Breastfeeding is a highly effective preventive measure a mother can take to protect the health of her infant.


Feeding benefits to the Baby

  • Nutritional benefits – most easily available complete food which is easy to digest
  • Better neurodevelopmental outcome
  • Lesser infection rates
  • Gastrointestinal benefits – Rapid emptying, soft stools
  • Better emotional security
  • Long term protection from DM, HT, CAD, obesity, allergy

Benefits to the mother

  • Helps uterine contraction (Oxytocin) and control of bleeding.
  • Helps regain figure.
  • Protection against next pregnancy (prolactin)
  • Lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Lesser workload/ time & comfortable travel.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

  • Means that no drinks like water, honey, glucose water, gripe water, juices, animal or powdered milk or foods other than breast milk.
  • Every baby must be exclusively breast fed for 6 months.


  • Special milk in 2-5 days post delivery
  • Thick and light yellowish in colour.
  • Secreted in small amounts (30 – 90 ml/ day)
  • Sufficient to meet the caloric needs.
  • Easily digestible
  • Has anti-infective elements
  • So its very important to start BF as soon as possible

General Steps in Breastfeeding

  • Mother relaxed.
  • Adequate nutrition & hydration.
  • Comfortable posture.
  • Baby is calm and active.

Position: Relation of baby to mother

  • Head and body of baby to be in a straight line.
  • Baby’s head and body well supported.
  • Body of baby to be turned towards the mother.
  • Baby’s body close to the mother (skin to skin contact)

Attachment: Relation of mouth to breast

  • Chin denting the breast
  • Lower lip opened outwards
  • Mouth wide open enclosing most of the areola
  • Lower areola less visible than the upper areola

How frequent should be the feeds?

  • Demand feeding i.e., whenever the baby cries.
  • Usual time interval between each feed is about 2 to 3 hours.
  • At least 8-10 times in 24 hours.
  • Important not to skip night feeds.

Signs of proper feeding

  • Cheeks full and drawn in
  • Rhythmic suck-swallow-pause pattern.
  • Pain free feeding

Signs of adequate feeding

  • Passing urine at least 6 times in 24 hours.
  • Sleeping 2-3 hours post feeds.
  • Regains birth weight by 2 weeks & since then gains, adequate (10-15 mg/kg) weight.

Maintaining Warmth

  • Use dress, mittens, socks, wraps
  • Use cotton material
  • Do not nurse the baby near air currents (windows’direct fan’ AC)
  • If AC is used, maintain the room temperature between 26 degree – 28 degree
  • Swaddle the baby well.