Breastfeeding – A Healthy Future For Your Baby
When do I start nursing(breastfeeding) my little one?
Breastfeeding or Bottle-feeding – what’s your choice?
Do you know the importance of breastfeeding?
I have fever, can I breastfeed my baby?
After giving birth, life seems to be pretty exciting seeing your munchkin. Your emotions all over the place, especially when you start feeding your little one. The most important thing you need to do is to always put your baby near you and get breastfeeding on track.
Breastfeeding is the best and natural way to feed your little one. Breast milk provides various health and developmental benefits to your baby. For your child, breast milk is the healthiest food during infancy. Breast milk contains a lot of nutrients and antibodies required for your baby to survive and thrive. It provides your child with better health and immunity for his or her later years.
Mothers may have a lot of questions and concerns associated with breastfeeding a baby. Let’s read this article about breastfeeding and get the answers to your questions.
When should I start breastfeeding my newborn baby?
Every mother should start breastfeeding at the earliest possible time. The ideal time for breast-feeding is within the first hour after the baby is delivered because it usually takes about an hour for the mother to stabilize either from normal delivery or c section.
It’s also an ideal time to teach your little one to latch on to the mother. Making the baby latch on and learning how to nurse is very important. The first feed is usually thick and yellow cloured milk called colostrum which is very healthful to build natural immunity of the baby.
In certain cases of C-section delivery, a mother needs more time to recover from surgery and other complications. In such conditions, breastfeeding may be delayed for a few hours.
For the first few weeks after birth, the baby breastfeeds every two to three hours, and the duration of feeding on each breast maybe around ten to fifteen minutes.
What Are The Best Recommendations For Breastfeeding?
According to the World Health Organization(WHO), as global public health advice, they recommend:
- Newborns need to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months after birth. That means the infant does not receive any other additional supplements unless recommended by the doctor.
- After six months until the infant is 12 months old, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding and gradually introduce liquid and some soft solid foods into the baby’s diet.
- After a year, breastfeeding can be continued based on the conditions.
Breastfeeding vs Bottle-feeding – What’s Your Choice?
The ideal food for a newborn is breast milk. Mothers milk contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water in the right balance. No other milk is as healthy as mothers milk.
Bottle feeding with infant formula is the recent practice where manufacturers are artificially making baby foods. It doesn’t contain natural disease-fighting factors or the digestive enzymes that breast milk has. The nutrients in baby food are difficult to digest and absorb for a baby. They may lack in providing enough fats, lactose, zinc, iron and other nutrients required for the healthy growth of a newborn.
What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding confers unique benefits for both mother and child. Breast Milk is easier to digest for your newborn. Breastfeeding women tend to recover faster from childbirth than other women who do not nurse their babies.
- Breast Milk provides essential nutrition for your babies
- Breast milk is filled with antibodies required for your baby to fight against viruses and bacteria
- Many studies show that breastfeeding can save your babies from acute and chronic diseases like
- gastrointestinal tract infection (diarrhoea), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory tract infections (cold), pneumonia, urinary tract infections, , Celiac disease, ear infections, childhood leukaemia and allergic reactions like atopic dermatitis and asthma.
- Breastfeeding helps the mother to burn calories and may help to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
- During pregnancy, your uterus is enlarged. Breastfeeding can help the uterus to contract to its previous smaller size and also stops blood loss after delivery.
- Postpartum depression – a type of depression develops shortly after childbirth; breastfeeding can reduce 15% postpartum depression in mothers.
- Breastfeeding also helps in delaying the return of menstruation and fertility.
- Breastfeeding women have lower chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- The long term benefits for a mother include decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and less prone to develop high BP, diabetes, high cholesterol etc.
- Breastfeeding helps in releasing a hormone called oxytocin in your body, a feel-good hormone which promotes relaxation.
Breast milk helps to gain healthy weight and can prevent childhood obesity. Breastfeeding Mothers might be less likely to affect osteoporosis.
Medical Considerations With Breastfeeding
In a few conditions, breastfeeding can harm your baby. You should consult a doctor for better suggestions before breastfeeding if you meet the following conditions.
- If you have HIV, you will transmit the HIV-virus to your baby through breast milk.
- If you have untreated tuberculosis(TB)
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer
- If you are addicted to drugs like cocaine or marijuana
- If your baby has galactosemia – a rare condition where a baby cannot metabolize the natural sugar(galactose) in breast milk)
- If you are taking a course of medications for migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis etc.
Common illnesses like flu, cold, cough, fever(malaria, typhoid, viral, dengue), diarrhoea, gastritis, breast abscess etc., should not be a contraindication for breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding decreases the risk of obesity in the future and can also improve the cognitive development of your child. Breastfeeding can prevent nearly 8,20,000 deaths of children globally every year who are under the age of five. If you are unable to breastfeed, then formula feeding your baby is completely fine. For more information, you can contact our experts at Sunshine Hospitals right away.
About The Doctor:
Dr. T Rajeshwari Reddy – MBBS, MS (OBG)
Dr. T Rajeshwari Reddy is a renowned Gynaecologist and a well known laparoscopic surgeon in Hyderabad. She has gained a lot of good-will from every single patient she has treated. Along with her exceptional skills in treating infertility problems, she is also good at personal counselling, which has helped many people to overcome their worries.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.
The Team of Gynaecologists at Sunshine Hospitals brings to the table a cumulative work experience of 50 years. The obstetrics sub-speciality extends comprehensive care to women’s reproductive tract and attends to infants during pregnancy (prenatal period), childbirth and the postnatal period. The Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology provides 24×7 anaesthetic cover for the needs of labouring women, either for painless delivery or emergency caesarian section.