0 - 6 months

Q) What to be given from birth to six(6) month ?

A) exclusive breast feeding- baby should be given only breast milk from birth to completion of six (6) months-180 days

Q) Why only breast milk ?

A) breast milk has all the energy and nutrient needs of baby up to six(6) months. So no  other foods or fluids ( water, coriander water, tea, fruit juice, formula milk, ratha kalkaya) necessary.
Baby does not need additional water during the first six(6) month when breast feeding is practicing even in hot climates.

Q) What can be happened if other fluids are given

A) breast milk contain all the nutrient that an infant needs in the first six months of life including carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamin, minerals, and water. If the baby is given any other fluid he may not get enough breast milk as his tummy that is very small,is filled with what you have given addition to breast milk.
Baby’s stomach capacity is only 20 ml at birth – if 5ml of orange juice is given by mother 25% of tummy is already filled and breast milk will fill the rest 75%. So baby is getting less amount of energy than he needs. This may cause poor weight gain resulting insufficient growth.

Q) What are the benefits child gets from exclusive breast feeding

  1. It is easily digestible and it gives all what baby needs
  2. It help to protect infants from a variety of infections  - diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, ear infections. Researchers have found that  infants who are not breastfed are 6 to 10 times more likely to die in the first month of life than infants who are breastfed due to diarrhoea and pneumonia
  3. Formula milk (artificial feeding) children have an increased risk of long term diseases like asthma, diabetes, allergies, and leukaemia, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, high blood cholesterol, heart attacks
  4. Exclusive breast feeding associated with greater intelligence in late childhood and adulthood

Q) What are the benefits mother gets from beast feeding

A) it helps a mother and baby to bond -  that is to develops a close loving relationship.
  1. Mother gets mental satisfaction with breast feeding
  2. It protects mothers health – it help a uterus to return to it’s previous size. This helps to reduce bleeding and contribute to prevent maternal anaemia (condition of the blood caused by lack of red cells. People with anaemia look pale and feel weak )
  3. Reduce the risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  4. Exclusive breast feeding helps to delay a new pregnancy

Q) What is colostrum

This is the special milk that is secreted in first few day (first two to three days) after delivery. It is produced in small amounts about 40 – 50 ml on the first day but is all that an infant normally needs at this time
Colostrum consists of larger percentage of protein, minerals, and vitamin which are important in immune protection (fighting against germs) to an infant when he or she is first exposed to the germs in the environment 
Colostrum also helps to maturation of gut wall which is very smooth and susceptible to infection. So germs are not able to invade the gut wall easily.

Q)  What are the dangers of formula /artificial feeding?

(A) Artificial feeding may interfere with bonding. The mother and baby may not develop such a close, loving relationship.
An artificially fed baby is more likely to become ill with diarrhoel, respiratory, ear, and other infections.
Diarrhea may become persistent
He may get too little milk and may become malnourished, because he gets too few feeds, or they are too dilute. He is more likely to suffer from vitamin A deficiency
An artificially fed baby is more likely to suffer from infections and malnutrition than a breastfed baby
He is more likely to develop allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma
He may become intolerant of animal milk, so that milk causes diarrhea, rashes, and other symptoms
The risk of some chronic diseases in child, such as diabetes is increased
A baby may get too much artificial milk, and become obese
He may not develop so well mentally, and score lower on intelligence tests
Common myths and beliefs
  1. Mothers think that it is not good to  breastfeed when they are ill (fever, cold, cough). Breast feeding can continue even the mother is not well.
  2. Mothers usually do not breastfeed when their breasts are engorged. Mother should continue breast feeding when they have engorged breast if not she will end up with breast abscess.
  3. Mother thinks that baby needs water when the climate is hot. Breast milk has enough water content. So additional water is not needed.
  4. Some mothers worry about the effect, that breast feeding will have on their figure. Breast feeding helps  to burn additional fat and lose weight, so get a good figure.
  5. Mother who is having small breasts, flat inverted nipples thinks that she  can’t  breast feed successfully 
  6. Babies can breast feed quit well from breast of any size with almost any shape of nipple because production of milk does not affect by size and shape of the breast.