Let’s continue from our previous article, WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BREASTFEEDING! [PART 1]
Let’s address more questions.
#1: MUST I BREASTFEED? WILL MY BABY DIE IF I DON’T?
Will your baby die? No…Maybe, yes!
NO…your baby might not die if you choose not to breastfeed as long as the nutritional needs of the baby are adequately provided for through the use of safe breast-milk substitutes. This can be determined with the help of your paediatrician (that is, a doctor that specializes in caring for children). In other words, you should consult your doctor before determining if it is appropriate to feed your baby with breast milk substitutes [infant formula].
It is good for you to know that there are some medical conditions which the mother (or her baby) may have, and it would be medically advised not to breastfeed the baby but to use breast milk substitutes.
A few of these medical conditions include:
>>> Babies with galactosemia–a disease in which a baby’s body cannot tolerate breast milk due to the absence of an enzyme.
>>> Mothers with active untreated tuberculosis.
>>> Mothers undergoing treatment for cancer with certain anticancer drugs which can affect their babies if they are breastfed.
>>> Breastfeeding mothers with Ebola virus disease are advised to discontinue breastfeeding because the virus at some point is released in breast milk.
Yes… your baby may die if you don’t breastfed…
>>> And if you are unable to adequately provide for the nutritional needs of your baby. Malnutrition sets in, which may result in death if prompt and proper medical intervention is not sought.
>>> From being less resistant to and unable to fight some infections, like diarrhoeal disease. Studies have shown that babies fed on infant formula are more prone to having diarrhoea and some other childhood diseases.
#2: WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BREAST FEEDING TO MY BABY?
Many benefits, including: providing a readily available, nutritionally complete food for your baby; enabling the mother transfer some immunity to the baby thereby making the baby resistant and less prone to some diseases; and enhancing the baby’s bonding with the mother.
It is all your baby requires, in terms of food, for the first 6months of life.
#3: WILL I PRODUCE ENOUGH BREAST MILK TO SATISFY MY BABY?
During the first few days after delivery and commencement of breastfeeding, the volume of breast milk may be relatively scanty. But don’t panic yet. Continue breast feeding because the continuous stimulation of the breasts during breast feeding and even the cry of your child stimulate more milk production and release.
Remember that breast feeding is beneficial to the mother and baby, as well as the father [straight-face]; as he would not have to worry about spending so much on infant formula, and there will be less frequent visit to the hospital.
Always consult your doctor if you have a medical condition, like HIV infection and some of the ones mentioned earlier, for advise on how best to feed your baby.
Bye for now.
QUESTIONS? CALL: Dr. ‘Malik: +234 8123411508
Dr. Adindu Ikenna