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The growth of the infants during the first 6 months of the life is greater and faster than any other period of life. Feeding plays an important role in it.
· To provide sufficient fluid
· To get adequate food
· To provide balanced composition
· To provide easily digestible food
The two important reasons for breast feeding is avoidance of infections and survival.
· Ideal composition for easy digestion with low osmatic load.
· Protection against infection and deficiency disorders.
· Breast milk are readily available in body temperature and sterile.
· Requiring no preparation and costs nothing.
· It has laxative action.
· No danger of allergy.
· Maintains healthy mother and child relationship.
· Chance of conception is less during lactation.
· Helps in the involution of the uterus.
· Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer of mother.
· Breast feeding protects the infant from allergy and bronchial asthma. It also protects against tetany, neonatal hypoglycemia and vitamin deficiencies.
· It is essential for the brain growth of an infant.
Even though breast milk is best to feed the baby as it offers a lot more than just nutrition. There are several challenges in breast feeding. They are
· Due to mother
· Due to infant
· over anxiety
· Following operative surgery
· Maternal illness
· Inadequate secretion
· Breast ailments
· Low birth weight babies
· Preterm babies
· Temporary illness
· Over distension of the foetal stomach
· Congenital malformation like cleft palate etc
Mother should be comfortable and relaxed physically and mentally before giving feed. She should wash her hand and can have a glass of milk or water. Mother should have no due work while feeding the baby.
Baby should be cleaned and dried before feeding because, baby may feel discomfort or may not co-operate during feeding.
· Sit or lie down comfortably with mother’s back supported.
· Make sure the baby has one arm on either side of the breast as you pull the baby close.
· Use firm pillows or folded blankets under the baby to keep supported during the feeding.
· Support the baby’s back and shoulder firmly.
· Once the baby’s mouth is open wide, pull the baby quickly on your back.
· Football position
· Cradling position
· Lying down position
· Across the lap position
· Latching on position
All babies swallow air
when they suck. They collect as a bubble in the babies stomach causing
discomfort. So burping of the baby is essential to prevent aspiration of milk
into trachea. Burping should be done each time after every feed. Put the baby
over the mother’s shoulder and give a gentle tap on the child’s back, till the
baby burps or for few seconds.
It is the process of gradually introducing an infant to what will be its adult diet and withdrawing the supply of its mother milk.
Upto six months no other foods (including water) should be given except breast milk.
If breast feeding is stopped, suddenly, it can have psychological and nutritional effect on the young children.
Solid foods can cause diarrhoea if not digested properly.
If weaning foods are too poor to provide adequate nutrients, the children can develop malnutrition.
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