The Infant food for a newborn for the first six months of life is called EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING (EBF)
- EBF means that an infant receives only breast milk and no other liquids or solids not even water for 6 months after birth.
- Breast milk is the only best food you can give your baby in the first 6 months of life
- The baby will not be thirsty because breast milk contains over 80% of water
- The colostrum is not dirty; it is the first form of milk produced for 2-5 days after delivery. The colour is light yellow and not dirty. Rich in antibodies and fat.
BENEFITS OF EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING TO THE CHILD
- It contains all the nutrients in their correct amount including water.
- Breast milk is easily digested and efficiently used up by the body.
- Breast milk contain element which help to protect the baby against infection. The first milk is called colostrum which is particularly rich in anti-bodies.
- Breast fed babies enjoys some protection from allergies, emotional and social support from the mother.
- Breast fed babies respond to vaccine and recovers faster from illness
BENEFITS OF EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING TO THE MOTHER
- Prevent excessive bleeding after delivery contributing to the reduction of anaemia
- Promote the return of uterus to the normal state
- Reduce the chance of infection of the uterus due to the shortened bleeding period.
- Helps women to get her shape back
- Helps to prevent full and sore breast and other breast problem
- Can be used as a family planning method for 1st 6 months. It should be noted that it is not 100% safe method especially after 6 months.
- Reduce the work load of feeding the baby.
- Reduce worry about milk spoiling or non-availability
- Reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
BENEFITS OF EXCLUSIVE BREAST FEEDING THE SOCIETY
- The cost of medical care during illness are reduced
- The cost of feeding the baby is reduced, no need for milk formula, and feeding equipment.
- Better environment as there is less waste as mother throw away feeding bottles and teats.
TEN STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL INITIATION OF BREASTFEEDING
- Before delivery, mold the nipple with Vaseline after bathing or use soap and water to massage and pull out nipple during bathing. Better still allow husband to use mouth to mold and pull out nipple to prevent sore nipple, nipple cracks.
- Start breastfeeding as early as possible; within 30minutes of birth.
- Breastfeed your baby on demand. Night and day
- Feed babies 8-12 times day and night
- Mother should take adequate water at least 6-8 sachets of water per day and food – extra 2 meal every day.
- Don’t give your baby pacifiers or artificial teats.
- Practice rooming in – allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Always allow skin to skin contact with the baby – Put baby on your chest.
- Correct positioning in breastfeeding, ensure the whole nipple is in the mouth of baby.
- Join breastfeeding support groups which increases your interest in breastfeeding
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