Newborn Care & Breastfeeding Guide

New Born Child Clinic

New born clinic

Providing skilled and compassionate services to new borns, including routine child care and quality medical intervention.

Breastfeeding guide

Breastfeeding is not just a need but an emotionally fulfilling experience for the mother and the baby. As Dr. Butani likes to say, "Breast milk is 'Amrit' that nurtures a new life." So, this is a unique and overwhelming experience for every woman.

Do's & Don'ts

The following tips will ensure 'Happy Breastfeeding' for both the mother and the child.

  • Breastfeeding should be started as soon as possible after childbirth. It stimulates the release of Oxytocin which is also known as the 'love hormone'. This also helps in shrinking the uterus and controlling uterine bleeding.
  • If/when the breast is engorged or lumpy the milk must be drained out manually or by a pump. The baby must get a soft, supple breast to suck on.
  • Feed on demand preferably from both breasts.
  • It is not that the baby is hungry every time he/she suckles. Babies feel a comforting bond with the mother and may suckle while snoozing.
  • A baby needs to be fed frequently on-demand as their stomach size is small.
  • Many mothers complain of 'sore nipples'. To avoid this, the baby must be taught to put the entire areola into the mouth while feeding.
  • Being in a comfortable position is important for both the mother and the baby. So, a comfortable position where the back does not hurt is important.
  • To prevent the baby from getting smothered avoid feeding while lying down.
  • There are many fads and myths related to the diet during lactation. A lactating mother should eat healthy but there's no such list of dos and don'ts. Also, there's certainly no need for the mother to eat for two.
  • There is no need for water, honey, supplements, etc.
  • Continue breastfeeding even after the first six months but add weaning foods to the diet for the baby's increased demands. Breast and bottle feed together may cause nipple confusion and the baby may give up the breast for the ease of bottle feed. It is okay to breastfeed even after the first year and maybe the second year as well!

Some Interesting facts about breast milk & breastfeeding

  • The first milk produced is called COLOSTRUM that is secreted in small quantities. It is a thick yellow fluid rich in calories, proteins, and antibodies. So, it is enough to keep the baby full. Colostrum further initiates the regular production of milk.
  • When the child sucks at the mother's breast frequently a signal is sent to the pituitary gland. This signal instructs the breast to produce more milk. So, more demand more supply, less demand less production of milk/supply- hence, failure of lactation!
  • Initially, after childbirth mothers experience engorged, swollen, painful breasts. This happens because in the first few days the demand and supply chain is not regulated.
  • Breast milk is easily digestible as it is tailor-made specifically for the baby. So, the baby may not need to be burped. Also, breast milk is less wind/colic-producing.
  • The moment breast milk goes into the stomach, the intestines gurgle out a stool. This happens because of ‘gastrocolic reflex’. The stool is often bright, yellow, watery, frothy. It is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
  • There are no contraindications to breastfeeding.
  • Breast milk, tested for centuries is a complete and perfect food for the baby. There is indeed no substitute for mother’s milk.

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother & the baby

BREASTFEEDING IS A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR BOTH THE MOTHER AND THE BABY. Here's how:

  • Babies who are breastfed at least for the first 6 months have lesser ailments or health complaints. They have fewer ear infections, respiratory ailments, allergies, urinary infections, and diarrhoeal episodes.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • It reduces the chances of diabetes and obesity.
  • The baby gets milk as per demand at the right temperature with warmth and comfort from the mother’s breast.
  • Breast milk has more than 80% water, so the baby’s need for water is fulfilled by breast milk even in hot dry climates.

BREASTFEEDING BLUES

With childbirth a new phase starts in a mother’s life. It may take time to get accustomed to it and some may find it difficult. It is definitely not easy with the pain and discomfort post-delivery, lack of sleep, postpartum depression, swollen painful breasts, intruding, interfering - ‘I know it all’ - mothers in law and mothers and elders, demanding family and children, sore nipples, backache to name a few.

So, of course, there’s no pain no gain’ adage, but there is also a saying - this too shall pass.

So, enjoy exclusive breastfeeding for six months and more!