Breastfeeding is Best

The first week of August is World breast feeding week, celebrated every year across the globe to educate and create awareness.

Breast milk contains antibodies that help a baby to fight off bacteria and viruses. It also said to assists in lowering the risk baby developing asthma or even allergies. Babies who are breastfed for the first six months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea, according to research.

“For me, breastfeeding is very convenient because it is cost effective and time saving, as I don’t have to buy any formula. It also reduces the risks of going out to the shops where there is the possibility of contracting other infectious diseases, such as Covid-19 currently,” said Meisie Masopha, a young mother from Makause informal settlement.

Mothers also benefit from breast feeding as, amongst others, it helps in family planning.

Breastfeeding tips:

  • Start breastfeeding your baby immediately after birth;
  • Breastfeed your baby after having a warm bath, as it can improve milk flow;
  • Ask for privacy when you want to breast feed your newborn baby because being uncomfortable and panicking might stifle milk flow;
  • Never delay your baby’s feeding time just because your baby is not crying for the feed;
  • Always change the nappy before feeding as studies show that newborn babies take the feed better when they are dry;
  • Wash your hands and wipe the breast region with a damp cloth before and after every feed;
  • If you use breast feeding accessories, make sure you properly sterilise them after every use;
  • Put the areola (the dark area around the nipple) inside your baby’s mouth together with the nipple;
  • Drink a glass of water or juice before breast feeding to increase milk flow;
  • Watch your diet because what you eat goes to the baby; don’t eat what will cause gas or constipation in your baby’s stomach;
  • Avoid eating spicy food.

For your baby’s health, visit your nearest health care centre for more information about breast feeding. Visit our website for a list of local clinics.