Is my breast milk enough for my baby?
- 6 Months ago
Many lactating mothers have this doubt about breastfeeding, especially during the third and fourth month. Is breast milk enough to take care of a baby’s nutritional needs? Yes, as a matter of fact, breast milk is the only nutritious food that can save your baby from infections and allergies.
Breastfeeding is an absolute necessity for the first six months, and should continue till the baby turns one or one and half years. The baby’s suckling action increases the production of breast milk. Always feed your baby from one breast completely before moving to the other.
Remember that for the first 10 minutes, you get foremilk that has more water content and is rich in lactose. After that, comes the thick, white milk called hind milk which is rich in all the necessary nutrients. This will protect your child from infections and allergies, and also increases your baby’s immunity.
Working mothers may express milk and store it at home for the baby. Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for 4 hours, in the refrigerator for 24 hours, and in the freezer for 48 hours. If you are regularly feeding your baby, it may take some time for you to get used to the breast - pumping device. You may have to practice for some time before you get back to work. Remember to extract milk from both the breasts whenever you use the device and continue to extract even after you have fed the baby.
If you wish to find out if your baby is getting enough breast milk, look for these signs:
- Your baby gains weight consistently. On an average, a healthy baby gains between 1/2 to 1 kg per month.
- The baby urinates frequently. If your baby passes urine for about 6 to 8 times a day it is an indication that your baby is getting enough breast milk.
- Clear urine is another indicator of a good feed.
- Your baby pulls out after a feed with some amount of milk remaining in the mouth.
- Your baby suckles at a good pace and seems satisfied after a feed.
Weaning is allowed only after your baby reaches six months of age. However, you can start fresh juices from the fourth month onwards. That is a good time to introduce the baby to other foods. And for weaning, a homemade mixture is better than outside ready foods. Your baby’s digestive system is ready to take semi solids only after six months. Early weaning may lead to infections, allergies, stomach pain, and constipation.
Consult with your pediatrician before starting on any feeds other than breast milk. Do not be under the wrong notion that you are producing less milk. Remember that you will produce as much milk as your baby requires and it will definitely satisfy his/her needs.