Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.
Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age (only breast milk), with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.
Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; breastfeeding is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers.
WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Complementary foods should be given 2–3 times a day between 6–8 months, increasing to 3–4 times a day between 9–11 months. Between 12–23 months of age, 3–4 meals should be given. In addition, depending on the child’s appetite, 1–2 nutritious snacks can be offered between meals. These foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs. Foods should be prepared and given in a safe manner to minimize the risk of contamination. Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation to encourage the child to eat.
After reading all these, have you got the message?
That’s why, feed your child with breast milk whenever you can. Do it for yourself or for the sake of your child.