World Breast Feeding Week 2021
Is there a right time to start nursing my baby?
What is the importance and benefit of breastfeeding?
What’s the healthiest way to feed your baby? Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding?
Your breasts will lose their shape if you breastfeed your baby!
Is it good or bad to breastfeed when the mother is sick?
Your mind must be swimming in questions at the moment. Nowadays, breastfeeding has become a tough task because of a rising misperception. On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th of August) which is organised in more than 120 countries and at Premier Hospitals, we want you to educate about the importance of breastfeeding, as well as dispel some myths about breastfeeding (nursing).
Is there a right time to start nursing my baby?
Mothers should nurse their babies as soon as possible after the baby is born. Your baby should be breastfed within the first hour of his or her birth.
Unfortunately, in India, only 41.6% of newborn babies are actually being breastfed within an hour of birth. It must be at least 75%, according to experts.
Why is breastfeeding so important in the first hour after birth?
Baby’s first hour of breastfeeding after birth is very important for them because it provides them with colostrum(a milky fluid), also called First Milk, which is a concentrated form of antibodies that boost their immunity very naturally.
What’s the best way to feed your baby? Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding?
Breast milk is full of all the nutrients that your child needs, including proteins, vitamins, iron, carbohydrates, minerals, and water, unlike Bottled Milk. There is no other food as healthy as mothers’ milk.
Feeding children with bottled milk with infant formula is an ongoing trend but actually, it harms your baby’s health. It is difficult for your baby to digest and absorb the nutrients contained in baby food.
Breastfeeding – Both mother & baby can benefit from breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are unique. Your newborn baby can easily digest breast milk. It helps to gain a healthy weight and also prevents many diseases. In addition to improving your child’s mental development, it can nearly prevent one million deaths of children below five years worldwide every year.
Women who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Furthermore, it prevents the development of osteoporosis. Postpartum depression is also reduced. It has many other long term benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, and less prone to high BP.
Here are some myths about breastfeeding
MYTH – Your breasts will lose their shape if you breastfeed your baby!
FACT: Breastfeeding has no effect on breast size or shape. A woman’s breast size is significantly altered by factors such as gravity, age, weight gain than nursing.
Of course, breast size might vary at the time of breastfeeding because the breasts are full of milk. In most cases, a woman’s breasts will return to their original size and shape after she stops nursing or with regular breastfeeding.
MYTH – Breastfeeding is the same as bottle-feeding!
FACT: This is the greatest myth about breastfeeding. Bottle feeding is not the same as breastfeeding. Your baby will benefit greatly from breast milk since it closes the normal openings quickly, such as the underdeveloped parts of the body. Digesting breast milk is easy for your baby. It also provides your baby with “first immunisations” to prevent sickness.
Your baby is protected from the following diseases if you breastfeed them.
- Celiac disease
- Ear infections
- GI tract infections
- Respiratory infections like bronchiolitis and pneumonia
- Serious colds
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- and many other diseases.
The only alternative to breastfeeding is bottle feeding if you are unable to breastfeed your baby for any reason.
MYTH – To make milk, you should drink milk!
FACT: Drinking milk doesn’t improve breast milk production. However, in addition to drinking milk, mothers should keep themselves hydrated with liquids at all times and maintain a well-balanced, nutritious diet. The process of making breast milk is a natural one in which the mother’s body will draw essential nutrients from the diet you take and add them to her milk.
MYTH – You need to give up breastfeeding after a year!
FACT: Whether to stop breastfeeding or continue is a mother’s individual choice that is greatly influenced by cultural and personal preferences. For approximately 6 months, experts recommend solely breastfeeding your baby. Following that, you can gradually introduce some solid foods into your baby’s diet along with breastfeeding until he or she is 12 months old. After 12 months, you are free to decide if you want to continue breastfeeding.
MYTH – Mothers should wash their nipples every time before breastfeeding!
FACT: No, washing nipples every time before breastfeeding dries out the area around nipples and drains the natural oils around them. You can keep your nipples hydrated and moist by rubbing a little amount of breast milk around them.
MYTH – If your breasts are small, you won’t be able to produce enough milk to feed your baby!
FACT: The size of a breast has no impact on milk production! No matter how large or small your breasts are, the breast tissues are formed during pregnancy.
MYTH – You should not breastfeed your baby when you are sick!
FACT: It varies on the type of illness you have. In general, breastfeeding can be continued if one has a cold or the flu. Your body releases antibodies to fight diseases. These antibodies get transferred to your baby when you feed them which makes your baby’s defence system more effective at fending off diseases.
However, you should stop breast feeding if you are having certain severe illnesses such as AIDS, tuberculosis, parkinson’s disease, arthritis and when undergoing cancer treatment, using certain medications, etc.,
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we encourage you to raise awareness about breastfeeding and its importance. To know more detailed information or having any doubts or facing difficulties with breast feeding consult our Gynecologists in Hyderabad. Call 040-23515100 (or) +91-83747 18100 to book an appointment.
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Santosh Kumar Paila