6 Months Exclusive BreastFeeding

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6 Months Exclusive BreastFeeding

I am blessed with 2 children and I did 6 months exclusive breast feeding for both of them except for my second child whom I had to introduce bottle to during the second half of the journey as a result of expressing the milk (i.e from 3 ÔÇô 6 months) because I had to resume
work on the day she clocked 3 months old; for my first child, I didn’t resume a new job till he was over 7 months. In all, I am glad I was able to give my 2 children only breast milk as their only meal for the first 6 months of their lives. I advocate same for every mother who can. In as much as I know that it can be a demanding practice especially for a working mother, I feel the benefits attached are enormous, hence worth the sacrifice.

Big shout outs to my mum and mum in law who helped out while I was away for work, what would we have done without our mother figures. May God bless them all.

My daughter turned 6 months today, hence the reason I decided to do an article on 6 months exclusive breast feeding. Find below some information about 6 months exclusive breast feeding.

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The below information is according to World Health Organization:

Breastfeeding is an unequaled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:
ÔÇó Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life
ÔÇó Exclusive breastfeeding ÔÇô that is the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water
ÔÇó Breastfeeding on demand ÔÇô that is as often as the child wants, day and night
ÔÇó No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers

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Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a childÔÇÖs nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.
Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. These effects can be measured in resource-poor and affluent societies.

Breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family and national resources, is a secure way of feeding and is safe for the environment.

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While breastfeeding is a natural act, it is also a learned behaviour. An extensive body of research has demonstrated that mothers and other caregivers require active support for establishing and sustaining appropriate breastfeeding practices. WHO and UNICEF launched the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative in 1992, to strengthen maternity practices to support breastfeeding. The foundation for the BFHI are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding described in Protecting, Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding: a Joint WHO/UNICEF Statement. The evidence for the effectiveness of the Ten Steps has been summarized in a scientific review document.
The BFHI has been implemented in about 16.000 hospitals in 171 countries and it has contributed to improving the establishment of exclusive breastfeeding world-wide. While improved maternity services help to increase the initiation of exclusive breastfeeding, support throughout the health system is required to help mothers sustain exclusive breastfeeding.

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WHO WHO and UNICEF developed the 40-hour Breastfeeding Counselling: A training course to train a cadre of health workers that can provide skilled support to breastfeeding mothers and help them overcome problems, both institutions have also developed a 5-day course on Infant and Young Child Feeding Counselling, to train health workers so they become competent and able to promote appropriate breastfeeding, complementary feeding and feeding of infants in the context of HIV.

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Basic breastfeeding support skills are also part of the 11-day Integrated Management of Childhood Illness training course for first-level health workers, which combines skills for adequate case management with preventive care. Evaluation of breastfeeding counselling delivered by trained health professionals as well as community workers has shown that this is an effective intervention to improve exclusive breastfeeding rates.
The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding describes the essential interventions to promote, protect and support exclusive breastfeeding.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has advocated exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers with a view to reduce malnutrition and other related conditions that lead to infant and young child morbidity and mortality in the country.

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  1. Detutu · February 20, 2015 Detutu

    Yea, Xclusive is very good, I did same wit my children and I am enjoying d result. Asides frm wellness visit to d hospital (immunizations), my children hardly get d common illnesses in children

  2. Wumi · February 20, 2015 Wumi

    Hmm, I decided to drop my comment because it’s my field and personal a sensitive aspect for me because without adequate and ideal nutrition, infant development might be impaired but you also need to sensitize mothers on their nutrition during breastfeeding because it’s not enough to breastfeed exclusively, the baby must get the required nutrients that he/she needs for development.
    Keep it up and don’t relent on breastfeeding yet till the child is able to adapt fully with the locally available foods. Regards

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      Sherifat · February 20, 2015 Sherifat

      Thank you Wumi.

      For me to have been able to express enough milk that would sustain my baby while I am away, I ensured that I eat enough during breakfast and lunch.

      Even now that I have completed 6 months exclusive feeding, I ensure that I breastfeed all through at night, mid night and in the mornings before leaving home.

  3. Ada · February 20, 2015 Ada

    Goodday ma, I jst wnt to knw hw u where able to complete d six mnth exclusive breastfeeding fr ur baby, ‘cos I knw u work, as I ve been seeing ur post on facebook. I ve to start working next month and my baby is 5mnths, I ve already concluded dat I wil have to start giving her alternative baby food, until I read ur blog yesterday, where u said u had to work when ur baby was three mnths and u still completed d exclusive breastfeeding fr her.Pls hw did u do it

  4. Ada · February 20, 2015 Ada

    Goodday ma, I jst wnt to knw hw u where able to complete d six mnth exclusive breastfeeding fr ur baby, ‘cos I knw u work, as I ve been seeing ur post on facebook. I ve to start working next month and my baby is 5mnths, I ve already concluded dat I wil have to start giving her alternative baby food, until I read ur blog yesterday, where u said u had to work when ur baby was three mnths and u still completed d exclusive breastfeeding fr her.Pls hw did u do it.

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      Sherifat · February 20, 2015 Sherifat

      Hi Ada, thank you for dropping by. I consider you very lucky to have had the opportunity of staying with your baby for 5 months before resuming work, so you have just 1 month to go :).

      This is what I did for the extra 3 months, I had to plead with my mum and mum in law to rotationally stay with us for 2 weeks each for the 3 months period, so I express the milk supply for the day, my daughter usually had between 6-8 bottles of milk of 2.5-3 ounces each (between 7am-7pm, while I am away), so I had to express in these 6-8 bottles depending on how much I am able to express, but I always try my best to express as much as possible because it’s better for the milk to be in excess than for it not to be enough.

      On some occasions, I have had to leave the office earlier than scheduled in cases when my mum or mum in law called to tell me that the remaining milk may not last till I come (there are days she just chooses to have lots of milk). I ensured that I eat very very well for breakfast and lunch so I can have enough milk to express and I take a lot of fluid (water, milk drinks, beverage etc). Most times when I return, I’m able to express 4-6 bottles of 3 ounces each, after meal at night before bed I try to express another bottle, then in the morning before leaving the house, I try to do another bottle, so I usually have 6-8 bottles for her, the days I do 6 bottles, I just have to plead with my boss to leave a little before my closing time.

      For these 3 months, I resumed work by 9am and closed by 5pm, so I usually leave the house by 7am and return around 6.30 or 7pm, I return earlier if I leave earlier than 5pm, so technically I am away for about 12 hours. I hardly express for days, I usually express what she’ll take the day before so as for her to have it fresh and not take milk of many days or weeks, except for Mondays’ supply which I have to start expressing by Saturday.

      I must be truthful that it was not an easy task, expressing can be a lot of work and it can be quite exhaustive. Immediately I get home, expressing of milk is about the very first thing i do, I try not to breast feed her so that I have enough to have in her bottles, after which she can then suck and by nature more milk would be produced as she sucks. I think largely, all these was made possible by God and then my 2 mums and my boss who were helpful and understanding all through the 3 months period.

      I started weaning her about 3 days to her clocking 6 months, it’s 5 days that she’s been introduced to cereal, milk and water and she isn’t doing badly except for the first 2 days which she cried and literally refused them, but now she eats them like she has known them for years.

      Storing the milk is also very important, I usually put the milk in freezer, then they take out each bottle when she needs to be fed, the bottle is then put in warm water. Also hygiene is very important at this stage, try to have different bottles for the milk so as to avoid pouring the milk from one container to the other. I recommend that you should have a close relative in the house to help feed her while you are away.

      Keep your eyes on the goal and try to complete the 6 months exclusive feeding since you are 5 months into it, I wish you all the best and I would like to have your feedback.

    • Shero · May 20, 2015 Shero

      How old is your baby? YOu say she’s a new’ baby, so I’ll assume that she’s less than 2 mohtns old.At that age you need to expect her to be nursing (or you pumping) at least once, and probably 2-3 times at night. So going longer than 4-5 hours without nursing or pumping is likely to cause supply issues. And if she’s younger than about 6 weeks, she really shouldn’t be getting any bottles. They can cause nipple confusion and the time YOU are spending on the pump so you can sleep an extra hour at night can be better spend resting during the day. (Looking at your earlier questions it looks like you might be exclusively pumping? If this is the case, it’s even more important that you pump through the night the pump is far less effective than the baby in stimluating supply, so frequent pumping around the clock is necessary both to pump enough milk for baby AND to keep your supply going.) Was this answer helpful?

  5. milf gangbang · June 28, 2015 milf

    Very informative blog post. Much obliged.

  6. resources · July 2, 2015 resources

    I really like and appreciate your post. Cool.

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