
feeding in a HIV positive Mother:
recent is to avoid breastfeeding in HIV positive
mothers. But this is NOT practical in developing
countries like India.
Your Baby From Breast Milk
communities have different cultural beliefs
regarding their introduction of semi solid foods
in the infant’s diet. It is important to make
this transition to semi solid food as easy and
enjoyable process. The first semi solid foods
should normally be introduced at the age of
4 – 5 months.
need to be patient when your baby is first introduced
to semi solids
should not force the baby for eating.
baby may often spit the food , this does not
mean that he/she is not hungry or does not
like food . This is because the ability to
swallow develops very slowly.
Try to have flexible schedules based on
signs of hunger in your baby.
After the first few weeks, a healthy infant
will develop a self-regulated feeding schedule.
The total number of feeds per day will
slowly decrease to about 6. By the time the
infant is 6 months old. However each infant
has his/her own routine which may vary. This
may differ in different
of weaning food while being breastfed, weaning
food provides additional energy and nutrients
to your baby.
good weaning food should have:
be easily digestible.
be semi solid (not very thick) in consistency.
be clean and freshly prepared.
be inexpensive, easy to prepare and tasty.
Remember, what you can't swallow cannot be
is important to continue breastfeed, while
Introduce one food at a time. Let your
child get use to it.
Begin with a very small quantity.
thinner consistency before and then gradually
increase the consistency to solids as your
baby learns to push the food back with help
of the tongue.
If your baby does not like the food, try
mixing it with something else.
Variety in choice of food is essential.
Try new flavours.
quantity of each feed should increase as the
Avoid distractions while feeding.
contain 7 to 12% of protein, 75% of carbohydrate
and some amount of fat. A thick creamy porridge
can be prepared by mixing the cereals with milk
/ mixture of milk and water. You can also add
a little oil / fat / sugar to make it richer in
calories and easier to swallow and digest.Cereals
like wheat, bajra, jowar, maize, rice, ragi, suji
(rawa/semolina) can be used to prepare porridge.
contain 10 – 25% of protein (soyabean 40%) and
are also rich in vitamins (Vitamin B-complex)
and minerals (iron). Legumes needs to be cooked
thoroughly and mashed to make them easily digestible.
When given with cereal staples, they are as
nutritious as the animal foods. Pulses
like bengal gram (chana dal), red gram (tuvor
dal), green gram(moong dal),black gram (urad
dal), lentils (masoor dal) can be added to the
process helps in conserving the nutritive values
of cereals and pulses. Cereals like bajra, jowar,
wheat, ragi, etc. and pulses like green gram
(moong dal) can be malted.
can be done by:
the cereals or pulses overnight.
them in a wet cloth until it sprouts (about
or roast them.
flour of the dried or roasted cereals or pulses.
them in an airtight container for further
of malted foods:
the caloric content is in the malted foods,
amounts can give more Calories and nutrients.
increases the content of Vit. B and Vit. C.
it is precooked, it can be stored and can
be used immediately
At around 5th
- 6th month the frequency of breastfeeding
can be reduced and substituted by animal milk.
Cow’s/ buffalo’s /goat’s milk can be used.
content of various animal milks differs.
- This milk contains
high amount of Vit.B6 and calcium,
some amount of Vit.A and Vit.C, but very little
- Fat content of
the buffalo’s milk is twice that of human milk
and cow’s milk.
- Goat’s milk does
not have Vit.B12.
Milk can be
given by diluting it with boiled and cooled water
in the proportion of 2:1, initially. Sugar may
be added to make it palatable and increase its
caloric contents. It can be given in a bottle
/ by cup and spoon.
Commonly given are banana, guava,
melons, mango, and citrus fruits and any other
commonly available in your area. Before giving
any fruits to your baby wash it with clean water,
peel carefully, de seed it and then mash it. Fruit
juices should be strained and diluted with boiled
water, in equal amount in earlier stages.The amount
of fruit juice feed should be increased graudually
by decreasing the dilution.
Strained green leafy
vegetables, spinach, mashed potatoes, tomatoes
and gourds can be started by 5-6 months.
the food palatable, soft and helps in absorption
of Vit.A.They can be mixed with porridge and mashed
All of them are rich in
protein, Vit. B12, and iron. They are also easily
digestible if cooked properly. Egg yolk can be
given from 4 – 6 months. Avoid egg white for 8
– 10 months as it may cause allergic reaction.
Egg yolk can be added to the porridge Cooked
ground and strained fish and meat can be given
from 7-8 months. Fish should be either baked or
boiled or steamed but not fried. Meat can be given
in the form of soups.
A human milk bank is an institution established
for the purpose of collecting, screening, processing,
storing and distributing donated human milk for
the babies with mother who are not in a position
to breast feed.
milk bank facility is available at:
of Breast Milk
- The mothers expressing
milk to feed their own pre-term sick babies.
- Mothers who are
following up in the follow up clinics whose
breast milk is in excess of their baby’s demand
and are willing to donate.
- These donors are
screened for the diseases like Hepatitis B,
Syphilis and HIV.
- Used for the
feeding of premature babies, when mother’s
milk is not available.
- Used for the
babies of the mother’s suffering from mastitis/
breast abscess / breast cancer/on anti-cancer
- Can be used for babies who have