Importance Of Breastfeeding In The First Year

  • Team Kidmish Jan 07, 2019

“Breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime.”

If there is one bond that has no parallels, it is the special bond between a mother and her baby. The selfless, all giving and endearing love transcends every limit and encompasses love in all its different hues. And, breastfeeding, a manifestation of this love, is nature’s way of blessing the mother and baby. It’s nature’s superfood for the super mom to nourish her baby that has the exact amount of all nutritional values required for the healthy development of the infant.

Babies need to be fed within an hour of their birth and mother’s milk serves as the perfect, miraculous food that they need. If you are a first-time mom, it might take some time and commitment to figure out the complete process and establish a healthy supply of breast milk. This post will assist you and take you through a smooth journey of the essential benefits of feeding your child. So, let’s begin.

Why Breastfeeding in the First Year is Important - know the benefits
Every year the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action celebrates World Breastfeeding Week in August to support and promote the benefits and importance of feeding for babies and mothers.

Mothers must realize - breastfeeding is not a choice, it’s a responsibility. Soon after birth, the mother’s milk serves as a lifetime benefit for newborns and a perfect head start to fight against malnutrition. According to WHO, soon after birth, feeding the first milk of the mother-colostrum, is very beneficial that is rich in essential nutrients and antibodies and boost the immune system. With an incredible number of health benefits, mother’s milk is a priceless gift that develops the beautiful bonding between the baby and the mother.

Kudos! You have successfully passed the strenuous phase of pregnancy and have embarked upon the beautiful journey of motherhood.

Now, it’s all the more necessary to learn and understand the host of benefits of breastfeeding, especially during the initial months. Key points for the new mommies:

  • Exclusive nursing is recommended for the first 6 months.
  • It boosts the immune system, keeping the infant healthy.
  • Mother’s milk contains immunoglobulins that will protect your baby from ear infections, cold, allergies, stomach bugs, digestive problems.
  • Your milk will provide the right amount of energy, nutrients and water in perfect proportions.
  • Don’t worry about the quantity, the milk changes volume and composition with feeding frequency, time and age of the baby.
  • It will adapt to the infant’s needs.
  • It ensures reduced risk of developing Type 1 diabetes and asthma.
  • Prepares the baby for solid food post 6 months of feeding.
  • Breast milk will boost fast digestion and eliminate problems of constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Your milk has the power to develop your little one’s cognitive development and help maintain a healthy weight.

This list can go on, but the best opinion from all mothers is – ‘your milk is nature’s best gift for the baby.’

Did You Know

Hey, new mommies! Did you also know that nursing your babies have some magical benefits for you too?

  • Heard of pregnancy blues? Its postpartum depression and research says that regular breastfeeding reduces the chances of it.
  • 9 months pregnancy causes massive weight gain, nursing will help shed the extra kilos. Go for it!
  • Reduced risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and Type 2 diabetes is also on the list.
  • The best one- nurtures the special bond between you and your newborn.

How to Increase Breast Milk

I won’t disapprove if you complain of troubles in feeding, I have faced it too, but I can promise that it’s quite natural and is curable. Are you facing any of these - sore nipples, engorged breasts, baby not latching, milk refusal, blocked duct etc.? Well, a quick visit to the lactation consultant or your gynaecologist will help.

Post-delivery also mothers need to eat for two! As your body is quite weak after delivery, you need to take extra care to speed up the healing process, to regain body strength and provide the required nutrition to your baby. Remember, your child is solely dependent on you for his food and affection. Low milk secretion is a prime concern for many lactating mothers, but we have some great solutions for you:

  • Only mother’s milk for 6 months, NO solids, formula or water. No pacifiers, feeding bottles or spoons.
  • Milk production depends on the demand for it. Start nursing your baby efficiently every 1.5-2 hours. Check if baby is latching on correctly. The more you remove milk from breasts, the more milk is produced.
  • Switch sides and offer to nurse on both breasts equally, at least 10 minutes on each side.
  • Breast massaging also helps to open blocked ducts.
  • Include some moderate exercise in your daily routine.
  • The skin-to-skin nursing technique releases milk-producing hormones that can boost milk production.
  • Incorporate galactagogue in your food to increase breast milk supply.
  • Take ample rest. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

You know, during my lactation phase, I ditched the routine and even used to wake my baby up when his feeding was due (I’m not cruel, I’m wise). It actually worked wonders. It stimulated the breasts for more milk flow and my cutie pie, with his tummy full, was a happy, playful baby.

Try it and thank me later.

Food for Mommy’s Tummy-enjoy the attention they give

A well-balanced, healthy diet is your need now. A lactating mother will need all of it- calcium, iron, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. Eating right will strengthen you, help you recover soon, provide the right nutrition to produce and increase breast milk production for your baby and lose weight effectively.

How Will You Bounce Back?

The protein factors - sprout beans, chicken, egg whites, grilled fish, protein powder, lentils, cottage cheese.
The vitamin factors - sabudana (tapioca), green veggies, fruits, vegetables.
The fibre-carb factors-brown rice, oats, wheat dalia, beetroot, raw veggies.
The liquid factors- water, milk, herbal tea, fruit juices, beetroot juice, coconut water
The X factors-fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, flax seeds, barley, cumin seeds, dill leaves, chickpeas, almonds and other dry fruits. Avoid curd, any gas producing or difficult to digest foods. No birth control pills, smoking, alcohol. Take medicines wisely after consulting your doctor.

Get in touch with your gynaecologist today and make your food chart. This is the time mommy, spend precious time with the newborn, cherish the moments and eat the best. Enjoy all the attention people give.

During my pregnancy and post-pregnancy phase, relatives, in-laws and friends showered their love & care with advice, helped with household work, cooking delicious, healthy foods, gifts and concern. I just loved it, lol.

Pumps Can Be Your Rescuer

Thanks to the modern inventions, breast pumps are a true saviour. Lactating mothers can now join office, go shopping, movie, do outside work or even just take a quick nap. Feeding is important but at times mothers can be busy or tired. Hats off to those who solely breastfed their infants!

Different types of pumps are available online- manual, battery operated and electric ones. Before you buy check a few quick details:

  • Portability (should be easy to carry around)
  • Quantity you wish to pump (volume, number. of repetitions, frequency)
  • Cost factor and durability
  • Size factor (buy according to your nipple size, not breast size)
  • Ease in cleaning it
  • Adjustable suction

Don’t solely depend on what your friend suggests, check yourself first what’s comfy for you. ‘Mother’s milk is nature’s gift and breast pumps are mankind’s gift.’ You can even consider pumping when your kid is not feeding properly. Pump off the milk, empty it and produce sufficiently again to increase milk supply.

Store you pumped milk in leakproof glass containers or a BPA free plastic containers or freezer bags. The amount, storage time and storage type (in the fridge, in the freezer or at room temperature) depend on the baby’s intake of the milk. Remember, with time breast storage milk reduces its nutrients but it’s still better than formula.

Quick tips from ME: Yes, I did it all! –

  • Don’t microwave the stored milk,
  • leave some space in the container when freezing the milk- it will expand,
  • always check the warmth of the milk before feeding
  • lastly, put date labels on the expressed milk containers and use the oldest one first.

Breastfeeding Positions

Well theoretically there are few breastfeeding positions that I will mention but, it’s you and your baby’s comfort level that is the priority here. You don’t always have to go by the book, let your baby lead you and trust him.

For new mothers, first go with the customary breastfeeding positions:

Cradle Hold: sit comfortably, cradle holds your baby with your arm under his delicate neck and place the baby on a pillow on your lap to support his back. Bring the baby very close to you (you don’t lean) and begin to feed. Tickle the baby’s mouth until he starts sucking.

Cross Cradle Hold: Almost same as cradle hold, here you just need to cross your hands. Hold the baby’s head with the hand that is opposite to the breast on which he is feeding. Have a firm grip of his neck with your fingers behind his ears.

Football Hold: Like a football, tuck your baby’s legs under your arm on the side you will be nursing. With his face facing you, support his head with the same hand and his upper back with your forearm. Your one hand is free, use it to cup your breast and guide your baby to your nipple.

Side Lying: Lay on one side and place your baby on the same side facing you. Take pillows to support your back and head and draw your baby close to you. Support his head with the upper arm and rest the other hand under your head. Keep your baby close to you and begin feeding. Don’t lean on him and keep the baby comfy by putting pillows behind him.

When Sujal (my son) was just 4 weeks old, he opted every weird way while breast sucking. Sometimes, lying on bed upside down, sometimes lying on my chest, at times sideway cradle hold and the sounds and expressions he made- oh it was hilarious!
It’s a herculean task, I understand but -OMG! it doesn’t stop here.

What about Burping

Wait till the last suction is over, don’t rush to remove your baby from the breast. It’s a strong grip, might hurt your if you rush. Now, burp the baby after feeding to release any gas. For burping, hold the baby against your shoulder, lay him upside down on your lap or sit up your baby and support him with one hand and with the other press his back (don’t try the last one until his neck is strong).

Your job is successfully done, now go take rest mommy and gear up for the next session.


Having said enough, in a nutshell, all I can say is - motherhood is a bliss and breastfeeding is nourishment, love and care all rolled into one. Enjoy every moment, every precious little time, capture memories and shower as much love on the newly born, the blessing that has turned the world for you.

Leave your worries and queries to us. Simply post all your questions and doubts and we assure to assist you with the best suggestions, ensuring a beautiful and enduring bonding between you and your precious little gem.

Happy Reading!Until next time.

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