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Having a baby is an extraordinary and joyous experience. From the moment you start thinking about becoming parents, you feel an amazing experience. Having a baby is a magical experience and one that completely change your perspective on life.

The time from the conception to the birth of a child is marked by developments that can have a profound impact on the rest of the individual’s life. The process is transformative and transitional, both a culmination and a beginning. It brings a sense of oneness and of separateness, a total change of outlook and intense focus. It is an experience so charged with joy, gratitude, stress and fear that it becomes your story of courage, strength, and love.

Newborn up to 4-6 months feeding

You should know about the requirements of your baby. If your baby does not get enough, baby will cry for more and if there is more in the bottle baby will stop when stomach gets full. Your baby will wake up when hungry and will cry when wants feed. If you will stop your child in the middle of nursing your child will cry furiously. Your baby will sleep when gets satisfied. If you will constantly urge your baby to take more your baby will become steadily less interested. So do not force your baby to take more feeding, let them enjoy their meals.

What are the advantages of breast milk feeding?

Mother’s first milk which is known as colostrum’s provides immunity to the infant against many infectious diseases. Mother’s milk is rich in essential nutrients required by baby for proper growth and development. It is easy to digest and infant gets required amount of iron present in the mother’s milk.

Mother’s milk is pure and does not contain any impurities that may harm your baby. There are other benefits of breast feeding also. Some of the important advantages of breast feeding are:

  • You do not have to wash the bottles every time after feeding
  • You do not have to sterilize the bottles
  • It saves a lot of time
  • Breast feeding also saves money as you do not have to buy commercial formulas from the market
  • Breast feeding helps to satisfy your baby’s sucking instinct
  • Your satisfaction and creating a strong bond of relationship between you and your baby. You feel contented that you have something to give your baby and no one else can give this to your baby
  • Mother’s milk is a rich source of all the essential nutrients and prevents your child from infection and any other illness
  • It also helps you to regain normal body shape as when a baby sucks milk from the breast many hormonal changes take place and help to normalize the reproductive functions.

Many women do not want to breast feed their babies due to certain misconceptions in their mind. Breast feeding is a pleasurable act for the mother. Breast feeding establishes natural bonding between mother and the child. Therefore, it is recommended that breast feeding should be encouraged by the doctor and family.

How does baby get milk from the breasts?

Breasts are made up of glands that have ducts. Milk flows in these ducts when baby puts the nipple in its mouth and sucks it. Milk formed in the ducts travel towards the center of the breast in the nipples.

A dark colored portion is formed around the nipple which is called as areolar area. Baby puts the areola area in its mouth and squeezes the milk out of the sinuses through the nipple. If your baby puts the areola area in the mouth, your baby will have good squeezing power and there are less chances of injury to the nipple. If your baby puts only nipple in the mouth, chances of biting the nipple are high and you can get injury. You have to stop it at once to avoid any injury to the nipple. You can help your child to find the nipples and put it properly in the mouth for proper sucking action.

There may be little milk in your breasts in the first few days after baby’s birth. Milk starts to come in breasts after three to four days. In first mothers, milk may be delayed a little whereas in mother’s for the second time get milk early in their breast. As soon as baby starts sucking from the breast, milk starts coming and in few days there will be sufficient supply of milk in your breasts. You have to remain calm and do not worry if takes few days.

But if you do not get milk in your breasts even after a week, you should consult your doctor. Less milk may be due to your ill health or weakness in your body. You may have improper diet which is leading to less secretion of milk from the breasts.

How many times a day do you feed your baby?

There are two reasons for babies to nurse. The most important reason is when they are hungry and second they love sucking. If you will give extra feed to your baby and do not give time to get enough sucking, their craving for sucking will remain unsatisfied and they will try to suck their fists, or their thumbs, or something else. Thus, it is important to give a long enough nursing period at each feeding and to give sufficient number of feedings each day.

Time period for each feeding

It is important for a mother to limit the nursing time. It varies from baby to baby and let your baby decide its feeding time period. If you will allow your child to nurse when hungry and for as long as wants to, your baby will not become hungry soon. You can hold your baby for twenty to thirty minutes per feeding for the first week of life because your child may need feed for every two hours.

When to nurse?

You can nurse your baby as often as your baby becomes hungry. But you can nurse your child as often as after half an hour. If you are a mother for the second time you will not have any difficulty in nursing your baby after half an hour or an hour.

 It is thought that baby always cries when hungry but there may be some other reasons as well for crying such as colic, irritability, lack of sleep etc. Thus, it is necessary to understand the needs of your child. Your baby may not feed till two hours. You can try to pacify your baby by rocking in arms, giving a pacifier and if still you think that he/she is hungry you can give feed for 10-15 minutes. You can limit each feed for 20-25 minutes and not more than that.

Feeding schedules

Babies are prone to suffer from intestinal infections during first few months of life. It is difficult to find the real cause of intestinal infections in infants. It is believed that the real cause of intestinal infections is either contamination of the milk or giving wrong proportions of the infant formula or irregularity in feeding. You have to maintain regular feeding schedule for your infant to prevent any infection.

It is recommended to maintain a strict regularity with the feeding schedule of the babies. If your baby is getting enough feed at one time, he/she may remain comfortable for three to four hours. Some babies have difficulty in adjusting to the regular feeding schedule in the first few months of life. You have to establish a feeding schedule for your baby depending upon its demands. By the age of two weeks, your baby will need six to seven feeding in a day. As soon as your baby becomes ten weeks old he/she may develop a three to four hours feeding pattern.

Conclusion

Almost all babies have a tendency to develop regular feeding patterns and sleeping patterns. The pattern changes as baby grows older. It does not mean that you have to formulate a three to four hour feeding schedule for your child. You as a mother has to play an important role in helping your child to develop feeding schedule.

Most of the babies who are breast fed become hungry soon as compare to bottle fed babies because breast milk is easy to digest. At the end of three months of age your baby will not need middle of the night feeding and will give up itself.

Some parents do not want to follow the customary approach of feeding schedule and they want to feed their child whenever the child wakes up and will not try to wake their baby if he/she has been sleeping for more than four hours. This can work with parents who are comfortable and do not mind in getting up anytime at night. It is comfortable with babies who are peaceful and have a good digestion. But fretful babies cannot tolerate this feeding schedule as they will require many more feedings to pacify them and parents will not get enough rest during the day and night.



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