Pattaya Daily News

07 July 2008 :: 12:07:27 pm 21815

Breastfeeding Mothers Advised To Become Attuned To Infant Hunger Signals

Of great concern to the mothers of new-born babies is when exactly to feed their infants and what the indicators of hunger are. Crying, according to the German Association of Paediatrics and Adolescent-Medicine Professionals (BVKJ), is not always a sign of hunger. Rather, stretching, sucking motions, and restlessness are the first signs, followed by wriggling and only then crying, the BVKJ said.
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It seems in this modern age that necessary child-rearing information on such essentials as and how exactly the new mother’s life will be changed with the arrival of the baby and when to feed them is not being passed down from mother to daughter. Consequently, the new mother has to rely on authoritative sources, such as GPs and the BVKJ.

More old-fashioned notions such as only feeding every 4 or 5 hours if you don’t want to spoil the child have now given way to the recommendation of breast-feeding on demand. Breast-feeding, too, has come very much back into favour, at least for the first two years and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, a s recommended by the WHO.

Breast-feeding has been proved to confer great benefits on the baby, especially the bolstering of the immune system. Breast milk include several anti-infective factors such as bile salt stimulated lipase, which protecting against amoebic infections, lactoferrin , which binds to iron and inhibits the growth of intestinal bacteria, and immunoglobulin A, protecting against microorganisms.

So great are the effects of breastfeeding that for the infant, it is considered to reduce risk of breast cancer later in life, to produce less atopy, celiac disease, diabetes mellitus, diarrhoea and obesity. It is also considered to provide greater immune health, higher intelligence, superior nutrition and fewer middle ear infections, respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections and even to give possible protection from sudden infant death syndrome.

Current belief is that newborns generally have to be nursed every two or three hours, around the clock, in the first weeks after birth. After about two or three months, the frequency of feedings decreases from 12 times a day to between six and eight. But during the rapid growth phases – about 10 to 14 days after birth, and at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, the baby may want milk more frequently and should be allowed it.

Gradually, as the mother and baby become more attuned to each other, the mother will learn to recognise hunger or other distress signals. BVKJ maintains breastfeeding mothers can cut down on their baby’s crying by recognising the signals of when their baby is hungry, such as stretching, sucking motions, restlessness and wriggling.

“Some infants are pacified simply by sucking on something,” remarked Monika Niehaus, a paediatric and adolescent physician in the city of Weimar, Germany. However, she advised against giving their baby a pacifier prematurely so as not to interfere with breastfeeding.

Mothers should consult their doctor if they have problems breastfeeding, if it is painful, the baby does not gain weight or is still restless after feeding. In addition, if the baby does not wet its nappy about six or eight times a day, or does not have a bowel movement three or more times a day, mothers should consult their paediatrician, as something may be wrong.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Health

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