EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

By Godfrido F Mallya – Art in Tanzania internship         

Breastfeeding; means one of the most ways to ensure child health and survival. However, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6months, a rate that has not improved in 2 decades…World Health Organization

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It’s safe clean and contains antibody which help protect against many common childhood illness. Breast milk provides all need for the first months of life and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one third during the year of life

Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice or water) for 6months. After the introduction of other foods, it recommends continue to breastfeed through the baby first year of life.

How often you should breastfeed your baby depends on whether your baby prefers small, frequent meals or longer feeding. This will change as your baby grows. Newborns often want to feed every 2-3 hours. By 2months, feeding every 3-4hours is common and by 6months most babies feed every 4-5hours.

Signs that will indicate your baby is Hungry

  • Licking their lips or sticking out their tongue
  • Rooting, which is moving their jaw, mouth, or head to look for your breast
  • Putting their hand into their mouth
  • Opening their mouth, sucking on things

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby

  • Breast milk provide ideal nutrition for infants, perfectly mix of vitamin, protein and fat everything your baby need to grow
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Breast milk lower baby risk of having asthma or allergies, eaar infections, respiratory illness, bouts of diarrhea
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies
  • Breastfeeding create a good bond between mother and her baby
  • Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become of overweight as they grow

Breastfeeding benefits to the Mother

  • Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster, it release hormone oxytocin which help mother uterus return to its pre pregnancy size and many reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
  • Breastfeeding lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Also the osteoporosis
  • Breastfeeding save time and money, also provide a woman regular time to relax quietly with a newborn as she bond

ABCs of Breastfeeding

  1. Awareness: Watch for the baby sign of hunger and breastfeed whenever your baby is hungry this is called on demand feeding. The first few weeks you may breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.
  2. Be Patient: Breastfeed as long as your baby wants to breastfed each time. Don’t hurry your baby through feeding
  3. Comfort: Relax while breastfeeding and your milk is more likely to let down and flow. Get yourself comfortable with pillows as needed to support your arms and footrest to support your feet and leg before you begin to breastfeed

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