BY Umair Shafiq Khanday
Every year the world marks Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to August 7. It is celebrated to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) and other organisations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the process of feeding human breast milk to a child, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that breastfeeding begin within the first hour of a baby’s life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.
During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse roughly every two to three hours, and the duration of a feeding is usually ten to fifteen minutes on each breast.Older children feed less often.Mothers may pump milk so that it can be used later when breastfeeding is not possible. Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby, which infant formula lacks.
Signs Your Baby is Hungry
Most commonly your baby will let you know that they’re hungry is to cry. Other signs your baby is ready to be fed include:
Licking their lips or sticking out their tongue.
Rooting, which is moving their jaw, mouth, or head to look for your breast
Putting their hand in their mouth
Opening their mouth.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby
Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – everything your baby needs to grow. And it’s all provided in a form more easily digested than formula milk .
Breast milk contains antibodies (IgA) that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies and babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
They also have fewer hospitalizations and doctor visits.
Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother
Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster.
It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size ( Inovulation) and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis too.
Tips for New Breastfeeding Moms
Get regular prenatal care to help you avoid preterm birth.
Tell your doctor you plan to breastfeed and ask what support the facility you plan to deliver offers to help you breastfeed after birth.
Take a breastfeeding class.
Ask your doctor to connect you with a lactation consultant, who can teach you breastfeeding basics and help you if you have issues.
Talk to your doctor about any health conditions you have or medications you take that could interfere with breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor and hospital health care providers that you want to breastfeed as soon as possible after delivery.
Talk to friends who breastfeed or join a support group for breastfeeding.
Stock up on the supplies you need for breastfeeding, such as nursing bras and other items…
Proper techniques for breastfeeding
Observing other breastfeeding mothers and talking with breastfeeding support organizations can help new breastfeeding mothers learn techniques for optimal breastfeeding that can help reduce the likelihood of any discomfort or complications. These techniques are briefly outlined below.
After the mother has assumed a position comfortable for her, she can nestle the baby in a cradle hold (cradling the baby with the mother’s arm on the same side as the breast being presented). The baby’s body should be on its side, so that the baby does not have to turn his or her head to reach the nipple.
First, manually express a few drops of milk to moisten the nipple.
Cup the breast with your hand and using the milk-moistened nipple, gently massage the baby’s lips, encouraging the baby to open its mouth.
When the baby’s mouth is opened, the nipple is inserted into the center of the baby’s mouth while pulling the baby in very close. The baby’s gums should take in at least a 1-inch radius of the areola.
When feeding is over, to avoid trauma to your nipples, do not pull your nipple from baby’s mouth without first breaking the suction by inserting your finger into the corner of baby’s mouth.
Myth 1 – Women With Smaller Breasts Will Not Produce Enough Milk for the Baby
Myth 2 – It Is Normal for Breast-Feeding to Hurt.
Myth 3– If the Mother Has to Take Medicines, She Should Stop Breastfeeding.
Myth 4 – Breast Feeding Babies Need Extra Vitamin D.
We all know the saying “breast is best” but here are some of the colossal benefits, and a couple quirky facts, about breastfeeding.
- Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, including:
Respiratory tract infections
Urinary tract infections
Common colds and flus
- Breastfeeding can actually reduce baby’s risk of disease later in life, including:
Type I and II diabetes
High blood pressure
High cholesterol levels
Massage from Author
A Newborn Baby Has Only Three Demands. They Are Warmth In The Arms Of Its Mother, Food From Her Breasts, And Security In The Knowledge Of Her Presence. Breastfeeding Satisfies All Three.
Aware expectant mothers about exclusively breastfeeding which inturn yields healthy childhood.
Umair Shafiq Khanday,Bsc Nursing ,Pacific Institute Of Medical Sciences Udaipur Rajasthan.