Techniques and Benefits of Exclusive Breast Feeding for Mothers and Newborn

Definition of Exclusive Breast Feeding:

According to World Health Organization (WH0), Exclusive breastfeeding” is defined as no other food or drink, not even water, except breast milk (including milk expressed or from a wet nurse) for 6 months of life, but allows the infant to receive ORs, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines). Exclusive breastfeeding – that is the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water.

Exclusive breast feeding techniques and benefits
Fig: Exclusive breast feeding techniques and benefits

Immediate Benefits of Exclusive Breast Feeding for Mothers and Newborn:

Immediate benefits exclusive breastfeeding for mothers and newborn are-

  • Skin-to-skin contact results in babies that are more likely to latch on correctly.
  • Baby is more alert during this time, which makes establishing the breastfeeding relationship easier.
  • Nursing helps release oxytocin in the mother which aids in uterine contraction.
  • Sucking is a calming activity for babies.
  • Baby stays warm, using mother’s body heat to help regulate its own.
  • It helps milk come in faster.
  • It boosts baby’s immune system.
  • It is said that immediate breastfeeding leads to longer nursing relationships.

Benefits of Exclusive Breast Feeding:

1. Benefits for Baby:

  • Breast milk is best suited for the baby.
  • It contains antibodies which provide protection from infection eg. IgA, IgM
  • Breast milk is safe, clean, hygienic and available at correct temperature.
  • It protects from acute & chronic infection.
  • It contains growth factors.
  • It prevents malnutrition & infant mortality rate.
  • It builds up mother – child relationship.
  • Breast feeding babies are more intelligent.
  • It reduces obesity.
  • It helps in jaw & teeth development.
  • It helps better brain development.

2. Benefits for Mother:

  • The risk of post-partum hemorrhage may be reduced.
  • The risk of breast & ovarian cancer may be reduced.
  • It acts as a contraceptive method and prevents ovulation.
  • It helps to reduce obesity.
  • It helps in involution of the uterus.

Technique of Breast Feeding:

Technique of breast feeding includes the following-

  • Position of mother, her baby language & any possible tension.
  • Position of mother’s hand on the breast, using the thumb & index finger to compress the areola and support the breast facilitates infant’s ability to grasp the areola properly.
  • Baby’s chin, not the nose is touching mother’s breast.
  • Use of alternate breast and feeding time on each breast.
  • Technique to breast suction, should release suction using fingers between the areola & lips.
  • Maintain correct latching position.

Indications of Breast Feeding:

Indications of breast feeding includes the below:

  • Take feed at least eight times in a day.
  • The baby has six or more diapers in a day.
  • There or eight bowel in a day.
  • Average weight gain 18-30 gm/day.
  • Mother’s breast may feel full before a feed and softer afterward.

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