Breastfeeding within hour of birth provides baby’s first vaccine, says UNICEF

Breastfeeding within hour of birth provides baby’s first vaccine, says UNICEF
Highlights

Breastfeeding is the act of feeding a baby breast milk directly from breast to mouth. Nothing is more natural than breastfeeding. Women have been doing it in every corner of the world for thousands of years. But because breastfeeding is natural, doesn’t mean it is always easy.

Breastfeeding is the act of feeding a baby breast milk directly from breast to mouth. Nothing is more natural than breastfeeding. Women have been doing it in every corner of the world for thousands of years. But because breastfeeding is natural, doesn’t mean it is always easy.

Breast milk contains key nutrients that help the baby grow, physically and cognitively, and fight off disease. Indian Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and UNICEF encourage exclusive breastfeeding (no foods or liquids other than mother’s milk) for the first 6 months of an infant’s life.

A survey of lactation literature seems to point to around 1.5 percent of all women around the world who physiologically cannot produce any, or sufficient milk. Mothers fee their milk supply is low, when milk is not leaking from nipple or not feeling fullness of breasts.

But these are actually signs that one’s body has adjusted to the baby's feeding requirements. For most women, though, the real problem is delivery, not production of milk.

MILK IS SUFFICIENT IF

  • 20 30gms Weight gain per day.
  • Baby returns to birth Weight by 10-14days.
  • Baby wets seven or eight cloth diapers a day, or five to six disposables.
  • Passes frequents stools
  • Baby appears healthy and active.

STEPS FOR SUFFICIENT MILK

  • Give frequent breast feeds to the baby.
  • Take extra diet during lactation – 500 calories more.
  • Nurse the baby in comfort position. Whichever nursing position one uses, be sure to bring your baby to your breast, rather than the other way around.
  • Breasts get bigger and heavier during lactation. During breast feeding, use your free hand to support your breast with a C-hold (four fingers underneath the breast at 9 o'clock with your thumb on top at 3 o'clock) or a V-hold (support your breast between your splayed index and middle fingers).

It's important to keep your fingers at least 2 inches behind the nipple and areola so that your baby doesn't suck on them instead.

  • Support the baby:

Feeling comfortable and secure will help the baby nurse happily and efficiently.
Use your arm and hand, plus pillows or a folded receiving blanket, to support the baby's head, neck, back, and hips and keep them in a straight line.

  • Relax and breast feed:

Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and think peaceful, calming thoughts. Keep a tall, cool glass of water, milk, or juice on hand to drink while you breastfeed staying hydrated helps you produce milk.

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