Monday, 24 October 2011

Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is the best food for the baby. It is not only gives nourishment's but suffice the baby's emotional needs. The advantages of breast feeding are :
  1. Makes the mother feel close to the baby emotionally.
  2. Gives the baby a sense of security or oneness with the mother.
  3. Protect the child from intestinal upsets as breast milk is sterile.
  4. Protect the child from communicable diseases as it contains protective antibodies.
  5. The mother's nipple satisfies the sucking reflex more adequately than the artificial nipple and infant is less likely to be a thumb sucker.
  6. Aids in the involution of the uterus.
  7. Breast milk is at correct temperature.
  8. Breast fed baby is said to have better tissue and bone development and resistance to infection.

The contra-indications for breast feeding are:
  • Diseases of the breast. eg; breast abscess, mastitis etc.
  • Active tuberculosis, cancer, cardiac diseases, contagious diseases.
  • Unconscious mother.
  • Mental diseases in the mother.
  • When another pregnancy ensues.
  • Premature babies and sick babies who are very weak to suck.
  • Babies with hare lip and cleft palate.
Points to remember in breast feeding

  • Mother should take bath daily and wear clean clothes.
  • Mother should clean her breast and hands before starting the feeding.
  • Mother should be calm and there should be no hurry or tension.
  • Mother and baby should be in a comfortable position.
  • The feeds should be given at a frequent and regular timings. The feedings are usually spaced at 3 hourly intervals, omitting one feed at night (5-8-11-2-5-8-10). Rigidity in feeding infants builds up hostility and insecurity.
  • Maximum time for feeding the baby is 20 minutes ie-10 minutes on each breasts. Since the baby empties the first breast completely, change the breast with each feed.
  • Air swallowed with the milk may fill the stomach before the child had enough milk. In order to prevent this :
  1. The infant should be held with the head higher than the abdomen while nursing- a position said to make the gas rise towards the cardiac opening of the stomach.
  2. At least once during the feeding period and at the end, the infant should be held over the shoulders for several minutes and gently patted over the back which helps to expel the gas.
  3. Burping can be done by holding the baby in a sitting position with adequate support and pat his back gently.
  • The adequacy of the breast feed can be determined by the weight gained by the baby or by a test feed. If the breast feeds are adequate, the babies are satisfied after the feeding and they go to sleep till the next feed. They also gain weight. for test feed, weigh the baby before the feed and after the breast feeding. The difference in weight gives the amount of milk taken.

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