Golden Hour Breastfeed: A magical start for the newborns

Mother’s milk has excellent nutritious value with right balance of lactose, protein and fats and it’s easy to digest and prevent stomach-ache.

Over 75% children born at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital in past one year have received their mother’s milk—ideal first feed which provides lifelong immunity against the diseases, boosts growth and tissue repair factors, within the ‘Golden Hour,’ of birth. Strict implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)—launched by World Health Organisation and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) in 1991, to promote, protect and support breastfeeding practices, caused the change.

Breast milk has always been the best for baby for the first six months. Mother’s milk has excellent nutritious value with right balance of lactose, protein and fats and it’s easy to digest and prevent stomach-ache. It rarely causes infection. As long-term benefits, it offers protection against ear infections, upper respiratory tract infections, diabetes, metabolic complications and even cancer.

The first milk—known as ‘colostrum,’ provides the child with IgA antibodies that offer excellent immunity. Lactoferin—a protein that binds the iron which is abundant in Colostrum has been a popular choice amongst the body builders to enhance stamina. The milk is also rich in Vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium and the prevention of rickets (skeletal disorder) in children. Most importantly, the skin-to-skin contact prevents the child from hypothermia and increases bonding between the mother and child.

It is said that for mothers, breastfeeding helps the uterus to contract and bleeding to cease more quickly after delivery. Also, it reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and helps to generate a great bond for mothers with their babies. It also helps the mother's to avoid bone fractures in future. Most importantly, the breastfeeding mothers return to their pre-pregnancy size quicker than those who avoid to breastfeed.

Simple practices for successful breastfeeding are early initiation within first 60-90 minutes of birth and spending at-least 25-30 minutes of skin-to-skin contact with the baby. During the hospital stay, staff nurses doctors and lactational consultants need to constantly train and guide the new mothers. These steps may help the mother overcome most of the challanges and mother's can exclusively breastfeed the babies.

Growing urbanization, changing lifestyle, working women, availability of formula milk and other baby foods have contributed to the decline in breastfeeding. The BFHI revolution started with the medical administration taking active efforts to study existing breastfeeding practices. This initiative has addressed the need of counselling and training for expectant mothers during antenatal period.

It is extremely important to sensitise all staff members in hospitals through seminars, talks and workshops. At Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital this initiative has been active since two years which has given excellent results in early breastfeeding initiation.

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Breastfeeding Infants


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