The nutritional value and importance of mother’s milk are beyond words. In order to educate the public and medical practitioners about the importance of breastfeeding, every year Aug 1st to 7th is honoured as breastfeeding week. During this time yearly, there are stringent measures from the government, as well as through other outlets to propagate the importance of breastfeeding to the public.
Breast milk is the most priceless gift a mother can give to her baby. What makes breast milk so valuable is that it contains all the necessary nutrients in the right measure, and temperature and is bacteria-free. It is also free of cost. Through breastfeeding, the baby gets the right nutrition and immunity. The world health organization recommends that for the first 6 months, the baby should be exclusively breastfed.
A new mother will have several doubts and anxieties about breastfeeding. The baby should be breastfed immediately after it is born. Before breast milk, the baby shouldn’t be given anything else (Honey or water). During the initial months, the baby should be breastfed every two-three hours. While feeding make sure the baby sucks milk from one breast for 10-15 minutes before shifting it to feed from the other breast. Since the baby tends to swallow air while sucking milk, it’s important to keep the baby upright and tap its back gently for 20 minutes. This will prevent vomiting or tummy bloating.
During the first 2-3 days the quantity of milk will be less. And this will be sufficient for a baby who is not underweight and doesn’t suffer from any illness. The first milk your body produces during pregnancy is called Colostrum and it plays an essential role in building your baby's immune system.
You should start preparing for breastfeeding even before the delivery. It is important to check your breasts and make sure the nipples aren’t inverted.
Breastfeeding is a joint responsibility. You need the support of your family and society to successfully start and continue breastfeeding without any hiccups.