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Working mothers can breastfeed, too: Experts

Aug 29, 2016

The immunity-boosting antibodies in breastmilk keep baby away from infections in the first six months.

Ghaziabad: According to experts from the medical fraternity with proper planning and practice even working mothers could breastfeed regularly. Within the first hour in the mother’s arms, the baby will be ready for the first feed. Breast milk is the natural and first food for babies, providing adequate calories, minerals and vitamins and all nutrients for the initial months of life. Not only does the infant benefit, but it also enhances maternal health.

Doctors world over advise mothers to start breastfeeding soon after birth, maintaining the practice for the next 6 months exclusively, after which baby can be weaned to other foods.

Dr Sanjay Sharma, Consultant, Pediatrics Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad says, “Babies fed on mother’s milk are less likely to be lactose intolerant. It also ensures better bone health and lowers the probability for toddlers to develop cavities in the teeth. Plus the mother’s milk has enough water and nutrients to keep a baby well fed for the first six months. It also strengthens the bond of the mother and child.”

However breastfeeding is not easy for modern mothers who are working. Those at home too struggle with the work of running busy households while responding to the needs of their infants.

Dr Sanjay Sharma suggests following guidelines for new working mothers:

Try to ease your baby gradually onto a bowl and spoon or bottle with pre-pumped milk if you have only 3 months of maternity leave. Try using a high-quality electric breast pump to express milk. You could do this during the workday, in a private space you could request the company for. Do refrigerate the milk as soon as you pump. Your child's caregiver can give your baby bottles of your expressed breast milk. This way you'll still be able to nurse your child whenever you're at work.

Talk to your doctor about weaning if you have 6 months of maternity leave. You can introduce this gradually, so that your baby does not have to deal with separation from you and a change in food together.

Avoid going back to work before your maternity leave runs out. Focus on establishing a steady milk supply.

Pat your baby to sleep rather than having her rely on the sucking motion to sleep.

Consider that your baby may need more night-time nursing in the initial months. So do keep your own nutrition up, and ask the office for flexi-time.

Give pumped breast milk at room temperature. Microwaving milk is an absolute no-no. If possible, label the bottles with date and time to keep a track.

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