On this World Breastfeeding Week from 1st to 7th August 2018 Columbia Asia Hospital shares an advisory to encourage breastfeeding and spread an awareness on its immense benefits to improve the health of babies around the world. The theme of World Breastfeeding Week this year is ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of life’.
According to WHO, exclusive breastfeeding is very much essential starting from the one hour after birth until the baby is 6 months’ old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond. Breastfeeding contributes to the health of well being of mother, it helps in reducing 25% of the ovarian and breast cancer risks. It also helps in preventing malnutrition, ensures food security and maintains good health in the young children.
This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of helping mothers breastfeed their babies within that crucial first hour of life. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulates the production of breast milk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s ‘first vaccine’, which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies. Advantages of breast milk are far more over formula milk; hence for working mothers breast milk storage is advisable.
Dr. Ambuja Govindaraj, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur stated “World Breastfeeding Week must be promoted by advocating and informing the general public on the economic, environmental and health implications of optimal breastfeeding on a global scale. Breastfeeding is a natural act and also a learned behavior, storing it is an art and practice to pump it is also very much essential”.
Here are few tips to be followed by new mothers to store the breast milk:
- Cleanliness and hygiene should be the first priority. Therefore, mothers should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water before expressing the milk
- Milk should mandatorily be stored in milk storage bags or bottles
Remember rule of 4’s: can keep at room temperature for 4-6 hours, in refrigerator for 4-6 days
- Practice pumping when you are rested, relaxed and your breasts feel somewhat full. Try pumping once baby has finished feeding or pump other breast while feeding on the other or while baby is napping
- Keep the milk at the back of the fridge or freezer than at the door. This will help protect the breast milk from temperature changes from the door opening and closing
- Never microwave the breastmilk.