Tag Archives: breast milk

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

Breast feeding is the best gift from a mother to his/her child

” Breast feeding is the best gift from a mother to his/her child “

breast feeding is the best option which mother has in regards with fulfilling nutritional needs of their newborn babies and to ensure that baby reaches its growth potential. but sometimes its very challenging and difficult especially in first time mothers .

  • Preparation for the same should start during antenatal classes i.e. before delivery. (providing all pregnant women with information and counseling)
  • Breast feeding should be initiated as soon as possible after delivery. (within 1 hour, if medical condition of both baby and mother is stable)
  • During time spent in hospital it is advisable to keep mother and baby in same room i.e “rooming in”. Skin to skin contact can provide warmth to baby along with ample time for feeding.
  • Assessment and teaching by doctors and nursing staff, regarding correct technique and need for proper attachment for establishing breast feeding.
  • First 48 hours, babies nutritional requirements are less, so milk output is less and babies urine output is also less. Gradually over 1st week of life , babies nutritional needs increases, so correspondingly mothers milk output increases and urine output also is 8 to 10 times per day.
  • Most important thing is to have confidence in yourself that you can breast feed (as every mother breast feeds and you are no different). It takes time to develop arelationship with your baby.
  • Breast milk output increases by help of 2 hormones secreted by brain (oxytocin and prolactin). one of these hormone is secreted when child sucks on breast and other when you have positive thoughts in mind. So if are having relaxed mind free of negative thoughts and your baby is sucking well on your breast, you can rest assure that you will have adequate milk for your baby.
  • Exclusive breast feeding i.e. no other pre lacteal feeds like honey, gripe water should be practiced for 1st 6 months. Remember god has sent the baby, and digestive system is best suited to absorb breast milk and anything extra done on your part can cause more harm then benefit.
  •  If your baby is sucking well on breast, passing urine >8 to 10 times in 24 hours and gaining weight well, you can be assured that your breast milk output is adequate for needs of your baby.
  • Confidence on your part and proper guidance from your pediatrician can ensure that breast feeding is a feeling you will cherish for rest of your life. \

Stay healthy, take nutritious diet and breast feed your baby as ” breast feeding is the best gift from a mother to his/her child “


Healthy kids, Happy family


Dr Rahul

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”

What is the right breast pump for lactating mother?


(Source Indus parenting site)

Direct breast feeding is the best option, but sometimes due to medical conditions or working mothers need to express breast milk.

When nursing mothers need to express breast milk; it can be done manually (as it had been done traditionally for long time) or you can use breast pumps (mechanical stuff which has become fashionable in recent years to make the process more comfortable and easy).

From a baby’s point of view; baby needs clean hygienically expressed milk, whichever methods suits you, it is up to you. Whether you express it manually or use manual breast pumps or electric breast pump.


breast pump

As a new mother, you might have prepared a list of ‘things to do.’ You might have even stuck to this list that mostly reads, “Feed, clean, bathe, repeat.” But now it’s time to go back to the corporate jungle and claw your way back up the ladder. And if that’s the plan then you are probably in the market looking for a breast pump.

Since there are many kinds of breast pumps, you will have to select the one that you feel would work best for you. Which means that this type should keep the milk flowing and prevent clogged ducts or breast infection.

When exactly do I go for a breast pump

So on your next visit to the gynaecologist, you may be advised to buy it way before you actually plan to use it; which means almost a month or so before you head back to work or plan to introduce the bottle. Dr Ragini Agarwal, surgery and cosmetic gynaecologist, W Hospital by Pratiksha, Gurgaon, explains, “New mums who are about to resume work or need to stimulate lactation because of low milk supply, or to relieve engorgement (a painful condition whereby the breasts are overfull) urgently need a breast pump.”

You can also consider buying a breast pump for the following reasons:

  • The baby needs extra breastmilk as a ‘top-up feed’ following a breastfeed
  • The baby is in the nursery and, therefore, separated from the mother
  • The mother is forced to wean due to the infant’s death
  • You wish to maintain or increase milk production
  • To pump exclusively if the new mother is hospitalised after birth
  • If the mother cannot nurse for physical reasons such as a cleft palate
  • The baby may not be able to suckle well at the breast

In case you are planning to use a breast pump soon after delivery, experts advise that its best to start pumping within three to four weeks of delivery. Dr Geetika Gangwani, lactation consultant, Mamma Mia, Fortis, Delhi, says, “Each mother and baby is different, so the need to express milk will be very individualistic.

For instance, mothers whose babies are in the NICU soon after birth, need to start expressing using a breast pump within six hours of their delivery. Whereas some mothers only express once they go back to work and a few might not need to express at all.”

So how do you select a breast pump? Before heading out to the market, ask yourself two questions. First, what are the different types of breast pumps. Second, how safe is it for you as well as your baby?

Continue reading to know more about the types of breast pumps and their safety norms

Should you invest in a manual, an electric or a double breast pump? If you’re looking to buy one, then address these questions before your purchase

breast pump

Types of breast pump

Let’s begin with the first question. There are many models of breast pumps in the market, but they are primarily categorised into two types- electric and manual.

  • Manual breast pumps: They are operated by squeezing or pulling a handle in a repetitive fashion. This allows the user to directly control the pressure and the frequency of milk expression. Manual breast pumps are small and inexpensive and are, therefore, easy to use. They also come with many accessories such as breast shell, a pump membrane (this helps in maintaining the suction and is vital for pump functioning) and tubing (this connects the mechanical apparatus to the collecting bottle).
    Cost: They can cost anything between ? 200 and ? 3,000. “But they require significant effort and can be tiring because the user provides all the power. They also allow for only one breast to be pumped at a time,” says Dr Priyanka Mehta, senior gyneacologist, ePsyClinic.com, Delhi.
  • Electric breast pumps: They are ideal if a mother pumps daily. They are larger than manual pumps, but portable models are also available in the market. These are also divided between hospital grade and personal use pumps. While hospital grade pumps are larger and intended for multiple users, personal use pumps are smaller and generally intended for a single user.
    Cost: A high-quality, electric pump costs anything between ? 3,500 and ? 7,000. “These will help you express your milk most efficiently. You could also opt for a double breast pumps that pumps both breasts at same time and can cost up to ? 20,000,” says Dr Mehta.

A word of caution: Try to keep your hands off the piston type or the bicycle horn pump (they can damage breast tissue and harbour bacteria in the suction bulb) or the rubber bulb (they can also harbour harmful bacteria) from the range of manual breast pumps in the market.

Now how do you decide which type is best for you. Dr Gangwani explains why this is not a question to worry about. “Successfully expressing breastmilk is an art that mothers usually master over time. Research shows that electrical breast pumps along with massaging the breast gives maximum output.

When choosing a pump, please keep in mind the frequency of its use. If you plan to pump at least three to four times per week, an electrical pump is recommended. If the frequency is lesser, then you could use a manual pump or hand express as well,” she says.

Safety notes while buying a breast pump

The second question you must address is the safety of a breast pump. Because quality breast pumps don’t come cheap, you might consider borrowing it from a friend or buying a cheaper version. That’s a complete ‘no-no.’

Breastmilk can carry bacteria and viruses of hepatitis and HIV, and they can contaminate the pump. Also, in some cases an exclusive pump for your own personal use can be unsafe because the milk can get into its internal parts. However, pumps that are originally designed for more than one mother are still safer. You can try rental and hospital pumps, they are usually cleaned properly and are sterile.

“Dr Gagnwani says, “In addition, mothers can also try manual breast pumps. Apart from being less expensive they are also easy to clean and portable, making them a safe option.”

While you weigh in all of these options, also keep in mind a few other things:

  • If you have chosen a double breast pump, seal the unused side. If you avoid this practice, it can reduce the pump’s suction and reduce milk production.
  • Wisely choose the breast shields. Your nipple should not run along its chamber, you can hurt your breast this way.
  • If you are to feed within a few hours, take out all the parts and separately clean them with a mild soap and warm water.

Buying a breast pump can be tough, especially when you are a new mother. So to make things easy, first understand the types and functioning of the pumps you may have finalised for yourself and then read the safety precautions for their use. All this information will not only help you but also help another confused new mum who may turn to you for some advise.