Tag Archives: breast feeding

Why breastfeeding is good ?

Why there is so much importance given to breast feed these days and what are its benefits to the baby and what are benefits to mother ? All  parents esp. the first time couples have this query. Few of the important points in this regards are

Benefits to baby:

  • Warmth to baby along with increased bonding between mother and child.
  • Easily digestible ( They say breast milk is “Tailor made as per requirement of your baby” )
  • No preparation is needed, ready to use.
  • Hygiene is maintain, no chance of contamination with micro organisms.
  • Best nutritious value i.e all the ingredient of balanced diet for baby.
  • Increases Immunity of your baby.
  • Prevents against allergies.
  • Prevents various Infections. There is less incidence of ear infections, cough, cold, loose motions and other serious illnesses in breast feed babies.
  • Best for optimum growth and development of your child.

Benefits for you (Mothers):

  • Pre Pregnancy figure achieved earlier and easily in mothers who opt to breast feed their baby. More calories is lost in breast feeding.
  • Natural Contraception. For 1st 6 months if Mother decides to exclusively breast feed child and her periods have not started, then high chance are there for natural contraception.
  • Less incidence of ovarian and breast cancers in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Increased bonding with their child.
  • Less incidence of emotional disturbances

Besides above mentioned advantages, another point I want to make is ” breast feeding is cheapest,  most hygienic and most nutritious food for your child, which will help in better brain development also “

Stay healthy


Dr. Rahul Varma

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.


Dr. Rahul Varma

“Healthy kids, Happy family”

How to increase breast milk effectively? (For breast feeding mothers)

Breast Milk production increases by two major mechanism, one is when your baby latches on breast well and frequently feeds (prolactin hormone is secreted), and 2nd is when you are relax and stress free (oxytocin hormone is secreted to increase milk output).Mother’s should drink plenty of liquid, it will help them keep well hydrated.

One of the things that worries most new mums is whether they’re producing enough breastmilk. Unlike feeding bottles, breasts do not come with volume markings to measure the quantity of milk consumed.

Often, when a baby seems to demand more feed or the breasts seem less full, a mum concludes that she has low milk supply. But in most cases, this isn’t true. “The amount of breast milk depends on the health of the new mom and her attitude towards breastfeeding,” says Dr Swati Thoda, nutritionist and lactation consultant, Hiranandani Fortis hospital, Navi Mumbai.

A mother’s body produces milk in response to her baby’s suckling. The mum who allows frequent suckling, easily increases the supply of milk with the increase in the hormone, prolactin. During the initial week post birth, the lactating mother may experience pain and discomfort in her nipples as her infant nurses. This shouldn’t deter her from breastfeeding as it may affect the supply.
Breastmilk production works on demand. The more your baby nurses, the more your body produces milk. Do not keep a tab on the clock and unlatch your baby. You may feel you’re breastfeeding the entire day, but it is good for your baby and for your milk supply!
Consuming adequate liquids will keep you hydrated and enable you to produce milk effectively. “A dehydrated mother may fail to produce adequate milk for her newborn,” asserts Dr Thoda. Drinks like sodas, coffee or tea are to be taken in moderation, as large amounts of caffeine can dehydrate the body, thus decreasing breastmilk production.
Assume a comfortable feeding position when nursing your infant. This will prevent tiredness and back pain and allows the new mom to participate in feeding willingly. Moreover, it permits the baby to latch correctly, enabling effective suckling. The use of a feeding pillow might help a mum to achieve a good latch.
Breastmilk formation greatly depends on the will of the mother. If you are stressed, it may hamper your ability to nurse. Take a deep breath, relax and willingly feed your baby.
Eating healthy throughout the day will maximize the energy you have as a new mum and make up for the calorie loss that happens during breastfeeding. Certain foods also aid in boosting milk production naturally.
Galactagogues are herbs or medicines that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother, or in a mother who wants to induce lactation. Herbs such as shatavari, ashwagandha and fenugreek are great galactagogues used in certain tablets and powders available in the market. “These may be used in first 2-3 days post birth but only under the advice of the gynaecologist or a lactation consultant,” informs Dr Thoda.
For mums whose babies are unable to latch or are confined to the NICU, a breast pump may be used to mimic the action of suckling and hence, jumpstart the production of breastmilk. Connect with a veteran mother or a lactation consultant if you need to use a breast pump.
Smoking, drinking alcohol, stress, consumption of birth control pills, fatigue, immediate new pregnancy also may be causes of low breastmilk supply.In addition to the above, hypothyroidism, medicines like antihistamines, decongestants or diuretics, Polycystic Ovarian Disease(PCOD), or an attempt of quick weight loss post delivery could also contribute to lowered milk production.


Size and Volume of Newborn’s stomach

” Stomach sizes of Newborn baby in 1st few days of life”


Emphasis should be on; “How well the baby is sucking” on breast rather than on how much is the milk output. On first day of life baby’s milk requirement is very less, so milk output is also less (and if you try to express milk will hardly get a drop or two). But if the baby is sucking well on breast he/she will take out milk as per requirement. Over next few days as the stomach size increases and babies requirement increases, mother’s milk output will also increases.


God has planned everything very beautifully, so as a nursing mother do not worry too much. Just make sure baby is sucking well on breast. and have positive thoughts in your mind. Rest everything will be fine.


 Milk output can be increased by only 2 mechanisms; first when baby sucks on breast and second when mother has positive feeling and there is no stress. These 2 things leads to increase in level of 2 hormones in body; namely Oxcytoxin & Prolactin.

So any amount of tension in mother’s mind (related to baby, Personal or professional) can lead to suppresion of hormones and decrease in milk output.

So Just relax and enjoy Motherhood. God has blessed mothers with a feeling and art called Breastfeeding which no father can ever do. So Feel blessed and continue breast feeding.



Dr Rahul Varma


what is Complementary feeding (Weaning Diet ) ?

Complementary feeding: (weaning food)

It is defined as any non breast milk food or nutritious foods given to young children in addition to breast milk.( i.e. it is to complement breast milk, not to replace it.)

Age of Introduction: after 6 months

Attributes of Complementary feeds:

  • Soft and flowing
  • Thicker than Breast milk
  • Bland in taste
  • Homogeneous ( based on cereal or root staple foods)
  • 1 to 2 times a day to start with
  • Gradually increase frequency and quantity

Foods appropriate for complementary feeds:

  • Pulses (lentil, beans, peas), meat milk, vegetable oil and sugar
  • To increase dietary energy levels : oil, ghee, sugar
  • To increase quality of protein: milk product and animal food
  • Calcium: Milk
  • Iron: Meat, chicken, fish
  • Rich in Vitamin & Minerals: Vegetable and fruits



Anything which is free flowing and well mashed and easy to swallow and calorie dense can be given. And you should always consult your Pediatrician at the start of weaning diet/ complementary feeding, so that he or she can guide you in best possible , culturally acceptable option.

Stay Healthy and eat healthy, For any queries do feel free to contact us.


Dr. Rahul Varma

Common Feeding Problems


Feeding problems occur for a number of reasons, many of which vary according to age. Most of these challenges can be met through proper breastfeeding instruction from your doctor. It may come as a surprise, then, if your baby develops a resistance to feeding weeks or even months after you thought this was no longer a problem. 

Tastes Change

One thing to consider when this happens is whether the taste of your breast milk has changed. Breast milk taste can change for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • New or different food in your diet
  • Medication you are taking
  • Pregnancy in the mother, which sometimes causes nursing babies to wean themselves a few weeks or months after the mother conceives
  • Strenuous exercise, which can lead to a temporary buildup of lactic acid
  • Breast infection, such as mastitis
  • Change in the taste of your skin caused by using lotion, cream, or oil on your breasts

Avoiding the new food, changing or stopping your medication if possible, exercising less strenuously, or refraining from applying oil or lotion to your breasts may be all that is necessary to encourage your baby to breastfeed at his normal rate again. If you have mastitis, seek treatment from your doctor right away and encourage your baby to breastfeed in order to drain your breasts. Once the infection has been treated and has passed, the taste of your breast milk will return to normal. You may be able to help your baby adjust to the new taste of your breast milk during pregnancy if you are persistent and patient and hold off on offering formula as an alternative.

If your baby starts to engage in frenzied short feedings that seem to signal frantic hunger, it may simply mean that your let-down reflex is occurring more slowly than she would like. If this is the case, try massaging your breast and expressing a little milk before you begin a feeding. This way, your milk will flow faster from the very beginning of the feeding and your baby will feel more satisfied.


If you do not believe that the taste of your breast milk has been altered or that your let-down reflex is causing the problem, consider whether you are experiencing a high level of tension or stress. Such emotional discomfort can be communicated to your baby, preventing her from settling down to feed well. Of course, we cannot always eradicate stress from our lives, but for the moments preceding breastfeeding, do your best to put upsetting thoughts out of your mind. Relaxed sessions not only will help your baby get more milk but may decrease your own stress level. Breastfeeding your baby and holding her skin to skin often promote a sense of well-being. Meanwhile, consider ways in which you might improve the general tenor of your day-to-day life.


It is also possible that your baby’s own condition may be making it harder for her to breastfeed. Decreased interest in feeding—possibly accompanied by lethargy, fever, vomiting or diarrhea, cough, or difficulty breathing—may indicate an illness. Consult your pediatrician or family physician if your baby resists feeding or you have any concerns that your infant may be sick.

Illness in your infant may affect your baby’s feeding pattern and desire to nurse, thus decreasing the amount of breast milk she receives. If she has a cold, clogged nostrils may make it difficult for her to breathe while feeding, or an ear infection may make nursing painful. Clearing the infant’s nasal passages with a bulb syringe prior to feeding may help with temporary nasal congestion. Teething can cause gum pain when nursing. Thrush can make nursing painful and requires a pediatrician’s attention.

Spitting Up

Some babies take in a great deal of milk but then spit up what appears to be a large part of it after each feeding. Spitting up is common during or after feeding, and some babies spit up more easily than others. There is generally no need to be concerned, however, that your baby’s spitting up is preventing her from getting enough milk.

Spitting up (as well as hiccups) can be minimized by keeping your breastfeeding sessions as calm, quiet, and leisurely as possible. Avoid interruptions, sudden noises, bright lights, and other distractions. Try to hold your baby more upright during and right after feedings, and attempt to burp her after she finishes each breast. Don’t jostle or play vigorously with her immediately after she has breastfed.

If she vomits forcefully a number of times or if you notice blood or a dark green color when she vomits, call your pediatrician right away.

Occasional small spit-ups or wet burps are generally more a laundry problem than a medical one. Fortunately, spit-up breast milk is less likely to smell sour or cause clothing to stain than infant formula. If you are worried that she is spitting up too much, consult your pediatrician, who will monitor her weight and check for any signs of more serious illness.


As always, the best way to be sure your baby is getting enough milk is to monitor her physical condition, her weight gain, and the content of her diapers. It is very important to call your pediatrician if you notice that your child is not showing usual interest in feeding, she has a dry mouth or eyes, or she is producing fewer wet diapers than usual. These may be signs of dehydration. Severe dehydration, while uncommon in adequately breastfed infants, can be extremely dangerous or even life-threatening and is most likely to occur when a young baby refuses to feed or is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea.



Dr Rahul

 stay healthy