Q: Good morning Doc, please I just had a baby and I want to do exclusively breastfeed my child. I don’t know whether I will be giving him water because they told me that water is natural.
A: Water is definitely natural but when exclusively breastfeeding, you don’t need it. Breastfeeding contains a significant amount of water and so if you breastfeed your baby adequately, he will get both ‘water’ and nutrients from your breast milk. For more on this, I reproduce a post I had made on this subject a while back…..
Over and over again, I have had breast feeding mothers tell me that they don’t make enough breast milk to feed their babies. Or they would say, their babies get hungry too often and so it is difficult to keep up with the crazy schedule of ‘feeding on demand’ that breast feeding requires of you.
Breast milk is very important to new born babies and really no child should be deprived on the many benefits of breast feeding exclusively. There are some mothers who, by reason of specific health conditions, cannot breast feed their babies. However, the greater majority of mothers are able to make enough breast milk to keep their babies satisfied.
Here are our top five tips for breast feeding properly:
o Patience: You’ve got to have loads of it. Sometimes, your baby feeds and then stops a bit just to gaze into your eyes. Give him/her the time needed to bond with you.
o There are two types of milk in the breast milk: the fore and the hind milk. You have to be sure that your baby gets both during each feeding session.
o Give the fore milk to quench thirst. The fore milk is mainly water and low in fats. If you observe, it’s bluish in colour. Its high water content is the reason why you don’t need to give your baby extra water. It’s also rich in protein, carbohydrates and vitamins.
o Be sure to give the hind milk. Now, if you finish giving just the fore milk and stop, the baby will be hungry thereafter as she has essentially only taken water. The milk that comes after the fore milk is thicker containing fats and has a whole lot of calories. The baby needs this to be very well nourished and to satisfy the hunger pangs. The longer a mother waits between meals, the more foremilk is produced and it takes your baby that much longer to get to the more filling hind milk.
o Let your baby feed on demand and each session should last until the breast ‘feels’ empty. I say ‘feel’ because the breast never really empties out After this, change to the other breast.
Remember that breast milk is the best and cheapest food for your baby. It also helps fortify your baby against diseases…so, now you have the right tools to get this done right.
I hope this helps.
Have a good night, y’all 😀