Breast Feeding

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INTRODUCTION

The health of your newborn depends upon the health status of the mother and her awareness, education and skills in mother craft. Every mother looks at her baby with a sense of pride. She has the advantages of instinct, concern and interest apart from loads of love, affection and a sense of sacrifice to look after her baby.

Breastfeeding her child is the most natural thing for every mother. It is a unique experience to be cherished and protected by the family and the health caregivers. Medical research has shown that if mothers are given assistance, it helps to increase duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Breast milk offers the best and complete nutrition for a baby in the first four months of life. The advantages of prolonged and exclusive breast-feeding are overwhelming for a baby’s and mother’s health. A baby should be kept on exclusive breast-feeding for at least 4 months, preferably 6 months or for as long as possible in working mothers. Exclusive breast-feeding means that no water, milk or even vitamins should be offered to the baby. In families with a history of allergies (asthma, allergy) it is recommended that exclusive breast feeds should be continued for as long as 6 months. Weaning should be a slow process over several months so as not to upset both the baby and the mother.