Aug 17, 2012

Feeding the baby for the first SIX months

                 Breastmilk is the BEST food for your baby for first six months of his life. But if the mother are unable to breastfeed your baby, the next best thing is to feed him iron fortified formula milk. If  arent able to gain access to the formula, its best to give him cow's milk and iron supplements.
             All the pediatric associations all the over world recommend that the child should be exclusively breastfeed for 6 months. Introduce solids after at 6 months, but also continue to breastfeed till atleast your child is 1 year old.
   It is very important for the nursing mom to take a very healthy diet during the period she is breastfeeding. When the mother is nursing, she is making all the food baby needs in the form of breastmilk, So the body uses any and all the available nutrients from the body to make the breastmilk. So if the mother doesn't eat nutritious diet, the body will still give the best possible nutrient combo mix breastmilk to the baby. As the result, the mother wont have adequate nutrients and will become tired and drained.
               One more important thing I realized was that, nursing mother needs to drink lots and lots of water, atleast 10 glasses of water minimum everyday, to prevent dehydration and to ensure adequate supply of milk.    
   In India, its common for nursing mothers to drink ayurvedic herb powder called as "Shatavari" which is a galactagogue. Its dissolved in milk and consumed by the nursing mothers. You can get shatavari capsules by Himalaya company, which is indeed a blessing for moms who arent fond of milk. Fenugreek seeds are also known to increase lactation.
                    Few precautions for nursing mothers, AVOID alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. If you see someone smoking near you, ask that person to move away from you and your baby. If drug is prescribed to nursing mom, she needs to inform the doctor about breastfeeding, as many drugs pass though the breastmilk and can have bad effects on your child. DO NOT consume any medication without referring to the doctor.

In India, the nursing mom have a different diet.The food prepared for the nursing mom is hot and freshly prepared. Few vegetables and beans are avoided for atleast first 3 months. This prevents the baby from developing gases and colic. The babies tend to get colic usually till 3 months.
The food avoided are:
  • Pungent spices such as chilli powder, garam masala, garlic
  • All types of beans (chole, rajma, lobiya,....)
  • Cabbage
  • raw vegetables
One last but very important thing I HAVE to mention is to keep your baby's mouth healthy, wipe her gums with a soft, clean, warm wet cloth before going to sleep at night.

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