A new born baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arm of their mother, food from her breasts and security in the knowledge of the presence. Breast feeding satisfies all three. After the birth of a child breast feeding is one of the mother’s precious gift to her child and also to her herself.
Commencement and Timing of Feeding
It is recommended to breast feed the baby within an hour of birth. New born who are immediately placed on the mother’s stem have a natural instinct to latch on to the breast and start nursing. Newborn babies should be breast fed every 1-3 hours i.e. 8 – 10 times in 24 hours for 10-15 minutes every time in the first two to four weeks of birth. As babies grow the size of the stomach gradually increases and also the volume of milk let down. The breast feeding duration and frequency therefore changes. From age 1 -6 months, baby needs to be fed for 20 to 40 minutes per breast every 3 – 4 hours.
A baby should be exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months of life. After 6 month solid food are added gradually and along with it breast feeding should continue till to age of 18 months to 24 months.
Composition of Breast Milk:
The first type produced during the first days after childbirth is called colostrum. Colostrum is more concentrated than mature milk but is easy to digest. It also has to mild laxative effect thus helps gut motility and reduce jaundice. It is rich in immunoglobulins which prevents infection in newborn who is exposed to outside world after birth.
Breast milk has an optimal balance of fat sugar, water and proteins that are needed for a baby’s growth. Breast milk contains rich quantities of poly unsaturated fatty acids for neurological development of baby.
Position for Feeding:
Sitting position should be adopted to feed the baby with properly supporting the head of baby. This position prevents aspiration of milk. When baby growth can be fed in supine position. The rooting reflex is the baby’s natural tendency to turn towards the breast with mouth open wide. Mothers sometimes make use of this by gently stroking baby’s check or lips.
Advantages of Breast Feeding:
Diet during Pregnancy :
Choose foods, rich in iron, protein and calcium lentils, cereals, whole grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruits. Food rich in vitamin C such as citrus feed. For protein consider egg and dairy products.