Breaking Breastfeeding – The New Indian Express


By Express news service

CHENNAI: It’s not news that breast milk is the perfect food for newborns. While traditionally many
communities encourage mothers to breastfeed their children, it has received increased support from scientists, the medical fraternity and global organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) to break down barriers and misconceptions about this fundamental right of mother and child. Dr Umaiyal Murugesan from Sri Kumaran, a specialist hospital, West Tambaram; vice president of IMA Tambaram and secretary of Kancheepuram Obstretics and Gynae, answers worried questions that new mothers
often ask.

Express Illustration

One of the most common questions women ask on the first day of motherhood is “I am not producing enough milk, what can I do?” ”
For a majority of women, milk production is less frequent in the first days of childbirth. It normally takes a day or two for milk production to start and secretion to occur. It is a new experience for the mother’s body as it learns to produce milk. A mother’s first milk is called colostrum and is extremely beneficial for newborns. Early contact, early breastfeeding, and early initiation of breast milk flow can be helped by support from the nurse and health personnel. A newborn baby should be put to the mother’s breast soon after birth to maintain skin-to-skin contact when they have the strongest instinct to suckle the mother’s nipples. A baby knows how to suck, it is an innate reflex with which most babies are born. A baby should not be forced to suck on the nipple if it is not ready to do so. Introducing a bottle or powdered milk early can ruin a child’s natural sucking reflex and is one of the main reasons infants may not breastfeed properly.

Often the mother, grandmother, stepmother worries that the baby will be hungry or become dehydrated before their mother produces enough colostrum. I would say, don’t worry and go on to explain that newborns have built up enough energy to fully meet their limited needs at this very early stage of life.

No need for water, juice or formula. Anything other than colostrum can have a negative impact on the health of the baby. Lack of colostrum can cause the baby to have diarrhea and the mother’s lactation may be interrupted as the baby loses its instinct to suckle.

Will breastfeeding be affected if you have a cesarean?
Mothers who have had a Caesarean are like everyone else and have no impact on lactation and diet. Although initiating breastfeeding can be difficult during the first few hours, it can be overcome by experienced nurses. Antibiotics and other medications commonly used after surgery will not cause any problems with breastfeeding. After regaining consciousness and with adequate pain medication, the mother can start skin contact with the baby and start breastfeeding immediately. They may choose to feed in alternate positions for the first few days, such as lying down, but after a few days, especially after the first 48 hours, the pain will subside and they will begin to feed like any other. mother.

You advise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months without water. Is my baby not hungry or thirsty? Will the baby gain enough weight?
The milk that is produced for a food consists of two parts: the starting milk and the ending milk. The term first milk refers to milk at the start of a feed; Posterior milk refers to milk at the end of a feed, which has a higher fat and protein content than milk at the start of that particular feed. Most of the first milk in breast milk is water, which is sufficient for babies under six months of age. It is not necessary to feed the baby with water or any other liquid. Doe’s milk with a higher content of fat and protein contributes to the weight gain of the child.

On the contrary, water can be dangerous for babies under six months old. Water fills the baby’s stomach and prevents him from getting breast milk. It is also difficult to guarantee the safety of drinking water and the hygienic state of utensils. Even in a hot and dry environment, the baby can acquire enough water through frequent feedings. You can tell if the baby is getting enough water by looking at his urine. If the baby has yellowish urine six times a day, it means he has enough water.

How often should I breastfeed per day? How long per session?
During the first few weeks, babies should be breastfed at least eight to twelve times a day. At first, sessions can last up to 45 minutes, but as the baby becomes more efficient, feedings can last about 10 to 20 minutes.

My two week old baby has not been fed for four hours. Should I wake him up?
Not necessarily, if he eats more the rest of the day. They are likely going to be group feeding which means they might want to feed every hour or so and then they will have a time where they sleep longer. But if you have a newborn baby who has not regained their birth weight, it is very important to wake them up to feed them. Newborns should eat at least 10 to 12 times a day, which means eating at least
2-3 hours.

How long does my baby need to breastfeed for each feed?
Stopping a breastfeeding session before your baby is finished can interfere with her milk intake and overall weight gain, and potentially affect your milk supply. But there isn’t a perfect number of minutes to breastfeed a newborn baby; in fact, i advise new moms not to watch the time but rather to follow their baby’s cues. That said, keeping track of the start and end times of the session with a breastfeeding app can help you track how often your baby ate in the past 24 hours. You can also note which side you started on, hunger signals, etc. The length of feedings can depend on many factors, and the rule of thumb is to allow your baby to nurse as long as he is actively sucking and swallowing. After a feed, your baby should appear satisfied and happy; they will have their hands open or relaxed; they can even detach from the breast themselves.

Is it true that after six months breast milk will no longer contain nutrients like water?
Breast milk is perfectly designed to nourish human babies, and almost any woman can produce breast milk with the expected nutritional composition. The composition of breast milk can vary at different stages, from colostrum at birth to mature milk later. And the composition also changes within a feed, going from a light first milk at the start of a feed to quench the baby’s thirst, to richer hind milk to meet energy and nutritional needs. This is one of the miraculous qualities of breast milk. The body adjusts the composition of milk according to the changing needs of babies. The composition in terms of energy, protein and iron is quite similar before and after six months.

The percentage of contribution varies from one nutrient to another. Immunity factors in breast milk also vary from time to time depending on the mother’s exposure to various antigens. But it is wrong to say that breast milk lacks nutrients after six months. The fact is that after six months the baby’s energy and nutritional needs can no longer be met with breast milk alone. That is why UNICEF and WHO recommend continuing breastfeeding with complementary foods after six months.

Once infants fail to breastfeed, formula should be given. Some mothers believe that formula-fed infants often grow faster than breast-fed babies, in terms of height and weight. So mothers assume formula milk is as good as breast milk. Does this have scientific proof?
There are two issues here.

  • First, babies refuse breast milk when the newborn’s natural sucking reflex is disturbed, by introducing bottle-feeding or giving formula very early. All babies are born to be breastfed. Mother and newborn respond to each other during the most sensitive period of half an hour to an hour after childbirth. This period is crucial in laying the foundations for successful breastfeeding.
  • Second, maximum growth does not necessarily mean optimum growth. Overweight babies are not necessarily healthier just because they are overweight.
    Breastfed babies grow faster for the first 2-3 months, and growth slows down thereafter. This is completely normal as long as the baby’s growth follows its natural percentile without crossing over or under.

If we compare substitutes and breast milk, how will they affect children’s survival, growth, development and all of their lives differently?
Compared with breastfed infants, non-breastfed infants under two months of age are six times more likely to die from acute respiratory infection (ARI) and diarrhea. In children up to two years of age, non-breastfed children are 1.5 times more likely to die than breastfed infants. Breastfeeding has been shown to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), allergies, ARIs, and ear infections. The formula also makes children more prone to infections, asthma, meningitis, obesity and diabetes. This is due to the protective effect of breast milk, as well as the fact that breastfeeding is quite simply the most hygienic and nutritious form of food for infants.

What are the risks of artificial feeding?
First of all, the use of breastmilk substitutes does not provide the benefits of breastfeeding to children. Formula baby milk can be harmful because it can be contaminated during its manufacture, preparation and use, as alarming examples show around the world. Even if the formula is prepared under the best hygienic conditions and therefore free from contamination, it can never be as good as breast milk and makes children more prone to infections, asthma, meningitis, obesity and diabetes, according to a number of studies in the West. countries.

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