Mother's milk is the best food for a child. Milk of animal origin, milk mixtures, powdered milk, teas, sweetened drinks, water and porridges are significantly inferior to mother's milk and can often harm a child, causing a great range of diseases (allergic reactions, intestinal disorders, etc.).
Breast milk is more easily absorbed by a child. Besides, it ensures normal growth, development and protection of a child from diseases. Even in a hot and dry climate, breast milk completely satisfies the baby's need for liquids. Under the condition of full-fledged breastfeeding, neither water nor other types of liquids are required in the first six months of life. Taking any other foods or drinks can cause diarrhea.
Breast milk substitutes, similar by its nutrition value, are very expensive. With artificial feeding a child needs 40 kg of diluted milk formula, which requires about 80 cans of dry mixes per one year. Health workers should inform all mothers, who plans to switch to breast milk substitutes, about their cost.
If regular weighing of a breastfed infant of the age under six months shows a delayed weight gaining, then:
- This child needs the feeding to be more frequent and each should last at least 15 minutes;
- The child should be helped to take the breast correctly;
- The child may be ill and should be examined by a pediatrician;
- The family should ensure that mother will take rational, healthy nutrition during breastfeeding by introducing special foods that containing balanced amount of vitamins and microelements.
Additional food and drinks required only when infant is at age of six months and ready to be introduced to a complementary foods - new foods in its diet. However, by doctor's recommendation, lure can introduced at four months. Meanwhile, the breastfeeding can continue until child reaches the age of two years.
The contact between mother and her newborn should last as long as possible. Best of all, when mother and child are in the same room as baby should be given a breast as often as it wishes.
While breastfeeding, it is really important how the mother holds the baby and how it takes the breast. The correct position of the child facilitates the process of breast grabbing and sucking. Here are some breastfeeding tips:
- child should be turned with all its body in direction of the mother;
- child's mouth is opened widely;
- visible part of the areola that is above the child's mouth, is larger than the one in his mouth;
- sucking moves are long and deep.