Breastfeeding is the greatest source of complete nutrition for the newborn which sets up the baby on the road to healthy growth and development, a release issued by SUM Ultimate Medicare (SUMUM) here said.
Mother’s milk is the sole and excellent source of nutrition for the newborn for about six months and can be continued up to two years if needed as it contained everything the infant required for the first months of life including immune-strengthening antibodies, Ms. Sushri Sangita Jena, Senior Clinical Nutritionist in the hospital, said.
The hospital, which celebrated the Breastfeeding Week which ended on August 7, has been promoting breastfeeding as it brought fulfillment and joy to the mother and ensured emotional bonding with the baby while nursing.
Ms. Jena said the newborn should be placed at the mother’s breast at the earliest after birth so that the baby can start sucking as soon as possible, preferably within one hour. Initially, the baby is receptive to sucking and this leads to production of colostrum or the thick yellowish milk that is secreted for the first two to three days after childbirth.
The colostrum is rich in substances which increase immunity and reduce neonatal mortality, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
She said the mother should continue breastfeeding, even increase the frequency of breastfeeding if the child is suffering from diarrhoea, fever and cold. The baby, if suffering from diarrhoea, requires more water which is mitigated by breastfeeding. “The child, if more than six months of age, may not complete the feed at a time due to cough and fever, hence the frequency of breastfeeding should be increased,” she said.
The theme of the Breastfeeding Week this year was ‘Protect Breastfeeding, A Shared Responsibility.’ SUMUM’s Dietetics Team celebrated the occasion with patients, their attendants and staff members by organizing a Lactating Food Exhibition and a quiz competition.