Breastfeeding: Guidelines for Breastfeeding Mothers
Breast milk is a natural nutrient rich drink for babies. Besides, it not only benefits the baby but also helps mothers as well. Shreya Brahme, Dietician and Nutritionist and blogger at Dietician Shreya, helps us understand the benefits and precautions that lactating mothers need to take while breastfeeding.
Shreya says, ‘The breast milk produced during the first few hours, just after delivery is known as Colostrums. This milk is rich in antibodies. From roughly 4-8 days after the birth, the breast produces transitional milk, which has a higher lactose, fat and energy content.’
Diet for Lactating mother:
Mothers, who are breastfeeding their babies, need something different from other mothers. Here is what you need to include in your diet, in order to have sufficient nutritional milk for your baby.
• Include lots of easily digestible vegetables and fruits like spinach and bananas.
• Include dairy products like milk and yoghurt.
• Include dry fruits like nuts, almonds, cashews ets.
• Eat non-veg in moderation.
• Drink plenty of lukewarm water.
• Eat a mixture of 1 tsp roasted til, ajwain,sauf and black-salt after your meal.
• Avoid medication without doctors advice.
Advantages of Breastfeeding
• Meets complete nutritional needs for up to the first 6 months of the baby's life.
• Protect infants from viruses and bacterial contamination.
• Improves the child's and mother’s health. Gives emotional and physical satisfaction to the mother and may help her to return to her original weight.
• Lowers risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
• May reduce the risk of sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
It is important that you as a mother shouldn’t allow baby to suck just from one breast. If the baby is still hungry after feeding from one breast then the other breast should be offered. If both breasts are used during feed, the baby will be well feed and can sleep well.
Storing of Breast milk
• Breast milk should be stored in a sterile container with a lid or in sterile plastic bag.
• The bottle or cup must be sterilised properly, before using it.
• If the breast milk has been frozen, it should be allowed to thaw in the refrigerator or by placing the container in warm water until it thaws.
• It should not be heated using a microwave or oven.
Guidelines for storage of expressed breast milk
|Storage of milk||Storage time|
|Room temperature||Up to 2 hrs|
|Refrigerated breast milk||Up to 48 hrs|
|Freeze box in Fridge||2 weeks|
|Separate door fridge/ Freezer||3 to 4 months|
|Separate deep freezer||6 months|
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images