4 Benefits of Early Breastfeeding Initiation for Infant Health
Windowofworld.com – Early breastfeeding initiation is an important step to facilitate the baby in starting the breastfeeding process. Newborns placed on the mother’s chest or stomach can naturally find their own source of breast milk and breastfeed. This important process is called initiation of early breastfeeding.
The benefits of breast milk have been shown to play an important role as a primary food source and to help strengthen the immune system of newborns to protect it from various diseases. This breastfeeding process can actually be started and strengthened with the initiation of early breastfeeding. Unfortunately, not many people understand the importance of this procedure for babies.
Benefits of IMD for Mothers and Babies
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the process of initiating breastfeeding be carried out within the first hour of birth. The trick is to place the baby in the mother’s chest as soon as the baby comes out of the birth canal.
This baby will then naturally, unaided, look for her mother’s nipples to sip the milk. Mothers who give birth normally and a healthy baby after birth make this can be done immediately after delivery.
Various benefits of early breastfeeding initiation for mother and baby, including:
1. Increase the chance of the baby getting colostrum
Colostrum is the first drop of mother’s milk that is rich in nutrients and helps prevent disease. The first liquid from breast milk is usually yellow, very thick and only about one teaspoon.
2. Support the success of exclusive breastfeeding
Early breastfeeding initiation is known to support the success of exclusive breastfeeding until at least 4-month-old babies. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until the baby is 6 months old, but may continue until the child is 2 years old.
3. Strengthening the relationship between mother and baby
Evidence shows that a baby’s skin is in direct contact with the skin of his mother (skin-to-skin contact) immediately after birth, which can create deeper intimacy with the mother. Furthermore, the baby’s body skin that is in direct contact with the skin of his mother’s body is an effective way to calm a sick baby, which can be done at any time. This also makes the mother more comfortable.
4. Improve baby’s health
Early breastfeeding initiation can reduce newborn mortality. In addition, it can improve health, growth and development, and help build the baby’s immune system. Then, breast milk is also very good for the health of the baby’s digestive system.
Implement Early Breastfeeding Initiation
The problem and challenge often faced is that there are not many hospitals or midwives that accommodate the early breastfeeding initiation process. To implement this process, it is important for expectant mothers to choose hospitals that are pro-ASI and pro-IMD.
Here are some things that must be ensured when looking for a place to give birth if you want to apply early breastfeeding initiation:
- The hospital has a policy to place mothers and babies in one room or rooming-in postpartum.
- The hospital should not advise mothers, especially those who have not yet succeeded in producing milk, to provide formula milk for babies.
- Doctors and or nurses who will help with childbirth, be pro-breastfeeding and are ready to help mothers to breastfeed.
- Give the mother and baby time to initiate breastfeeding early after delivery and let the baby suckle as long as he needs.
- Other needs such as bathing and weighing the baby can be postponed after the IMD process.
However, there are times when some procedures, such as an unexpected cesarean section or complications during labor, make this process unworkable. However, it is important for mothers to emphasize their desire to initiate early breastfeeding, if it is still possible.
In the end, the initiation of early breastfeeding can be successfully implemented if the mother who is undergoing labor is physically and mentally ready. This process will also only succeed if the mother is confident and fully supported by all parties around her, especially the hospital, the doctor who helps the delivery process, and the family.