Best Milk is Breast Milk
With all the tension of work, money, coping without family support, many young mothers find they are producing insufficient breast milk to feed their babies in the first 3 months.
My first advice is that if you are planning a baby, as a mother to be, you must make some very serious choices, decisions and commitments to feeding or nursing your baby.
Your mental planning must be to cope with 9 months of pregnancy and at least 6 months of breast feeding. One year of breast feeding would be ideal.
In 99% of cases there will be enough milk produced for at least the first 3 months. We have done research in slums and found that even undernourished mothers produce enough breast milk, though they donít get good food after delivery. If the baby is put to the breast regularly, milk will be produced.
The first rule is to try and keep an approximately 2-3 hourís gap between feeds. If the baby cries in between the 2 hours gap Ė she may be wet, soiled or want to burp or go to sleep so donít just put the baby to the breast every time she/he cries. Then the breasts get a chance to be filled with enough milk to give the baby a full feed after 2 hours and the pattern is established.
There is also an ideal technique to get maximum milk production. Put the baby to the right breast, feed for 5 minutes by the clock. Remove from breast, burp and put to left breast. Allow baby to feed at this breast for 10 Ė 20 minutes or as long as she desires.
At the next feed be sure to put the baby to the left breast for 5 min and then to the right breast for 10-20 min. This gives the breast the chance to get emptied and filled properly.
From the diet part, the mother should try to drink 4 liter water and one liter milk (Tonned milk) daily. Avoid eating ghee and other fatty foods as they donít help in milk production.
In very rare cases there may be some physiological problem and milk may be less. The advice is not to give cowís milk or buffalo milk up to 6-9 months. During this time if the milk is insufficient then formula milk may be introduced as this is prepared as closely as possible in composition to the mothers milk. Also the bottle used must be cleaned and sterilized so as to prevent many stomach infections in the early months.
In the first 3 months no other supplementary food can be introduce and water is also not necessary, only milk is to be given and please try very hard to give only the breast milk as it contains some substances which help to increase the babies resistance to infection later in life. Try not to work and have some kind of help at home for at least these 3 months so you may relax and do full justice to breast feeding your baby. Breast milk is ideal for the baby for the first six to nine months. Breast is Best.
In some cases milk seems to be sufficient in the day time and insufficient at night. This may be due to the mother getting too exhausted, dehydrated or too hungry by the night time. Please make sure that you consciously drink about one litre water from 6pm to 10pm. Dinner should be between 8 to 8.30pm so that the food is digested and you have enough energy to breast feed by 10.30pm(many mothers are eating dinner as late as 9.30 or 10pm). Around 10.30 try to have a hot cup of milk and rest for sometime so that you can give a good breast feed to your baby at night.