The first week on August month is celebrated as ‘Breast milk week’. For more and more mothers to understand the importance and get the awareness of breast milk and to clarify various myths, posters, dialogues, lectures are organised. Let us understand the words associated with breast milk with alphabets ABCD.   ANTENATAL PREPARATION   From pregnancy days only, mother should be explained about the importance of breast feeding, the correct methodology of feeding, the baby etc. Proper examination of mother’s breast and nipples should be done.   BONDING   Breast feeding helps to create a bond of warmth, affection, emotions and love between mother and the child.   COLOSTRUM   In the initial days, for two to three days a thick, yellow, sticky, watery liquid comes out of breast in little quantity which is rich in protein and increases the immunity level of the child which is called colostrum.   DEMAND SUCKING   Whenever the child wants to feed give him or her breast milk. In the beginning if the child sucks frequently and for longer duration, more milk will come out.   EXCLUSIVE FEEDING   For first 6 months give only and only breast milk. Water, outside milk, gripe water etc. should not be given. Child’s intestine can digest only breast milk properly.   FIRST HOUR FEEDING   In the first hour only, give the breast milk as soon as possible. By doing this mother’s uterus will contract fast and blood will stop flowing from umbilical cord. Child also gets lot of warmth. If only this is practised religiously, every year 12 lakh in the whole world and 2.5 lakh India can be saved from dying. This way infant mortality rate can also come down.   GROWTH FACTOR   More than 50 nutrients are present in the breast milk which are essential for the overall physical and mental development of the baby.     HYPOTHERMIA   Child’s direct contact with mother’s body provides the child with warmth. Thereby, saving the child from getting cold.   IQ   Those kids who are given breast milk for one and a half year to two years have higher IQ level in comparison to the kids who are breast fed for only 6 to 7 months. It has been proved that it enhances the IQ level by 5 times.   KANGAROO POSITION   The position in which Kangaroo keeps its baby, similarly if the underweight child or premature child is held in direct contact with mother, then it is called Kangaroo position. This position gives warmth to the child, protects from infection, increases the quantity of breast milk and helps in the physical development of the child.   LOW COST AND LESS ILLNESS   If the child is given breast milk for 6 months, then the family will have to incur less expenses and child will also fall sick less. Mother’s milk saves family’s expenses and also country’s expenditure. If you give outside milk to the child then approximate expense of the month comes around 1000 rs to 1200 rs. In 1965, Dr. Gopal had proved that if all the women fed the child with the breast milk, then country’s expense equivalent to country’s one year’s financial budget will be saved.   MORE SUCKING   It’s not that some mothers will have less amount of breast milk. if the child sucks more then in the mother’s brain the hormone secreting breast milk will become more active.   NIGHT NURSING   If the child sucks in the night likewise it does in the day, the prolactin hormones that are responsible for the increase in the quantity of the breast milk and the flow in the lactiferous ducts will also increase. Hence, it is important that the child sucks in the night also.     OXYTOCIN AND OVARIAN CANCER   After the delivery, if the mother starts breast feeding the baby faster, then the process of contraction of uterus and detachment of umbilical cord also starts faster. Hence that reduces bleeding after delivery. Above all this, the mother who breast feeds the baby for longer duration hardly suffers from the diseases like Ovarian cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, cancer in the interior walls of the uterus, fibroids, osteoporosis etc.   PREGNANCY DELAY   The prolactin hormone increases in the mother who is breast feeding her child. Prolactin hormone slower down the work of ovaries. If the mother does breast feeding for six months, them almost 98 % of the women can be free from second pregnancy. If she happens to breast feed the baby for longer duration, she can keep gap between two pregnancies. Thus, breast feeding is kind of family planning technique.   QUALITY AND QUANTITY   If the baby wants to have milk, then breast milk is available immediately, faster, in good quantity, pure, infection free and with lot of nutrients. Nature has made such a wonderful arrangement that even if there are twins, mother gets ample amount of breast milk which is sufficient for both the kids.   RELAXATION   The breast feeding mother should be stress free, in light mood and also happy while feeding the child. Maharashi Vagdatt has also mentioned in his book that grief, sadness, fights, arguments, worries and negative thoughts reduces breast milk. For the mother to remain stress free and relaxed, her husband and other members of the family should give support and help.   SATISFACTION   The breast feeding mother experiences a different type of satisfaction, the goodness of motherhood, feeling of being complete and also boosts self-confidence.   TWO YEARS   Breast feeding can be done and must be done for two years or more than two years.   URINE   If the child urinates for 6 to 7 times in 24 hours and in proper quantity, then it should be understood that child is getting breast milk in good quantity.   VITAMINS   All the vitamins [except vitamin D] essential for the development of the child in the first 6 months are present in the breast milk. Colostrum is called natural vaccination.   WIDE OPEN MOUTH   When the child opens the mouth wide open and takes maximum part of the breast in the mouth, the lactiferous ducts bring the milk will come in the mouth and the child will get adequate amount of the milk. If the child gets sufficient amount of milk, its weight will increase in required amount. So the child will neither grow fat in childhood or adulthood.     XEROPHTHALMIA   Because of adequate amount of breast milk, the possibility of deficiency of Vitamin A and night blindness reduces in the child.           YOUNG AGE DISEASE   The child who has taken adequate amount of breast milk in the childhood has less possibility of suffering from diseases like asthma, diabetes, blood pressure or heart attack.   ZERO WATER   The child who take up breast milk for first six months, do need water. Only breast milk should be given. In the breast milk 80 to 85 % of water is present.   The famous paediatrician of ancient India Maharashi Kashyap has told that mother’s milk is the life of a child. It’s a complete diet. It provides satisfaction, nutrition, strength, development of child’s body, mind and soul.   That is why mother should start feeding the baby with breast milk as soon as possible and also keep doing so frequently. By giving just the breast milk mother should enjoy the motherhood completely so that the child grows fast with the best of physical and mental well-being.   [DIVYA BHASKAR AUGUST 2010]      

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