Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Breastfeeding is the best gift a mom can give to her child. It is the first-ever right of a child who cannot and should not be denied. When a baby is born, the milk produced is made only for that particular child and it’s his or her in totality. Unless there is a medical contraindication to it, breastfeeding must be instituted within 1 hour of the birth. For the first few days, colostrum, instead of normal milk flows out of the breast. Colostrum is very much required for the newborn, as it is rich in fats and antibodies, intensely needed by the baby.
Breast milk is totally suitable for the baby as it contains all essential nutrients to keep her healthy and growing at a normal pace. Babies should be fed from both the breasts so as to keep them working and producing milk. The more the breast is emptied; the more the milk will be produced for the next time. The mother does not have to worry about warming the milk or keeping it refrigerated. All babies must be exclusively breastfed for 6 months of their life. The word exclusive means that nothing should be fed to the babies other than breast milk. Believe me, when I say that in the hottest of weather, babies do not need any supplemental water, breast milk is sufficed. Never feed anything else, for example, green tea, gripe water, honey, or any other herbal product to the baby. Breast milk will do the entire trick. After six months, the baby can be slowly weaned off of the breast milk to semisolids and then solids within the next 6 months. Some mothers even choose to continue breastfeeding for 18 months, which is recommended.
Breastfeeding develops a mother-child bond in such a way that it cannot be breached. This bond lasts lifelong and gives the child a sense of being protected and looked after. If you want to show your love for your baby, start with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding does not harm your breasts in any way; neither do they decrease the beauty of your breasts. The change in color of your areola is not caused by breastfeeding; it is due to the pregnancy and occurs in every woman.
Bottle feeding, on the other hand, is a total change subject. In the developing world, babies are fed cows, goats, or even camel milk. These babies are put into harm’s way right from the first day of their lives. Their intestinal barrier is not functioning at this moment and milk proteins will easily cross inside and create an allergic reaction. Moreover, bottles can never be sanitized like the breast. Even if they choose a baby formula, other side effects of bottle feeding cannot be avoided.
World Health Organization has got valuable campaigns in developing countries about breastfeeding and much awareness has been aroused. Lot has been done, but I think, there are certain believes and norms which lead to the choice of not breastfeeding the newborn. Mass education is required and will work, but I think, individual counseling is very important to increase the confidence of a mother in breastfeeding.
I will invite ladies to ask questions about this very important aspect of motherhood. If they have any doubts, I will try to clear them up. Be Vivid & Stylish!