Breastfeeding a child is arguably the best gift a mother and the society at large can give to a newborn because of its vast benefits to both the mother herself and the baby. These benefits range from emotional development between both parties to the health and economic advantages.
Breastfeeding can be defined as a process of feeding a baby with milk from the breast of a lactating mother. It is a natural phenomenon and is exhibited not only by humans but also by other mammals.
The act of breastfeeding is becoming neglected or substituted with artificial methods especially in developed countries where about 21% of children were never breastfed as opposed to 4% in low and middle-income countries. It is quite ironical, that man spends so much on less beneficial food which is incomparable to natural breast milk.
What Are The Recommendations For Breastfeeding?
WHO and UNICEF recommends that
- a nursing mother should initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of life of newborn because of a yellowish substance called colostrum produced for first few days after delivery which is very nutritious to the baby and contain a high proportion of proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are needed by the baby for survival in first few days outside the womb.
- the child is fed with only breast milk without the addition of water or food for the first six months of life and then up to two or more years with a combination of food and water.
- the nursing mother breastfeeds the child upon demand either in the day or night and avoids the use of feeding schedule
- the child sucks the nipple and not bottles, teats or pacifiers
How To Breastfeed
It is best to breastfeed a child in a position that both the mother and baby will be comfortable and relaxed. The mother should latch the baby by allowing the baby’s mouth to wrap around the whole nipple and part of the areola (the dark region around the nipple) so that the baby can massage the milk out of the duct easily.
In order not to bore you with too much information. Kindly check back tomorrow to read about the benefits of breastfeeding to the baby, mother, and society at large.