While the production of the milk is ‘natural’, breastfeeding is an acquired skill. It comes easily and naturally to some women while others get frustrated and are ready to give up. It is important to persevere for all mothers eventually do manage to breastfeed their offspring.
The advantages for both Baby and Mother are:
- Contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins in right proportions
- Contains antibodies that protect the baby against certain diseases
- Is available at the right temperature
- No risk of contamination
- Better mental development
- Decreases risk of allergy
- Helps in healthy jaw development of the baby, straighter teeth.
- Lesser ear infections, chest infections, eczema
- Lower risk of diabetes
- Gives the baby a sense of security and contentment
- Helps forge strong ties between mother and child
- Lesser bleeding after delivery
- The woman return to her pre-pregnancy state faster
- Protects against breast cancer and ovarian cancer
- Contraception – but not foolproof
- No problem of storage or hygiene.
- No added cost
How to breastfeed?
- Initiate breastfeeding within the first 30-60 minutes of birth.
- Avoid honey as it can cause a serious infection - botulism.
- Colostrum, the clear watery secretion that is secreted initially, should not be discarded as:
- It is rich proteins, vitamin A
- Prevents the development of allergies
- Contains antibodies that protect the baby from infections.
- Breastfeed on demand – Every 2-3 hours devoting 10-15 minutes to each breast.
Correct Positioning is also important- Know how?
Correct positioning is important. Few tips mentioned below can make you enjoy this period.
- Maintain a semi-reclining position in bed or sit on a straight backed chair with arm rests and a pillow/feeding pillow on the mother’s lap.
- With the baby fully supported with the mother’s arm and hand, she should bring his face close to her breast instead of leaning forwards as prolonged faulty posture can cause a backache.
- Do not thrust the nipple in his mouth. Touch it on the side of his mouth, he will open it and latch on.
- Support the breast with the other hand so that it does not block the baby’s nose.
- Burp the baby after every feed to prevent regurgitation.
POSITIONING OF THE BABY WHILE BREASTFEEDING
|Baby’s neck straight or bent slightly back
||Baby’s neck twisted or bent forwards
|Baby’s body turned towards the mother
||Baby’s body turned away from the mother
|Baby’s body close to the mother
||Baby’s body not close to the mother
|Baby’s body wholly supported
||Baby’s body not wholly supported
|There is eye contact with the mother
There is no eye contact with the mother
|Baby’s mouth latched on to the areolar
||Baby’s mouth attached to the nipple
|After feeding, negative pressure is released by pulling down the baby’s chin
||Nipple pulled out of baby’s mouth while still sucking
The concern of most mothers is whether her milk is sufficient. Size of the breast does not matter. It is a rare mother who produces insufficient milk for her child. The mother will know that she is producing sufficient milk if the baby:
- Is gaining weight
- Passing urine frequently
- Is active
- Sleeps well
- Appears healthy and happy
What should be the mother’s diet during Breast Feeding?
Dr. Amrinder Kaur Bajaj, head of the department and senior consultant of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh says, "It is important that the mother takes a balanced, nutritious diet with enough of calcium, vitamins and proteins, and fluids. She does not have to give up any type of food while breastfeeding despite prevailing myths. However, drugs are secreted in milk and should be taken only after consulting a doctor. Across the counter powders and medicines sold to enhance secretion of breast milk, work as placebos. The best way to increase milk secretion is frequent suckling by the baby.