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Importance of Breast Feeding

Dr. Reshmi Mohan A. Child Development Therapist ,SUT Hospital, Pattom

coloBreast feeding is a process of feeding a mother’s breast milk to the baby, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the mother and feed the baby by means of gokarnam.

Breast milk contains hormones and adequate amount of protein, sugar, fat and vitamin for the growth and development of your baby. And more over that breast milk keeps your baby healthy.

Benefits of Breast feeding

  • Protects babies against some short term and long term illness.
  • It reduces the chance of ear infection and stomach bugs in babies.
  • Prevention of breast and ovarian cancer in feeding mothers.
  • Reduces the chance of Type II Diabetes in breast feeding mothers.
  • Reduces postpartum depression.

Values of breast milk

  • Easily digestible.
  • Does not lead to constipation.
  • Does not make stomach upset and diarrhoea.
  • Increases the bond between mother and baby.

Food habits during Breast feeding

  • Avoid intake of too much saturated fat.
  • Avoid food containing preservatives.
  • Limit intake of Coffee and Tea.
  • Avoid over eating of sweets, packed juices, sugar and deep fried items.

How to improve Breast milk supply?

  • Breast feed every time your baby is hungry.
  • Make sure your baby latches well.
  • Offer both breast during each feeding.
  • Empty your breast after each feed.
  • Avoid bottles and pacifiers during the newborn phase.
  • Make sure of adequate sleep and follow healthy diet.
  • Do not take stress and do nipple massage on regular intervals.

WHO and UNICEF recommend that initiate breast feeding to the babies within the first hour of birth and exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of birth. World Breastfeeding week is celebrated every year from 1st – 7th August. It aims to promote awareness among breastfeeding mothers and their families on the importance of breast feeding, so that the mothers continue to feed breast milk exclusively for the first six months.