Breastfeeding Recommendations for New Mothers

The first 1000 days from pregnancy until a child’s second birthday is a critical period in which the stage is being set for a person’s intellectual development and lifelong health. It’s a period of enormous potential, but also enormous vulnerability.

Decisions around feeding in the first two years of life are especially important for protecting a child’s health, optimizing their development, and maximizing their chances of thriving in the world around them.

International global child health organizations recommend that new mothers initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of life and breastfeed exclusively for the first six months.

Breastfeeding Recommendations for New Mothers

Exclusive breastfeeding means that other than breast milk no other liquids or solids are given to the child by mouth within the first six months unless they’re medicines that are prescribed by a doctor.

There’s a large body of scientific evidence suggesting that especially in under-resourced settings, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best way to feed a child because it provides ideal nutritional support and tailored protection against infectious agents in the child’s environment.

From six months onward, the nutrient demands of growth increase, and it becomes important to complement breastfeeding with a variety of soft solid foods.

This also corresponds to an age when babies are developmentally ready to eat solid foods because they have good head and neck control and can sit with support.

The frequency of these complementary foods should increase as the baby grows until they’re eating solid foods three to four times a day.

Continuing to breastfeed a child who’s already eating solid foods, offers ongoing health benefits and will ideally continue until the child is two years or even older.

Complimentary breastfeeding can be a special way for mothers and their children to continue bonding.

Ideally, the baby will begin to take part in the family mealtimes as early as possible, eating baby-friendly versions of whatever foods are being prepared for the family meal.

It’s also important that there’s enough nutrient diversity in the child’s diet to prevent micronutrient deficiency. This is achieved by integrating a variety of food groups into the child’s meals.

In most cultures, feeding a child involves more than just providing her with nutrients. feeding a child with thoughtfulness, care, and good sense is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to show that child how much she’s loved and valued in this world.

How to Feed your 6-12 Months Old Baby

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