Breastfeeding is a complete nutrition for the baby and beneficial to the baby and the mother. Mothers should be prepared for breastfeeding and motivated antenatally. Breastfeeding should be initiated within 1 h of normal delivery and 4 h of Caesarean section. In the first 2 days, colostrum is secreted which is highly immunogenic to the baby. Mature milk comes by day 10 of life. Foremilk is rich in protein and vitamins, while hindmilk is rich in fat. Proper technique should be followed for successful breastfeeding. Reflexes in the mother while breastfeeding are prolactin and oxytocin reflexes, while reflexes in the baby are rooting, sucking and swallowing. In case of early discharge from the hospital, adequacy of breastfeeding should be checked at 3–5 days of life. Breastfeeding develops bonding between the baby and the mother and promotes brain growth of the baby. Human milk is suitable for the baby and contains less protein and minerals than cow’s milk and has less solute load for immature kidneys of the baby. Breastfeeding should be on demand, minimum eight times per day. The common feeding problems in the mother are flat or inverted nipple, sore nipple, engorgement of breasts, and mastitis which should be prevented.
Part of the book: Infant Feeding