THE FIRST CONTACT AND FEED:
BREASTMILK IN THE FIRST 3 DAYS (COLOSTRUM):
The thick, yellowish fluid from the breast in the first few days after delivery is called Colostrum. Though small in quantity, Colostrum is highly protective against infections and is nutritious and sufficient for the baby. Hence do not give any other feeds during this period to the baby.
DURATION AND FREQUENCY OF FEEDING:
Breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry without any restriction of time. Feed your baby even during the night. You can breastfeed the baby lying down. Feed at one breast at a time till it is empty because the initial milk (foremilk) is watery (contains sugar and proteins) and quenches the babys thirst while the milk that is secreted later (hindmilk) is rich in fats and satisfies babys hunger. After the first breast is empty, shift to the second breast. You can alternately start the feeds at either of the breast.
BEFORE DISCHARGE FROM THE MATERNITY HOME:
Before discharge from the maternity home, learn to hold and position the baby properly and comfortably while breastfeeding. You should be able to give nipple and maximum possible areola (dark portion behind the nipple) in babys mouth for optimal breastfeeding. Also learn to express breastmilk and storage.
Give only breast milk till the baby is 6 months old. Water, top milk, honey, vitamins, almonds, fruit juices or any other item should not be given during this period. These will interfere with breastfeeding and may introduce infection. Mothers milk contains enough water. Hence even in summer, an infant does not require water.
Around the end of 6 months gradually introduce the child to family meals. However continue to breastfeed until the second birthday.
Last updated on 23-01-2001