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Breastfeeding: Colostrum

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When the baby is put to suck at the breast soon after he/ she is born, this does him/ her and the mum good because the milk comes down earlier and the connection between the child and the mother tends to be strong. When the baby sucks the breast, this helps the placenta to be discharged sooner and the mother consequently looses less blood and her womb returns faster to its normal size. Therefore, breastfeeding is very important to the baby and to the mother.

Breastfeeding is an act that needs to be learnt by the mother and by the baby. That is why it is important the mother knows she might need help from the health providers to learn how to breastfeed. All effort to promote breastfeeding is blessed!

Attention: The mother shall breastfeed only her baby. She should never give her baby to another mother to be breastfed. Some diseases may be transmitted to the baby through the mother's milk.

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In the first days the baby sucks the colostrum, which is a yellow transparent milk, much thicker, protein and mineral salt enriched, which contains defences against diseases. Besides being a health source, the colostrum helps in the first faecal excretion of a newborn. This faecal excretion is called meconium, dark and sticky like asphalt tar.

Some women, between the second and the fifth day after the delivery, feel their breasts are heavier, a little sore and slightly hot. This is normal. It is very important the mother keeps on breastfeeding, putting the baby in the right mouth sucking position (page 112). Thus the uneasiness disappears faster and breastfeeding occurs normally.

As time goes by, the woman’s body itself changes the milk according to the baby’s need. The mother’s milk will have other nutrients for the baby to grow healthy. Therefore, the maternal milk is always fit for the baby’s age.