Breast is Best

Breast is Best

August 6, 2020

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Shwetha Bhatia

Breastfeeding is the best way of providing ideal food for the growth and development of the baby. 

 Breastfeeding recommendations

  • Start breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Practice exclusive breastfeeding from birth to 6 months and continue upto 2 years if possible with complementary feeds. this does not apply to formula feeds.

Complementary feeds

  • Introduce appropriate complementary feeding after 6 months of age. No sugar to be added until 2 years indefinitely not before 12 months. No salt to be added until 12 months of age.

For busy mothers or those who wish to express and store milk for later use, following are the guidelines for storing expressed milk:

Storage Hours 
Room temperature 6-8 hours
Refrigerator (<4 degree C)7- 8 days
Freezer compartment (-15 degree C)2 weeks
Freezer with separate door3-6 months
Deep freezer (-20 degree C) used in human milk banks6-12 months (used after thawed or under running water TO BRING MILK TO ROOM TEMPERATURE)
Container With well fitting air tight tops, washed with hot soap and water and air dried.

There are instances where a mother is unable to breastfeed. In addition, the widespread marketing of formula milks undermines the confidence of many mothers and encourages them to feed their babies using bottles and formula milks. 

Amount of milk/ day comparing with other milk products: This table clearly shows the economic burden and added sugar when formula milk is used.   

Age in monthsMilk feedsml/ dayCow’s milk and sugar needed to make home- prepared formula per dayCommercial formula needed per month
450300ml milk+ 150 ml water+ 30 gm sugar4*500 gm tins 
2600400 ml milk+ 200 ml water+ 40 gm sugar6*500 gm tins
3750500 ml milk+ 250 ml water+ 45 gm sugar7*500 gm tins
4750500 ml milk+ 250 ml water+ 45 gm sugar7*500 gm tins
5900600 ml milk+ 300 ml water+ 56 gm sugar8*500 gm tins
6900600 ml milk+ 300 ml water+ 56 gm sugar8*500 gm tins
Total for 6

months
92 liters of milk+ 9 kg of sugar 40*500 gm (20kg)

Take home: Breast milk is the best gift you can give to your baby; in fact, it’s his/her BIRTHRIGHT. 

Shwetha Bhatia, Registered Dieteitan, Mind Your Fitness!

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