KOCHI: Do you want your baby to grow tall, smart and healthy? Then here is the formula of the day. Breastfeed for the first 6 months. It is also known as exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) no honey, grape water, sugar water or formula feed. After 6 months along with breast milk add other homemade foods. Breast milk provides ideal nutrition for infants. It has the perfect blends of fat, vitamins, proteins and everything else that your baby needs for a healthy growth.
Benefits of breastfeeding to newborn
1. Breast milk is known to contain antibodies which help them fight bacteria and viruses.
2. Babies breastfed for 6 months of life are less prone to diarrhoea, ear infections and respiratory illness.
3. It reduces the risk of asthma and allergies in the newborn.
4. EBF babies gain the right amount of weight preventing childhood obesity and other metabolic problems in adulthood.
5. EBF babies are found to have a higher intelligent quotient.
The benefit of breastfeeding to mother
1. Can lose pregnancy weight faster, by burning extra calories.
2. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin and helps in uterus return to pre-pregnancy size and may reduce bleeding after birth.
3. It lowers your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
4. It helps in forming a beautiful bond between you and your baby which is priceless.
5. It is economical and easy to dispense.
These are the reasons why world health organisation insists that mothers breast
milk should be given exclusively for 6 months.
Most common doubts raised by mothers and its answers
Q: My milk is very thick and scanty
A. First 2-3 days after delivery colostrum is secreted, that is very thick pearly white and rich in immunity boosters, don’t waste it.
Q: My milk is very thin and watery
A. It is the foremilk, rich in nutrition, don’t worry. Keep feeding on demand.
Q: I have less milk coming
A. Take a balanced food rich in green leaves, we can also add some medicines to improve milk secretions. Keep the newborn close to you all the time.
Q: Can I use contraceptive pills during breastfeeding?
A. We have breast milk friendly OC Pills.
Q. I am a working lady and I can’t take leave
A. Breast milk expressed in a wide-mouthed sterile container stored at room temperature can be used up to 4 hours. In the refrigerator up to 4 days. In the freezer up to 6 months.
Q. What is breast milk banking?
A. The donated breast milk is pasteurized and stored in a low temperature and given to needy newborns. For example: For Babies weighing less than 1500 gms whose mother is sick.
Q. I have cracked nipples and it is very painful.
A. Start applying coconut oil from the 4th month of pregnancy and massage nipple and areola to make it soft and supple and in proper shape to prevent cracked nipples.