Breast milk consists of all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of life. It is important that the mother feeds the child within the first hour of the birth. This is referred to as initial initiation of breastfeeding and ensures that the infant. The first breastfeeding consists of milk called as colostrum’s- which is rich in protective factors and the same is regarded as the richest source of immunity, growth and development. Subsequent breastfeeding in fact exclusive breastfeeding ensures that the baby gets the nutrients for his development through the super food.
Breastfeeding should originally start soon after your baby is born. A baby is usually alert after birth and will spontaneously seek the breast if left undisturbed in skin-to-skin contact with their mother’s body. Research suggests that a mother should allow her baby to feed when the baby shows it is ready.
How does the baby’s breastfeeding evolve?
• After your baby is about one month old ,he/she will begin taking bigger volumes of milk at a feed.
• Feeds can last anything from 12 minutes to nearer an hour- there really is that much variability between babies.
• However if your baby is gaining weight and has a feeding pattern that fits into these ranges, you have no cause for concern.
• Breast milk provides your baby with everything he needs for the first six months of life if he’s exclusively breastfed, he doesn’t even need water.
• The World Health Organization suggests exclusive breastfeeding (like no other fluids or solids) for six months and then continued breastfeeding combined with solid foods for 2 years or as long as mother and baby desire.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is a sticky yellow-white substance yielded by the mother’s breast soon after birth. It is rich in antibodies and essential nutrients. Breastfeeding in the first hour or so after birth also confers benefits to the mother such as developed lactation and less loss of blood.
Benefits of breastfeeding:
• Breast milk involves antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
• Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies.
• Babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.