One of the most essential things for survival is feeding and newborn solely depends upon milk. Breastfeeding is ideal and best for the baby and this dictum can’t be challenged. Initially the amount of milk produced which is also known as colostrum is less in quantity but it is very essential for the baby. The quantity of milk increases as per demand but generally speaking, by day 3 evening-day 4 morning milk comes in sufficient quantity and it may also take few days for a child to learn the art of sucking and swallowing. Therefore, one must keep trying. The more the mother tries, the better it is. Even if milk is not coming what we call as non-nutritive sucking is beneficial for the mother. It increases milk production, reduces pain and helps in secretion of hormones which helps in shrinking down the size of uterus.
Breast feed should be done whenever the baby cries what we call as demand feeding but if the child is sleepy, should be woken up every 3 hourly. Ideally I would feed from 1 side in 1 go which means one must feed alternately from each breast. Feed for at least 20-30 minutes from one side only in 1 go as the initial part of milk which is foremilk is rich in water to satisfy the thirst while the latter part of the milk which is hind milk is rich in fats. The hind milk starts coming after 13 minutes of continuous feeding, therefore, we stress on 20-30 minutes. If a child goes to sleep in between, try waking the child up. Once feeding is over you need to burp the child well and the movement should be below upwards.
Kids tend to swallow a lot of air while taking breast feed which should be expelled by burping. It should be done below upwards and it can be done during feeding or after feeds as well. If child doesn’t take a burp, lay the baby towards one side as if he/she spits out a part of milk doesn’t go into windpipe. The swallowed air brings along with a small amount of milk which is known as regurgitation/possetting.
As long as it’s not a significant amount, child is taking feeds and showing adequate weight gain, one should not be bothered. It tends to decrease with time. The benefits for the baby are:
- Reduces risk of infection (ear infection and Gastrointestinal infection) and allergies
- Reduces risk of obesity and Types 1 and 2 diabetes
- Lowers the risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Have better IQ
- Get nutrients that help strengthen and develop their immature immune system
- Have optimal oral development because of their jaw movements and nutrients in breastmilk decrease the risk of tooth decay
- Gives protection against respiratory infections and infections like rotaviruses
There are many distinct advantages for the mother
- It reduces the incidence of cancer of breast and ovaries.
- It’s not only cheap and available everywhere, its most hygienically and thermo-regulated drink which can be given after carrying a small shawl.
- It results in delaying menstruating which saves from blood loss which makes an effective way of contraception.