Breast milk is your baby’s first taste. Ensure that you initiate it within half an hour of birth.
Dr. Manju Wali, Senior Consultant, Gynaecology, Max Healthcare Patparganj says, "Babies have growth spurts usually around 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. It is possible that your baby may become fussy and demand feed more often. So, you can make the feedings as frequent as 1 to 2 hours".
Feeding can be Demand or Schedule Feeding. Demand whenever the baby cries, Schedule feeding every two hours.
How will I know that my Baby is ready to feed?
- Turning head as if looking for the breast
- Sucking motions
- Moving hands and legs rapidly
- Crying indefinitely
How to ensure whether my Baby is getting enough milk?
- Baby is nursing 8-12 times in 24 hours
- Urine is pale and odourless
- There are at least six wet diapers once in a day
- Soft yellow bowel movements
- Baby is content and settles well between feeds
- Baby is active and alert when awake
- Steady gain in weight
- Normal sleeping routine.
What should be the duration of feed each time?
- Do not limit the length of time your baby's nurses at each feeding
- A feeding may last anywhere from 25-45 minutes
- Foremilk quenches your baby’s thirst
- Your baby gets the richer milk (hindmilk) toward the end of the feed as your breasts soften. The hindmilk keeps your baby satisfied for longer and helps her /him gain weight
- Let your baby feed on the first breast until she/he lets go of the breast or falls asleep.
- After burping your baby, offer the second breast. It may happen that your baby may refuse or not nurse so you can start on the other side for the next feeding.
Which food items can increase milk supply?
Certain foods are popularly believed to increase the supply of breast milk and some are even backed by research.
- Fenugreek seeds (methi), fennel seeiteds (saunf) garlic (lehsun) are such food items. Though there isn't any scientific research associated with the consumption of these foods, despite that many mothers swear by them and say these foods are helpful in increasing breast milk supply.
- Cumin seeds (jeera), black sesame seeds (til), carom seeds (ajwain), are traditionally believed to increase milk supply.
- Green and Gourd vegetables: Vegetables from the gourd family like bottle gourd (lauki), apple goud (tinda), and sponge gourd (tori) are traditional foods that may help to improve milk supply.
- Pulses or lentils (dals): Pulses especially red lentis or masoor dal do not only improve milk supply but are also high in iron and fibre.
- Nuts and dried fruits (meva): Almonds (badaam) and cashews (kaju) are believed to boost breast milk production.
- Plenty of milk and milk products. Non-vegetarians can also take fish to increase milk supply.
Breastfeeding and infant health are strongly linked. It serves as baby’s first immunisation and keeps your baby warm. Mothers’ continue breastfeeding for at least 6 months. The bond between mother and child is stronger in breastfeeding babies.