Healthy Tips By Us!

Healthy Tips By Us!
Healthy Tips By Us!

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"Breast feeding" is an art and a skill and is far more superior to artificial bottle-feeding or feeding the baby with baby foods. The babies should be put on breast milk only. They should be breast-fed for a period of atleast six months and then for the next six months other food items can be included in the babies diet along with breast-feeding. Babies should be put on breast milk within an hour after its birth. A newborn must get the meuconium -the thick, yellowish breast milk, rich in vitamins, especially vitamins A and K and is also rich in many antibodies and other factors that protect the child against life-threatening infections. Though the meuconium is secreted in a small amount in the first few days after birth, it is enough to meet all the needs of the newborn.

Keep your baby close to you immediately after birth. This tends to improve and increase the closeness between the mother and the child. Assuming the right position during breast-feeding is of utmost importance. The baby should be facing the breast directly, with its tummy touching the mother's and then ask the mother to make a 'V' with her fingers around the nipples and angle it up slightly. Then stroke the baby's cheek to make him open his mouth and then pull him in rapidly, thrusting the entire nipple and one-fourth to half an inch of the areola into his mouth. Use both the breasts during a feed and let your baby suckle in as much as it wants. Do not force in anything. Artificial feeding or bottle-feeding are better avoided since the chances of spreading the infection are more, thus leading to some serious illness.

From sixth month onwards, continue the breast-feeding but add the following foods as advised: 

1. Start boiled and cooled water with a small glass. No need to use bottle at any age.

2. The best substitute for mother's milk and the best supplementary food is fresh fruit juice, especially grape and orange juice. Fruit juice and breast milk should be given at different times.

3. Never give the baby artificial baby food as it is dead food and is best avoided.

4. A quarter banana or stewed apple can be mashed and given to the baby and increase the quantity by a quarter every succeeding week. Other seasonal fruits like pears (boiled), papaya, mango, chickoo, etc. can also be given.

5. Porridge can be added to the baby's diet after a week of starting the fruits.

6. Home made suji kheer (rava kheer); thin sheera with ghee; dalia from broken wheat or ragi (nachni); soaked bread in milk or mashed boiled rice with milk should be preferred to readymade cereals.

7. A highly nutritious recipe can be made by roasting, grinding and mixing equal parts of rice, wheat, ragi and moong dal. The mixed powder is stored in an airtight container. This readymade powder can be used for making thin kheer with milk and sugar or thin sheera with ghee and sugar (or salt). One to two teaspoonfuls are given twice a day after a breast-feed, in the morning and evening. Keep increasing the amount every third or fourth day as required by the baby.

8. Soft-boiled egg can be added a week later for those who eat eggs. Start with a teaspoonful of the yellow portion and slowly increase the amount by teaspoonful increments adding the white of eggs so that the baby may use the whole egg in about four weeks from the commencement.

9. Add mashed and well-cooked vegetables (dark green leafy vegetables, carrots and pumpkin are preferable items) a week later. Begin with two to four teaspoonfuls and increase progressively.

10. Then after another week or two, add mashed and well-cooked khichri or rice and dal. Begin this with two to four teaspoonfuls and then increase the quantity accepted by the baby.

11. After one year, mother's milk can be continued and cow's or buffalo's milk, though not essential, can be given from a glass two times daily.

12. Gradually let the child get used to the adult food made at home. Children who do not eat enough at a time should be offered food and fruits every two to three hours, but do not force.

a. A baby needs the feeling of warmth, closeness and security of the mother's body, and this is available through the act of breast-feeding.

b. Breast-fed babies have a better immunity than bottle-fed babies and are thus less susceptible to infections of any kind. This is because mother's milk directly supplies the antibodies necessary to fight the infections.

c. Breast milk is digested and assimilated better than cow's milk. Breast-fed babies thus have much lesser frequency of digestive disorders and nutritional deficiencies.

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