- Mothers are getting more aware regarding the breast feeding and society. Mothers wish to acquire more knowledge regarding breast feeding and also follow it religiously. But there are three important points regarding breast feeding of which many people are not aware. Let’s know them well.
- The first breast milk should be given to the child within one hour oras soon as possible.
In case of normal delivery, the child should be breast fed within half an hour of birth. In case of caesarean, after the mother regains consciousness and is sound. Child is highly active in the first hour after the delivery. Child has good energy of sucking milk in this hour. During this time period, if direct contact is made with mother’s chest and nipple, then the baby learns to suck immediately. During this period quite less efforts are required to help the baby to breast feed. After the first hour, baby sleeps for 5 to 6 hours. People often believe that less milk will come on the first day and start giving some jaggery water or milk or milk made from milk powder. Many people believe that from second day, breast milk will come in little more amount and we will breast feed the child from the second day, then mind well the child will learn to suck milk little late and mother will also lose confidence. If within an hour only, the child is made to suck the milk, then there will be less chances of infection. Also the process of contraction of uterus of the mother will happen faster after the delivery and also the bleeding from the uterus will stop faster.
- For first six months give only breast milk.
Breast milk fulfills complete requirement of the nutrients necessary for the child’s mental and physical growth for the first six months. It gives lot of protection against diarrhea and breathing infections. For about 6 months, child’s intestines are not capable and strong to digest food other than breast milk. All that food items do not have anti infectious substances. Mother also gets protection for the second pregnancy if the child is given only breast milk [not even water]. If the child is given only breast milk, then fats which have accumulated or deposited in mother’s body also start dissolving. “Child has completed 4 months, now only breast milk is not sufficient. Child must be feeling hungry. So, let’s give baby outside milk or milk made from milk powder”. All these beliefs are absolutely wrong.
- Breast milk can be given for two years or even more than that and should try and give for longer time period.
From six months to 2 years, with other food items breast milk should be also given. Child’s 35% to 40% of the energy is fulfilled by breast milk. Breast milk has more fat content than outside milk. These fats will help in the child’s physical as well as mental growth. This fat will help to absorb and digest Vitamin A from the intestines. Vitamin A is necessary for the children between one to five years of age for their growth and development. Kids of one or two years put lot of things in their mouth. So there is always fear of getting infections. The child who breast feeds will not fall ill frequently as mother’s milk contains resistance developing substances. And even if the child falls ill, he or she will be better soon. It is very commonly noticed that whenever the child falls sick, the sucking process of the child increases. Through breast milk the child gets nutrients and ample liquid. Hence this reduces the chances of dehydration.
- In the whole world, everyday almost 30,000 children whose age is below 5 years die. If the above mentioned three points are religiously followed then this figure can be reduced.
- In India, only 23% of the mothers’ breast feed their babies within one hour. If the number of kids having breast milk within hour is increased then infant mortality rate can be reduced. If in India all the mothers delivering the babies give breast milk to the child within an hour then every year more than 10 lakh newly born babies’ life can be saved.