Do You Need to Breastfeed Your Baby - Advantages?

Till six months of age of an infant, mother's milk is the best, sufficient and cost effective food for the child's growth. It has many ingredients which gives protection to child from diseases. After six months, one can start giving some other food to the child as well and can also continue to breast feed.

The advantages of mother's milk

  1. The first milk of mother just after delivery is yellow in color and thick in consistency. This is known as colostrum. It is very nutritious as it contains more amount of protein and has properties to protect from infections. This is very much required for a baby and helps it in protecting from infectious diseases. It also has high amount of Vitamin A.
  2. Do not give any other thing to child such as honey, honey water, sugar water, butter etc immediately after delivery.
  3. Mother's milk is the balanced diet for a baby and fulfills all nutritional requirements of a baby till the age of six months. It also saves the child from infectious diseases.
  4. Mother's milk is easily digestible by the baby as it is designed by nature specifically for the baby's needs.
  5. It is always available to child and you do not need any specific equipment other than mother to be with the child.
  6. It creates a strong lifelong bond between you and your baby. Baby feels loved and nourished when it breast feeds.

Advantages of breast feed to mother

  1. It is cost effective and time saving.
  2. It helps the mother for reducing the weight and to come back to the normal and proper shape easily as the uterus starts contracting when mother starts the breast feed
  3. It also protects mother form conceiving again shortly after the delivery.
  4. Breast feeding creates strong bond between baby & mother.

Breast Feeding Alternatives

If there is no other option available to you than to top feed(ie., non breast-milk) your baby, then kindly keep in mind the following points:

  1. Wash your hand thoroughly before making the feed.
  2. Wash and rinse thoroughly the bottle, nipple, stopper and cap so that there won't be even small amount of milk left in it.
  3. Boil the bottle and nipple for at least 5 minutes and keep them covered till the use.
  4. Also boil the water to be used for making the feed for at least for 5 mins.
  5. Read the instructions on the baby feed packet and use the amount of water and milk powder as instructed.
  6. Close the bottle with stopper and shake well so that the powder is dissolved properly.
  7. Do not leave the milk powder in carton pack. Keep it in closed airtight box at dry place. Finish the powder within stipulated time period as indicated on the pack.
  8. Use the prepared feed within half an hour or keep it in refrigerator but not more than for six hours.
  9. Try powder of multiple brands and see which suits your child best.
  10. Do not use hot water for making the feed. Only use the warm water.
  11. Always avoid outside food - be it cerelac(too much of sugar). Always try to give home prepared food.

Points to be noted:

  1. Never use the unboiled water or unboiled bottles for making the feed for a child.
  2. Throw the unused feed. Keep it for not more than 6 hours in fridge. After two feeds you must throw it even if you keep in refrigerator.
  3. Feed the baby while cuddling it in your lap. Do not leave the child alone with bottle.
  4. After six months of age also start giving child the vegetable soup, fruits etc.
  5. Never give your child the milk of cow/buffalo or any other open source of milk.
  6. Cow's milk is suitable for calf and not for human's child as cow is not a natural mother for your child.
  7. Cow's milk is not suitable for the growth of mind which is the special feature of human race.
  8. Cow's milk contains three time s more protein and sodium content than mother's milk which is harmful for delicate kidneys of a baby.
  9. It also has low content of iron and vitamin , hence can cause blood deficiency in baby and can hamper child's growth.
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