B - Breast Feed

We all know the importance of early nutrition. The eating pattern of early life influences lifelong health and eating habits.

In the beginning, they are what you eat. Good infant nutrition actually begins before birth. What the mother eats during pregnancy goes a long way towards well being of baby. A well nourished mom provides plenty of nutrition to her baby for growth and development in the uterus and even after the birth. These days, many pregnant women skip meals for the fear of weight gain. This is a dangerous trend. Actually, this put your baby at a risk of low weight at birth or serious lifelong medical problems. An anaemic woman , having iron deficiency may have a baby with serious neurological problems. Regular medical check up and consultation with a gyneacologist is an essential practice for the wellbeing of mom and baby. 

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Advantage - Mother's Milk

Every one knows the importance of breast milk for a baby. It is the best complete food to achieve optimal growth, health and growth for infants. It is advised to be the only meal for infants at least for first six months. 
Advantages of Breast Milk -
1. Nursing stimulates uterine contractions and help uterus return to it's original size.
2. It's convenient, portable, sterile,  and always at the right temperature.
3. Breast feeding promotes a special kind of mother-infant bond.
4. Breast milk may protect babies from family history of allergies.
5. Breastfed babies are less prone to infections and have reduced chances of diabetes, asthma, heart diseases and some kind of cancers.
6. Women who breast feed have a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer and oestoporosis. 
Pic Courtesy - Wikipedia
Two samples of human breast milk. The left-hand sample is the first milk produced by the mother while the right-hand sample was produced later, during the same pumping.

Colostrum, the breast fluid which is secreted for the first few days after birth is higher in proteins and low in sugar and fat than the later milk. Colostrum is high in the immunoglobulin IgA,and it coats the gastrointestinal tract of little one. This helps to protect the newborn until its own immune system is functioning properly. It also creates a mild laxative effect, expelling meconium and helping to prevent the build-up of bilirubin (a contributory factor in jaundice)It activates the bowl movement of the baby. It is a must for babies. It is also rich in antibodies which increases baby's resistance to infections. 
As baby sucks, a hormone releases in mother's body which enhances the flow and quantity of milk. With in a few days, there is enough milk for the baby. The mature mother's milk has all the nutrients needed for the baby. This milk has two parts - foremilk, which comes at the beginning of the feed. It is high in sugar and water, a real thirst quencher for the baby. As baby continues to feed, milk becomes calorie rich , fat milk known as hind milk. 
How many times should one feed the infant is also a big question, every new mom is worried about. Usually for the first month, it is every 2-4 hours. An on demand feeding policy is better and slowly, the pattern is set. Check the growth and you will know that the baby is feeding fine. 
One thing is for sure that, breast milk has no substitute and as far as possible, no baby should be deprived of this. If sufficient breast milk is not produced by new mother, donor human breast milk, which is pasteurized is the next best option.Non-pasteurized donor milk is not advisable as it has the risk of transmitting bacteria and viruses from the donor mother to the baby and is not considered a safe alternative. If pasteurized donor breast milk is not available, commerial formula is suggested as a second alternative.

New parents are a worried lot and the biggest worry to them is about feeding the little one. Every one who had children feel expert enough to advise the new parents. Many a times, the advise are conflicting leaving the new parents anxious and confused.

Let us start with some anxiety busters -

1. Every baby is unique. Know your baby. There are some babies who are perpetually hungary or some may be sleepers. 

2. Trust your own judgement and common sense. If baby's growth is normal , he is getting enough to eat.

3. Relax and do not make the feeding of baby a task. It is natural for new parents to feel nervous and apprehensive but remember that raising a baby should be a joyful experience. 

4. Keep food in the right perspective. Do not use food as a bribe for good behaviour. Even an infant learns quickly  to use food as manipulative tool. Food is to provide nutrition and essential energy to the little one.

I am participating in #BlogchatterA2Z .


  1. A valid & informative post. Well written!

  2. Good read..have touched on the most important aspects every mother should know.
    I also chose to write about breastfeeding in #BlogchatterA2Z where I have focussed on the challenges faced by the new mom.

  3. The upbringing of social media has also upgraded knowledge on pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is good to know that many choose to breastfeed.
    Quite an informative post especially about the advantages and donor breast milk.

  4. I wasn't aware of many of these things. Thanks for sharing this informative and knowledgeable post

  5. Breastfeeding is best! It’s been drilled into our head right from at least 30+ years ago, yet we still need to keep telling new mothers about it! Good info

    1. Many young mothers think breast feeding is outdated and the new concept of being empowered and independent woman lookdown everything feminine. They are undermining the nurturer in woman. I hope, it changes atleast one woman's outlook.


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