Exclusive breastfeeding refers to giving your baby breast milk only, nothing else such as milk, food, liquids and sips of water except for medicine prescribed by your doctor/healthcare provider.
It’s important for a mother to know her HIV status. An HIV positive mother may pass the HIV virus to her baby through breast milk but not all babies become infected. By practising exclusive breastfeeding, the mother minimizes the risk of the baby getting infected with the HIV virus.
POSITIONING & ATTACHMENT DURING BREASTFEEDING
- Mother should sit up–right in a comfortable position with her back straight.
- Mother should bring the baby to her instead of bending to reach the baby when breastfeeding.
- Put a pillow on your lap beneath the baby so as not to strain your hand by carrying the baby’s weight and also not to strain your back because of bending.
- Baby’s tummy should be facing your tummy.
- Touch the baby’s lips with your nipple. When the baby’s mouth opens wide, move the baby quickly onto the breast.
- To check if baby is feeding well, the mouth should be wide open, lower lip is turned outward, chin touching the breast and cheeks are rounded.
- The baby should take slow deep sucks while breastfeeding without making too much sound because it means the baby is sucking air.
- Let baby finish one breast first and come off on his or her own. This is a sign that the baby has gotten most of the milk out of that breast. Then give the baby the other breast. Generally, the baby should suckle on each breast between 20-30 minutes.
- Feed your baby day and night, at least every 2-3 hours.
- Frequent feeding helps your body to produce enough milk and prevents your breast from becoming engorged and painful.
- You will know your baby is taking enough milk if the baby is passing urine at least 6 times a day and is gaining weight. The baby’s urine should be light in colour and not smelling.
Things you need to know:
Breast milk is the perfect food for the baby. It provides all the nutrients and water that your baby needs to grow during the first 6 months of life.
Colostrum (thick yellowish milk) that is produced during the first few days after delivery is very important because it protects your baby from many diseases.