milk remains the best, naturally available, perfect
food for your baby. It provides your baby with
complete food, water, protection against infections
and a caring environment.
Breastfeeding is instinctive and most mothers
adopt to it naturally. Though breastfeeding comes
naturally to most mothers, it needs to be nurtured
Breastfeeding improves the bonding between you
and your baby.
If you have never breastfed before or even if
you have, it is obvious to have some doubts about
The practice of breastfeeding is beneficial not
only for your baby but also to you and your family.
your pregnancy your body starts preparing you
for breastfeeding. Milk is produced by small special
glands in your breast. The number of glands in
the breast is same in all women irrespective of
the size of breast. Larger breasts contains only
fat and fibrous tissue
Two hormones play an important role in Breast
milk secretion, namely,
stimulates the cells in the breast to produce
milk. There is gradual increase in the production
of prolactin during pregnancy and lactation The
secretion of Prolactin depends upon the time spent
by baby at the breast, while sucking and the frequency
of nursing during the day and night, as well.
the tiny muscle cells within your breast to contract,
thus helping in milk ejection. This is known as
" Let down reflex ".
occurs every time you breastfeed. The signs of
let down are different from woman to woman. It
can be a brief prickle or tingle or slight pain
in your breast or even dripping of milk from the
breast. You may feel strong cramps in your lower
abdomen. This is because oxytocin, which stimulates
the milk flow, also causes contraction of the
uterine muscles and thus helps to revert the uterus
to its pre-pregnant size. This would go away by
to make Breastfeeding comfortable:
in a comfortable position with good support
for your arms and back.
sure your baby is in the proper position
on your breast.
to soothing music and sip a nutritious drink
not smoke or drink alcohol. All these contain
substances that can interfere with milk let
down and affect the contents of your breast
nursing bras and clothes that are easy to
undo. Nursing bras have front closing flaps
that come down to expose your nipple and part
of your breast.
- Sometimes just
thinking about your baby helps let down take
Of Milk Secretion:
you become pregnant, the hormonal environment
created in your body starts preparing for breast
milk secretion. By the 4th and 5th
month of pregnancy, your breast is capable of
secreting the first milk called colostrum. It
contains essential nutrients for your baby and
is usually secreted for the first 3-4 days post
delivery till your mature milk "comes in".
milk consists of:
Of Breast Milk:
breast milk has a unique feature of changing its
quality as time progresses after delivery.
first milk which is thick, yellowish in color
is called colostrum. In India, there is myth of
discarding the colostrum, thinking it is stale
milk or witch’s milk. But this is not true. Infact,
this provides the new born with complete food,
adequate protection against infections in early
age and also helps in bonding.
protein content which includes immunoglobulins
immunoglobulins (fighter cells) and white
blood cells provide immunity (protection)
to the baby, which last up to 6 – 9 months.
concentration of Vit. A, Vit. D, Vit. E, Vit.
carbohydrate and fat content, that makes it
easy to digest.
like lipase and lactase, which help in digestion.
secretion lasts for 4-5
days; thereafter the mother’s mature
milk "comes in".
milk though thinner and watery contains all the
nutrients required. It has a special quality of
changing its composition during the length of
a single feed.
low fat but high in proteins, minerals, vitamins
and water. It is secreted in the first part of
the feed. It satisfies your baby’s thirst.
in fat. Satisfies baby’s hunger and supplies more
energy required for growth. It is secreted in
the last part of the feed.
(Ig A), white blood cells and antibodies help
in building defense mechanism of baby.
factor prevents growth of harmful bacteria
in baby’s intestine.
- Lactoferrin binds
iron thus preventing anemia.