breastfeeding, feed a baby FAQs by Expert Paediatricians
I breast-fed my daughter for the first time 48 hours after delivery
but I am not too sure that this is the best way. Can you please
tell me when is the right time to start breast-feeding?
A. Breast feeding should begin as soon as possible - ideally
in the labour room immediately after delivery. Not only does this
help create a closer bond between mother and child, breast feeding
helps to contract the uterus and quicken recovery. Even after caesarian,
a baby should be allowed to suckle at the breast as soon as possible,
generally 6 hours after delivery. The suckling sets up a reflex
stimulus in the mother that promotes production of milk.
Should a newborn be given water or glucose initially?
A. A newborn should not be given any prelactal feed, be it
honey, water or glucose water. The baby doesn't need anything at
that time apart from the colostrum.
Q. Should honey be given to a newborn?
A. No. Honey is thick and viscous and can choke the baby.
Also honey is not sterilized and can be a source of infection.
Is the pre-milk (colostrum) good for the newborn?
A. Yes, this milk is excellent for the newborn. It is high
in calories, high in fats and essential proteins. It also high in
antibodies therefore helps boost the immunity of the child.
What is the best way to feed a baby?
A. The best way to do so is sitting up. Though feeding while
lying down is very comfortable for the mother, there is a chance
that the mother could inadvertently fall asleep and roll over the
child suffocating him by her breast.
How often should one feed the baby?
A. Feed the baby as often as he asks for milk. Milk is not
just a source of nutrition to the baby, it is also a source of comfort.
Should you feed a baby when you have fever?
A. Yes, the only contra indications to nursing are when the
mother suffers from diseases such as open tuberculosis or when she
has a heart condition or any other serious medical conditions which
How does one feed with inverted or retracted nipples?
A. Teach the baby to suck on the areola. Once the baby starts
suckling on the areola the suction force will help pull out the
nipples. As it is the source of the milk is not the nipple but the
areola. The nipple is only used by the child to latch on to.
Q. How long can you keep expressed milk?
A. Expressed milk can be kept in the fridge for 4-6 hours
depending upon the climatic conditions.
How should you express milk?
A. You express either by using your hands or with a breast
pump. Clean your hands before expressing. Always sterilize the breast
pump. Remember to express from the periphery on to the center.
Should an infant be given water apart from his feeds?
A. No. The mother's milk is sufficient to slake the thirst
of a new born as there is a large percentage of water in it.
When should one start their child on semi-solids?
A. You can start your baby on semi-solids by 4-6 months,
depending on your baby.
What creates iron deficiency in children in India?
A. By and large, parents in India still put a lot of stress
on milk in the child's diet even once the child has started eating
proper food and is getting calcim from a lot of other sources. As
a result of such an overemphasis of milk the children don't take
in enough iron rich food. Actually, if about 80% food is given as
compared to 20% milk then the chances of iron deficiency are much
Are cottons nappies better than diapers for a child?
A. Definitely. In a hot climate like ours breathable cotton
porous nappies are extremely important. Plastic diapers limit exposure
to air and can cause nappy rash.
How can you beat Nappy rash?
A. Exposure to air is the single most important treatment.
Wash the affected area with flowing water rather than with wet cotton.
Do not rub but pat gently with a soft cloth to dry it. Talcum powder
should not be used as it blocks pores. And finally, change nappies