ABC of Breastfeeding
(World Breastfeeding week 1-7 August )
Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn. It should be initiated within the first hour after birth. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.
1.Breast milk is a nearly perfect mixture of vitamins, protein, and fat, in a digestible form that is complete for the overall growth of a newborn. 2.It contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria, lowers the risk of having allergies, infections, diarrhea and malnutrition.
3.It is also linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood,appropriate weight gain.
4.Plays a role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
5.Lowers the risk of diabetes, obesity.
Benefits for the mother
1.Breastfeeding benefits for the mother are burning of extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster;
2.Release of hormone oxytocin which helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size;
3.Lowers risk of breast and ovarian cancer and your risk of osteoporosis, too.
Common challenges faced with breastfeeding are sore, dry, cracked nipples, worries about producing enough milk, pumping and storing milk, inverted nipples, breast engorgement and infection .The answers to all these questions lie in learning the accurate method of breastfeeding (latching).In case of doubts, one should consult a lactation consultant. Contact: Dr V.Theivendran MD(peds) Fellow in neonatology(Consultant Head of Neonatology and Pediatrics), Devadoss multi Speciality Hospital, Madurai.
(*Medical facts memtioned are based on the expert’s understanding of the said field.)
THE ABC OF BREAST FEEDING
A – Awareness of your baby’s sign of hunger and keep breastfeeding on demand.
B – Be patient. The baby will usually take 10-20 mins for each feed.
C – comfort. Relax while breastfeeding,and your milk is more likely to flow.