Breastfeeding is the most joyful and closeness experience for every women and privilege for a newborn. Giving birth to a baby is extremely special experience for women and most precious part of women’s life. Mother’s milk is the best nutritional diet for a baby as it is naturally sterile and protect child from many infections and helps to build strong immune system in the baby.
In Ayurveda, our wise sages or scholars put a huge stress over the importance of breast feeding in ancient scriptures. In Ayurveda, mother breast milk is called as nectar which serves as a knowledge pots for the child. So, it becomes important for Mother to look for best health regime to remain fit physically as well as mentally. As per Ayurveda, diet for a new mother should be based on the body constitution or prakuriti. The production of milk is affected by vatta-kapha and pitta dosha and to maintain the balance between these doshas and along with it diet also plays an important role.
Colostrum is the yellowish stick milk which is form after parturition. It has been designated as a complete food for newborn which is enriched with nearly 400 nutrients and compounds that helps to build strong immune system. According to Ayurveda, breast milk (stanya) should be normal in taste, smell and touch. Here, we described some importance of breast feeding.
- Breast milk is natural immunity booster and helps the baby to be stronger and healthiest.
- It is a good source of lectoferrin and IgA which helps to build a strong immune system in baby.
- It protect baby from various infections such as ear infection, bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.
- Presence of lactose in mother milk helps in absorption of calcium, and growth of Lactobacilli in intestine.
- It reduces the risk associated with high blood pressure, cholesterol level and diabetes.
- Breast milk is easy to digest for infants and suitable for baby’s newly develop digestive system.
- It helps to enhance the development of baby’s facial bones, oral muscles and dental development.
- It helps to lose mother’s weight.
- It protect mother from early return of fertility.
- Scientific studies show that it helps to protect against ovarian and uterine cancer.
- Position yourself comfortably: Position yourself comfortably that you can sit or lay for longtime. Support your back and arms with pillows.
- Hold baby close to you: Position your baby close to you or hold in your forearm. Put baby head in crook of your arm softly. Support bottom of baby with your hand and tilt baby’s head slightly back. Tickle baby’s lips with you nipple slightly.
- Support your breast: Support your breast with your hand. Place your fingers and thumb around your nipple.
- Latch baby onto your breast: Tickle your baby’s lips to your nipple and encourage him to open mouth wide. Position or latch your baby so that chin drives into your breast and nose will be touching your breast.
There are generally three types of main breast feeding positions:
- Cradle Position: Position your baby on your forearm, her head in the crook of your arm. Support her bottom with your other hand and pull baby slightly close to you, with her ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line.
- Clutch or Football Position: This is good position for those who have undergone through Cesarean birth. In the clutch position support your baby's back in your arm and head in your hand. You support your breast with a "C" hold in such a way that her mouth must be facing toward nipple.
- Side-lying Position: This position is also helpful if you had undergone through cesarean birth. Lie on the side and place your head on a pillow and pull your baby in close to you, using your arm to support her bottom. Use your other hand to bring your breast up to baby's mouth.
In early 6 months after delivery breastfeeding is mandatory & helpful for both baby and mother. It is advised to avoid breastfeeding, if you are suffering from any symptoms related to HIV or active tuberculosis. Consuming alcohol, smoking and other medicaments without prescription can be harmful to your baby.