Early initiation of breastfeeding is extremely important for establishing successful lactation as well as for providing â€ Colostrumâ€ (motherâ€™s first milk) to the baby. Ideally, the baby should receive the first breastfed as soon as possible and preferably within half an hour of birth. The newborn baby is very active during the first half an hour and if the baby is kept with the mother and effort is made to breastfeed, the infant learns sucking very fast. The early suckling by the infant starts the process of milk formation in the mother and helps in early secretion of breast milk. In case of cesarean deliveries, new born infants can be started with breastfeeding within 4-6 hours with support to the mother. Breast feeds should be given as often as the baby desires and each feed should continue for as long as the infant wants to suckle.
â€ Colostrumâ€â€“ first breast milk
- It is thicker and yellowish than later milk and comes only in small amounts for the first few days.
- It is the all the food and fluid needed at this time- no supplements are necessary,not even water.
During this period and later, the newborn should not be givenâ€“
- Any other fluid or food like honey, ghutti, animal or powdered milk,tea, water or glucose, since these are potentially harmful.