Exclusive Breast Feeding

What is Exclusive Breast Feeding?

Exclusive breastfeeding is when a baby receives only breast milk, without any additional food or drinks, including water, until 6 months of age.

While breastfeeding beyond 6 months, a baby should receive foods with breast milk until the age of 2 or older. The breastfeeding duration after 2 years depends entirely on the mother and the baby.

Kangaroo Mother Care is recommended

Why is Exclusive Breastfeeding Recommended?

Breast milk is the ideal food for any baby, for the best growth and development mentally, emotionally and physically. It is not only important for a baby, but has many benefits for the mother, namely: helping her lose the postpartum pounds easily after birth and it also helps prevent postpartum depression.

Read more about all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding for the mother, the baby and the environment.

Making Exclusive Breast Feeding Possible

  • The mother should try to breastfeed her baby, within the first hour of the baby’s life.
  • The baby should not receive any supplements and this includes water.
  • The mother should breastfeed her baby on demand.
  • The mother should breastfeed her baby at night too; co-sleeping can help with this.
  • The mother should try to stay away from artificial nipples and pacifiers, to prevent nipple confusion.
  • The mother should try to educate herself on potential breastfeeding problems. Read through our breastfeeding information site map,  if you would like to educate yourself on breastfeeding and the problems that may arise.
  • A mother can get involved in a breastfeeding support group.
  • Make it clear at the hospital that you intend on nursing exclusively.
  • Mothers who are returning to work can also breastfeed exclusively by pumping during the day and breastfeeding at night.

The Advantages of Breastfeeding Exclusively

  • Babies who are exclusively breastfed recover quicker from colds and infections. Breast milk also prevents babies from becoming sick.
  • Family planning and spacing advantages. Read more about lactation amenorrhea here (when breastfeeding delays your period and fertility).
  • It reduces the chances of ovarian and breast cancer in the mother.
  • If you are exclusively breastfeeding, you won’t need to buy expensive supplements or bottles.

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with exclusive breast feeding

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