Today's paediatrics class, i learnt about feeding concerning newborns, which emphasises in neonatology, about the importance of breast-feeding, and 10 criterias of a baby-friendly hospital, listed by the professor whom took the class.
there are 3 stages of the newborns just after parturition;
1. Lusty cry, which lasts about 10 minutes, which is vital in the newborns' survival. Normal lusty cry indicates respiratory functions of the baby is functioning well.
2. Alertness, which lasts about 20-30 minutes, due to abundance of catecholamines obtained from the mother.
3. Profound deep sleep, about 6-8 hours.
it is important for 'skin-to-skin' contact with the mother just after the birth of the newborn. the mother should be familiarised with the habits of her baby, for the ease of breast-feeding.
nowadays, newborns and their mothers usually separated. this has lead to many disadvantages and has been criticised for the effectiveness in newborn's health.
thus, a baby-friendly hospital should be the best for the healthcare of neonates.
proper breast-feeding in the early hours of newborns' life have been found to decrease the infant mortality rate for about 30%.
10 criterias of a baby friendly hospital are:
1. Have a written breast-feeding policy.
2. MCH (Maternal and Child Healthcare) staffs are properly trained with necessary skills to implement the policy.
3. Pregnant women should be informed about benefits of breast-feeding, and dangers of artificial feeding.
4. Initiate breast-feeding within 30 minutes of delivery.
5. Mothers should be equipped and guided by MCH staffs for the best method of breast-feeding. In case if the baby is pre-term, and has to be kept in an incubator, the mother should be assisted in maintaining her lactation.
6. Babies should only be given breast milk, no pre-lacteal feeds as it leads to various complications.
7. Rooming-in/Bedding-in. The baby and the mother should be in the same room.
8. Footprints, fingerprints, weight of the baby, and name-tag of the baby should be done only after the newborn has gone into deep sleep.
9. Demand feeding. The baby should be feeded whenever the baby cries for breast milk. It is the best to put the baby on the mothers abdomen, as the baby will instinctively search for the mothers nipple for suckling the milk.
10. Do not use pacifier, soothers, bottles, or dummies. This would be against the physiology of breast-feeding of the newborn.
- if possible, create a refering breast-feeding group after discharge, for the effectiveness in giving breast-feeding to the baby. Though, this is vital in western countries only, as developing countries have their wonderful culture of nurturing infants with the best care naturally.
thus, exclusive breast-feeding is the best feed for an infant. the best is to give 2 years of exclusive breast feed, just like the suggestion of our beloved prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
may this short entry has some benefit for the readers. thank you.