Chennai: The infant weeps, but the mother is at workplace. Every working mother who has just given birth to a child experiences this. While some quit to nurture their ward and some others continue to work. Whatever the reason is, no one here is to blame.
With 1 to 7 August is observed as World Breastfeeding Week, News Today explains the benefits of feeding one’s baby with human milk and how working women can overcome the hurdles.
Rich in nutrition and laden with antibodies, the natural milk secreted by the mother helps the child grow healthy and prevents neonatal infections and diseases like necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe intestinal disease. Experts state that formula milk cannot completely replace although the scientists do as much as they can.
As it secretes naturally, Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children Department of Neonatology Head, Dr C N Kamalarathnam, stated that breast milk contains the right amount of proteins, fat and carbohydrates that an infant can easily digest.
He stated that mother’s milk contains high quantity of whey protein which can be easily processed by the baby, as against cow’s milk.
However, since more and more women work, they naturally wish to continue working even after giving birth. In such cases, the child is deprived of the natural source of nutrition. For working mothers, Dr Kamalarathnam, suggests storing the expressed milk, if they have a private space and an equipment, while they are at their office and feed the child when they get home.
“To facilitate this, caretakers of the child should encourage women to store the breast milk and use it for feeding when they are away. It is a common practice abroad. Human milk can be stored easily for 24 hours,” Kamalarathnam said.
If the baby does not suckle, the milk gets stored, leading to breast enlargement and the milk cannot be used for feeding. In such cases, the mothers have to find ways at their workplace to express it. “Milk secretion has to be maintained which can be done only by feeding,” the doctor said.
Asked about the food intake of mothers, he said, “Balanced diet and 300 additional calories is recommended for breast milk secretion.”