Mother’s milk – liquid gold for the baby
Mother’s milk is the best gift for a newborn baby. However, journey may not be smooth for all mum – baby dyads especially for the first – timers. Here are a few tips to help you sail through the journey.
1. Exclusive breast feeding. means that newborn is given only and only mother’s milk for first six months of life .Thereafter, gradual introduction of semisolids while continuing to breastfeed till 2years of age is called complimentary feeding. No “ghutti”, ” honey” or water. Medicines or vitamin drops prescribed by your doc? Yes, they can be given.
2. Biggest hurdle is milk output in first few days. Initially, new mothers produce a thick translucent liquid. It doesn’t look like “milk”. This is colostrum and it’s actually the “Amrit” for your angel. It contains antibodies which help your baby fight against the zillion germs which she is going to encounter as soon as she sees this world. Good milk flow is established by day 3 to 4 of delivery.
- Sometimes, mothers feel that their milk is not sufficient for the baby. The baby will keep gnawing at her hand even after feeding. When you start feeding, initial milk contains more water, while the one that flows after a few minutes is rich in calories. Hence, to satiate both thirst and hunger she needs to be fed for atleast 8-10minutes from one side.
Most important factor in ensuring adequate lactation is mom’s health. If new mum is getting adequate rest, is happy, taking a nutritious diet with plenty of liquids and staying in the same room as her baby, she is likely to get through.
Many a times, new mum is determined to feed the baby but certain issues make it difficult. Here, I am sharing the solution to some common issues related to breastfeeding,
1. Engorged breasts. Usually, by day 3-4 of delivery, mothers have excessive milk flow which if not drained can lead to hard, painful breasts. Sometimes, there is formation of sore lumps in the breasts. Remedy is very simple. Take warm water in a plastic bottle and apply it on the tender area. Drain the milk by expressing it manually and then feed the baby. Problem solved! If you start having fever , please consult your doctor.
2. Sore or bleeding nipples. Very common and troublesome issue again. You need to air the area for sometime. A good nipple care cream containing 100% lanolin or “pure desi ghee” applied locally helps. You can just wipe it off before latching the baby and reapply it after feeding. One tube usually lasts the entire two year period and it’s easily available at all baby care stores.
3. Inverted nipples. This problem can be sorted even before the delivery. In some ladies, nipples are not protruding outwards. So the Baby has no place to suckle on. If you have this issue, consult your gynaec during your antenatal visits. She will tell you how to use a syringe to solve it beforehand.
4. Going out. In some unusual circumstances, you might be forced to leave your baby with a caretaker for sometime. Breast milk is safe at room temperature for 6hours. Express the baby’ s milk supply in a boiled or sterilised steel bowl. Somebody can feed her in your absence while you are on a guilt-free shopping trip or a lunch date with your besties.
I hope these troubleshooting measures help in achieving your motherhood goals. Happy parenting!
Waiting eagerly for your comments…