Infancy

Breast is truly the best

This week has been designated as Breast Feeding Week. If my granny were alive, she’d have laughed her head off. In her time there was no question of not breast feeding . My mother’s generation considered breast feeding to be ‘primitive’ and ‘backward’ and happily adopted bottles and formulae to make us chubby and healthy. But today’s mothers know better and the more educated the mother, the more likely she is to exclusively breast feed her child.

However, breast feeding is not always easy and the temptation to yield to the bottle is hard to resist with sore nipples and a cranky child. But I would advise every new mother – Don’t give up.

To start off with, breast feeding seems quite easy but there is a technique to breast feeding  which many young mothers have to be taught. While most learn by and by, there are some who resort to the help of a lactation expert who takes the new mother through the steps, introducing her to the correct way of feeding a child. This is sometimes necessary because many a young mother has abandoned nursing her child simply because of sore nipples or fussy babies or just because they couldn’t deal with the infant’s frequent demands for tiny and frequent feeds.

I was thrilled to see this graphic in the Sunday edition of the Times of India today. Honestly, there’s really nothing like breast feeding for a healthy baby.

Apart from the health benefit for the baby which is life long, incidentally, there is the added benefit of emotional bonding between a mother and child. Children who are exclusively breast fed for at least the first six months of their lives will have less chances of developing allergic conditions like asthma and lesser chances of stomach infections with contaminated water or unclean bottles/teats etc. Apart from this, the chances of getting seasonal coughs and colds too is largely limited so breast feeding is undoubtedly the best gift you can give your child. Besides, there’s nothing more convenient than breast feeding especially while travelling with baby – all you have to do is pack up baby and go without having to worry about bottles, formula and water.

Modern mothers are quite sold by the idea of breast feeding their babies as this graphic clearly shows and many of them resort to pumping and storing their milk so that even if they cannot physically be present to feed the child, at least the baby is getting breast milk.

So much to the regret of formula manufacturers, breast feeding is once again gaining popularity and I’m glad for this as healthy babies have better chances of growing into healthy adults.

AND, IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW IT – NURSING MOTHERS LOSE WEIGHT FASTER THAN THEY GAINED IT AND REMAIN YUMMY MUMMIES FOR ALL TIME TO COME!

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