Breastmilk – the Best Gift for your baby
Breastmilk is the most precious food and the best gift a mother can give to her baby.
Breastmilk contains all the necessary nutrients in the correct proportion your baby needs for optimal health, growth and development. It contains valuable antibodies which will help to protect your baby from infection and allergy. Taurine and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid present in Breastmilk enhance eye and brain development.
World Health Organisation recommends that baby should be breastfed exclusively from birth to 6 months of age.
Almost all women are physically capable to breastfeed. The size of a woman’s breast is irrelevant to the amount of milk produced. With frequent feeding, your milk production will adjust to your baby’s needs .
How Breastmilk is produced?
The production of Breastmilk depends on adequate stimulation and frequent emptying of the breasts. As your baby suckles at the breast , the nerve impulses in the areola send messages to your brain to release two hormones called Oxytocin and Prolactin.
- Oxytocin – Causes the muscle walls of milk producing cells to contract and release milk during feeding. It is called ‘ Let-down’ or ‘ Milk-ejection’ reflex.
- Prolactin – stimulates your milk producing cells to produce milk.
Different stages of Breastmilk
Early milk secreted during late pregnancy to the first few days after delivery. It is the first perfect food for newborn babies. It is thick, sticky, clear to yellowish in colour, rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby against illnesses.
Tips for breastfeeding success
- Start soon after delivery
- Room-in baby
- Feed on demand
- Allow your baby to suckle until he is satisfied
- Position and attach baby correctly on the breast
- Avoid giving baby supplementary feeds
- Have adequate rest, sleep and relax whenever you can
- Eat a sensible and well balanced diet
How do you know if baby had enough milk?
- Baby seems contented after feeding.
- Baby has 6-8 wet diapers and 2-4 bowel movements a day.
- Baby is gaining weight (about 500 gm per month).
- Baby appears alert, active with good colour and muscle tone.