Breastfeeding Rewards

Breastfeeding Rewards

MILCC CENTRE says ‘Breastfeeding has its own built-in rewards!’

In this day of fast pace, fast track, and short days, every new mother would have had to read up and take a decision on how and what she will feed her baby. For most mothers, this is a no-brainer! As soon as the baby is born, her brain has already commissioned her breasts to make milk for the new baby. They will slowly get heavy and drops of milk can be visible very soon. Remember for the first one-two days, the milk secreted is called the colostrum and this is thick and rich with nutrients to nourish the baby and with antibodies to protect the baby against many infections and infantile allergies. The milk also has ingredients like bifidus flora that help to colonize the new baby’s gut with beneficial bacteria and even a laxative like the lactobacillus bifidus to facilitate stool movements and help the baby pass meconium. You will not have to worry about the baby not passing stools.

As this milk is thick and as the new baby is often catching up on rest after the birth, the few drops that are secreted will keep the baby satisfied as long as he/she is being nursed frequently.

Some mothers expect that lots of milk will pour out on the first day soon after birth and when they see that this does not happen and only the few drops of colostrum appear, they feel that they ‘may not have milk’ and erroneously discard the colostrum and start using artificial baby milks. Hey Moms! You are not using the ‘liquid gold’ that your body has specially manufactured for your baby! Rest assured that you will have milk and this invaluable colostrum milk that you secrete will be like an umbrella protecting your baby and it will keep the baby become more aware of his/her surroundings and contented as long as you keep feeding the baby frequently!

Also remember, this is not just any milk! It is milk that has been especially tailored for her baby. For example, the milk for the premature baby is different from the milk that is secreted by the mother who has a full term baby. The premature milk is easier to digest as the mother’s brain has already assimilated the information that the premature baby’s gut may not be able to digest full term milk. Besides, this milk will have extra-body-building protein to help the little one with catch-up growth. Human milk is also species specific that is, it is specifically made to suit the human baby. The World Health Organization recommends that the baby be put on the mother’s chest soon after birth and be allowed to stay there for at least the first ‘golden hour’ after birth! These babies are more alert, interact better and also sleep more restfully.

Is there any special diet for the new mother?

‘Eat to comfort, drink to thirst’ is a safe maxim to follow. Some cultural practices in India include the use of garlic and onion, fenugreek and fennel. But eating from all food groups will ensure that the mother gets a balanced diet. Remember, when the mother drinks adequate fluids, it will help her make perfect milk for her little one. If that is not magic, I do not know what is?!

Padmini Balagopal


MILCC Centre  (Mothers and Infants Lactation Counseling and Care Centre) is based in Chennai at 2/1, Prashanthi Apartments, 2nd cross street, CIT colony, Mylapore, Chennai, 600004 . Their telephone number is  044-24992737.

MILCC Centre addresses the problems that new mothers who are breastfeeding usually face like pain while feeding, coping work and breastfeeding, handling a question, issues or problem.