When you’re weaning your baby, breast milk is best because it contains everything that your baby needs for healthy development. Breast milk contains protein, fat, carbohydrates and all the essential vitamins and minerals in a form that is easy to digest. It is automatically ideally suited to meet your baby’s requirements. Breast milk is also free from allergens and rich in substances that protect against allergies and infections.
Breastfeeding: a learning process for mother and baby
Although breastfeeding is entirely natural, not all mums succeed at the first attempt. Place your baby to your breast as soon after giving birth as possible – this stimulates the sucking reflex. At the beginning, you might find it easier to breastfeed your baby lying down. If so, lie on your side. Your baby should also lie on his/her side next to you – with their head directly in front of your breast. It can help if you use your hand to support your baby’s head. Breastfeeding also works well with the mother sitting up, cradling her baby. Experiment to find out what is most comfortable for you and your baby. How often should you breastfeed? Ideally, whenever your baby demands it. These days, babies should be allowed to establish their own feeding pattern. The sole indicator that everything is running smoothly is your child’s well-being. If your baby looks content after breastfeeding, you can rest assured that everything is alright. But don’t allow your baby to just suck on your breast, otherwise your nipples could become sore. How long should you breastfeed for? On this, the experts are unanimous. Four, or better six months is the ideal length of time. Babies at risk of allergies should be fed exclusively on breast milk for six months.
Food and drink whilst breastfeeding
Mothers need to drink plenty – fluids are important for milk production. 2 to 3 litres a day is ideal. More on hot days. A tip: have a drink handy before you start breastfeeding. Mineral waters with a high mineral content are recommended, e.g. Nestlé PURE LIFE, as well as unsweetened herbal and fruit teas. In the first four months, breastfeeding mothers need an additional 600 kcal a day to give them enough energy for milk production. This additional requirement is lessened as time goes by. Ensure you get a balanced diet of all the right nutrients in all the right quantities.
The following foods are essential:
- plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and potatoes
- wholegrain products
- high-quality vegetable oils containing unsaturated fatty acids
- lean meat and fish
- milk and dairy products
Weaning – when breastfeeding no longer satisfies your baby
There are many reasons for weaning: not every mother can breastfeed, e.g. because they do not produce enough breast milk – others simply do not want to breastfeed. So it’s good to know that there are complex milk formulas available, such as Nestlé NESPRAY. Before you wean your baby, always speak to your paediatrician or midwife. Start by replacing the lunchtime feed with a bottle of milk. Then, week by week, you can replace another feed with a bottle. Even if you want to start weaning your baby straight onto solids, you can still begin with the lunchtime feed. But give your child time to get used to the new way of feeding. A few days or a week should be enough.
Your baby won’t take kindly to
You eating foods that cause wind, such as onions or cabbage. In fact it could even give them a tummy ache. Fizzy drinks can have the same effect. Citrus fruits and juices with a high acid content (e.g. orange juice) can often cause babies to have sore bottoms.