Breastfeeding is by far the most natural and ideal way to feed your baby. It contains vital vitamins and nutrients that the baby needs in the initial months after birth. It is not just needed for proper development of the body but also provides protection against various health diseases.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO South East Asia Regional Director, says, “If every child was breastfed within an hour of birth, was exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, and continued to be breastfed up to the age of two years, the lives of more than 8,00,000 children would be saved worldwide each year. Importantly, each of those children would be given the strongest founsdation for lifelong health and optimal nutrition, and the best chance possible of achieving the highest attainable standard of health.”
The commercial market is flooded with infant formulas customised as per the needs of the baby. Newbie moms, who face difficulty in feeding their infant, can find other options to keep their child healthy. “A mother might face problems like, pain while feeding, change in the nipple colour, cracked, sore nipple, Mastitis, Vasospasm, Plug Ducts, tongue or lip tie or cleft palates are some of the significant problems faced by mothers while feeding,” Varsha Satyan, counsellor, Lactation Counsellor, Member of Medela India LC Club says.
There are advanced electric breast pumps too in which working mothers can store their milk and store it for the kid until they return back home. “Working mothers can start pumping their milk and start the storing process. This way even in their absence, the child will continue getting breast milk. If the child is above six months of age, the child will also receive complementary feeding. Mothers can carry the pump and storage bag to their work place and pump there to keep up their milk supply. Expressed breast milk under stored under 26 degrees can be used within 4 hours. Expressed breas tmilk stored in Deep freeze can be stored up to 90 days (without power cuts). It is recommended to meet a Lactation Counsellor at least 20 days before the mother joins back to work,” Satyan adds.
One of the conditions that needs monitoring is Galactosemia. If the mother is in anti-cancer medicine, hyperthyroid (antithyroid medicine) or a motherless child, they would need a guide. Under some conditions, the mother can give expressed breast milk or milk from human milk bank or make a homemade formula or a packed formula.