Breastfeeding a prerequisite ritual in the life of a newborn and the mother for the healthy growth of the baby for it is the first and the best nutritious food for a newborn.
The primary stage of nurturing the baby
The first three months of a child’s life is the most delicate period for both the mother and the child. Mothers have to go through a lot of unexpected experiences in the first few months of their motherhood – from a range of health issues to lactation and breastfeeding. In this turbulent period, a lot of suggestions and instructions are launched on the new mother regarding the care of her child.
Worldwide, the first week of August is celebrated as the ‘breastfeeding’ awareness week. Many of us are aware of its essentiality and strive to care for our children in the best possible way; however, there is still a lack of awareness regarding exclusive breastfeeding, the duration for which a baby needs to be breastfed, and the diet of the mother during this period.
Advantage mammals, including us the humans
Breastfeeding is a unique and the best way of providing the right nutrition for a baby for healthy growth. It is unique to mammals in the animal world, including us, the humans. Several researchers have shown that exclusive breastfeeding of an infant for six months is the perfect way to feed the infant. If the baby is fed only and exclusively on breastmilk, no other additional food or water during these six months is required for the baby.
Exclusive breastfeeding has a set of advantages for the baby as well as the mother, and the advantages prove that exclusive breastfeeding is the best kickstarter for the baby’s growth.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the infants include,
1.the best supply of all the nutrients an infant needs the first six months of life, thereby reducing infant mortality,
2. Helps in better development of sensory and cognitive abilities, leading to better intelligence quotient (IQ)
3. Rich in antibiotics, breast milk helps the baby in fighting infectious and chronic diseases
4. Reduces incidences of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and obesity
The second best for your baby
There may be reasons when the mother is unable to lactate or breastfeed the baby due to medical reasons or some unforeseen situations, the human milk from the other lactating lady is the second best option. Dai maa or the nursing mother was a common practice in the Indian culture. The ‘human milk bank' may seem like a novel concept today, but it is the modern-world reincarnation of the age-old system.One should know that the milk-substitutes may provide the required nutrients, but the useful pro-health and anti-disease properties of human breast milk cannot be replaced. This is where the human milk banks play a critical role; a human milk bank provides milk to the premature or low weight infants, the babies who separated from their mothers due to some medical complications, or to the orphaned infants.
The breast milk is collected from healthy mothers, who are lactating for six months or less and who produce excess milk than required by their infant. The breast milk is extracted by mothers using ‘breast pumps' offering a safe method to extract the milk, and deposited with the milk bank. The milk is then screened, processed, pasteurised and stored under prescribed conditions before giving it to the babies who need it. It can be stored in tightly sealed containers at home, and it is to be given to the babies within 96 hours of collection to ensure that it delivers the best nutritional value.
Points to remember
In the sweet chaos of taking the best care of your child, few things are bound to slip away from your mind. Let me share a few tips to breastfeed and create a strong bond with your child successfully
1. Breastfeeding the baby within the first hour of life is essential.
2. While breastfeeding, the position is crucial; tummy to tummy is the best position.
3. Don’t use artificial teats or pacifiers to avoid confusion with the nipple.
4. Feed the baby on his/her demand, not by yours.
5. Skin to skin touch promotes milk production.
A. Nutrition deserves special attention during pregnancy because of increased demand and specific role of different nutrients for the baby during pregnancy.
B. A woman whose diet is adequate before pregnancy is usually able to come out with full term pregnancy
Without elaborate modifications of her diet and lifestyle. For example, in diabetes, incidence of structural defects can be reduced to nil by bringing the blood glucose level under good control couple of months before conceiving.
C. Maternal nutrition taken during pregnancy are very important in supporting breastfeeding. Breast milk is best and complete food for baby during first four months as it also provides antibodies for protection against many infections.
Nutrition for young mother
Mother is the sun of the family, thus, she gives energy and life to the whole universe. The role of mother is most important amongst all the roles played by a woman.
The gratitude and appreciation cannot end till we all die because as we all know the first process of motherhood is named well as labour pains. As all mothers always only worry and focus on the health and system of whole family but a healthy mother can only take care and bring up a healthy family, Therefore all the women should give important to their health to the same level as to family members, we should specially focus on young mothers more as the whole body and life gets a turn of 360 degree in terms of:
Body and lifestyle.
Like pregnancy, adequate nutrition of mother during lactation is of vital importance, as for almost next 6 months the infant is going get all his nutrition from mother's milk, thus, a young lactating mother needs extra nutrients to meet the baby's needs in addition to her own requirements. If the mother is malnourished, the secretions of milk are maintained at the cost of her own body reserves.
Thus, a complete well-balanced diet is important for a successful lactation ,where the breastfeed infant is growing well and maintaining appropriate biochemical indexes of nutritional status of mother and baby both.
Changes in terms of nutritional needs and hormones are very high in young mothers
During pregnancy, a woman needs to take care of her body and her baby. One of the most important parts of pregnancy is the level of nutrition and diet of the woman. This has a direct bearing on the growth of the baby as well as the progression of the pregnancy. Nutrition is a matter of deciding what kind of food one should eat and the kind of food that one should stay away from, at this point. Weight management and looking after your sugar and blood pressure levels is also a part of this nutrition plan that you will follow during your pregnancy.
In case you are confused about the diet and nutrition plan that you must follow during your pregnancy, then here is a plan that you can use. Do remember to consult your doctor so that it may be customised as per your body and specific conditions.