How to Avoid Unsafe Breastfeeding

The newborn period is a critical time for infant feeding during birth, the fetus transitions from sterile environments, into one that is populated by potentially diseased causing microbes.

Because the newborn immune system is still naive, a baby relies heavily on her mother’s immune system to detect and manufacture specific defenses to potential pathogens in their shared environment.

Without this passive immunity a baby is significantly more likely to contract infections in the first six months.

In Iany cases, the pathogens that cause these infections, gain access to the baby by way of unsafe early feeding.

Babies who are exposed to pathogens in contaminated water or unclean bottles are far more likely to get sick or die of the diarrheal disease than exclusively breastfed babies.

How to avoid unsafe breastfeeding

In parts of the world where the cost of formula feeding puts an economic strain on a family. Many mothers will try to stretch the formula by using less than the recommended amount for each feed. This practice can lead to malnutrition immune suppression and an even greater risk of serious infection in the child.

In some communities, babies are given other liquids or traditional medicines, even before breastfeeding is initiated this practice called prelacteal feeding, is especially dangerous because the baby hasn’t yet received any of the protection offered by the antibodies in her mother’s colostrum.

The practice of introducing solid foods. Early in a child’s life is sometimes believed to help babies sleep better or gain weight, but the early introduction of solid foods interferes with breastfeeding and raises a child’s risk of developing nutrient deficiencies, infections, and chronic diseases. For this reason, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is almost always the very best choice for feeding a healthy baby.

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