Is breast milk sufficient for my baby or do I need to supplement it with top milk ?

? One of the common queries which I get in my well baby opd from mothers is that my baby is always hungry and I think my milk is not sufficient for baby?

Recommendations are clear that exclusive breastfeeding  should be practiced till 6 months I.e. there is enough breast milk produced by mothers to take care of nutritional needs of their baby.

Three important things: (suggesting that your baby is fine)

1. Baby sucking well on breast
2. Passing urine 8 to 10 times or more in 24 hours
3. Gaining weight adequately ( measured during every vaccination by your pediatrician)

If above 3 things are in place you can be rest assured that your milk is sufficient for nutritional needs and growth of your child.

Small babies have habit of sucking on to anything or everything they get  whether its cloths , their thumb or finger and that is the main reason why mothers are concerned. In medical terminology we call it “Mouthing”. It is part of normal development of your child and in very small babies it is a pleasurable activity or self soothing activity.

? If soon after feeding baby starts crying, does it means my baby is hungry again?
Not necessarily.

Babies have all the emotions which we have , ie they are happy, sad, frustrated,  angry, want your love and attention and varoius other emotions but they have only one way of communicating with you , and that is by “crying”.  So if your baby is crying , just hold him/her in your arms and most likely the baby will stop crying.
And remember if your baby is really hunger no matter what you do, baby will remain inconsolable untill given feed.

? Breastfeeding should be on demand. Sometime your baby might ask for feeds every hour and sometimes might sleep for 3 to 4 hours at stretch. So on an average 8 to 10 feeds in 24 hours is to be given.

? Breastfeeding should be done from both the breast at one time. That means feed from right breast for 5 to 10 minutes and shift to left breast and feed for 5 to 10 minutes and then brup the baby. Next time start from left breast and finish on right one. In doing so your baby will get maximum breast milk and output of both the breast will be similar.

So do breast feed your baby, its a god gift for your baby and one of the most amazing feeling that increases your bond with your baby. Your love and attachment to your baby will increase significantly.

More on breastfeeding in my next blog.

For any queries , you can ask your pediatrician or write to us.

Regards

Dr. Rahul Varma

“Healthy kids, Happy family”

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