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The First Feed is Key to a Baby’s Immune Health

Publication: The Economic Times

Date: 2nd Aug, 2016

Spokesperson: Dr.Sheela CN, BSOG from the (Bangalore Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology)

EVERY EXPECTANT MOTHER HAS READ AND BEEN TOLD ABOUT THE VARIOUS BEN EFITS OF BREASTFEEDING.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE A LOT OF MYTHS THAT MAY SCARE AND CONFUSE A NEW MOTHER ENOUGH TO LEAVE HER AT CROSSROADS. NISHTHA SABHARWAL SPEAKS TO DOCTORS AND LACTATION EXPERTS TO DISPEL SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MYTHS SUR ROUNDING BREASTFEEDING

1. MYTH: FIRST MILK SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN TO THE INFANT

Fact: Despite common misconception, first milk, or colostrum, is the best food for a newborn. It prevents infections and works as a solid building block of the child’s immune system. Mothers usually produce the thick concentrated liquid for the first few days, and that’s a must for the child.

2. MYTH: A BABY WILL BREASTFEED IMMEDIATELY

Fact: Every baby is different and so is the mother. Both the baby and the mother need training on feeding.

3. MYTH: IF THE INFANT IS UNABLE TO GET USED TO BREASTFEEDING WITHIN THE FIRST FEW DAYS, THE MOTHER SHOULD ABANDON IT

Fact: Breastfeeding is natural, but may not be easy for new mothers. “For mothers to assume that breastfeeding comes naturally puts a lot of stress on them. Both the child and the mother have to work on it and the family should encourage them rather than move the child immediately to formula feed which will end up adversely affecting milk secretion, thus making it a permanent move away from breast feeding,“ said Dr Jahnavi Kare, a paediatrician from Kolar.

4. MYTH: SMALL BREASTS DON’T MAKE ENOUGH MILK

Fact: The size of breasts has nothing to do with their ability to produce milk.

5. MYTH: IF A CHILD CRIES TOO MUCH, THAT MEANS HESHE IS NOT GETTING ENOUGH MILK

Fact: Sometimes the baby is hungry and at other times heshe sim ply requires non-nutritive sucking. Your motherly instinct is the best way to make sure the child is fed and happy. The best indicators to know whether the child is getting enough milk from breastfeeding is based on hisher weight gain, growth and the times heshe soils diapers. However, if the child continues to cry excessively, speak to your paediatrician.

6. MYTH: IT’S BEST TO WEAN THE BABY IF YOU GO BACK TO WORK

Fact: While it may be challenging, mothers going back to work can ensure that the child is provided with breast milk. You can pump milk and let your child feed from a bottle.

7. MYTH: THE BABY SLEEPS BETTER IF FORMULA-FED

Fact: A baby who is fed formula tends to go longer between feedings as formula takes longer to digest compared to mother’s milk.However, studies have shown that breastfeeding is the best diet for a newborn. “Aside from the nutritional value of breast milk to the baby, several studies have shown that breastfeeding helps in cognitive development of the baby, reduces the child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese and reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome,“ says Dr Sheela CN, president, Bangalore Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

8. MYTH: LACTATING MOMS HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WITH THEIR DIET

Fact: Many mothers are told not to consume certain foods as they can affect the baby. However, while doing so, ensure that you are not missing out on nutrition. Also, you don’t have to drink extra milk to produce milk for the child.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/2arYYYW

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