Pumping Up the Volumes
We are almost through with the year and I hope you have taken stock of the achievements made no matter how small they may be. From our end and nationally, our greatest desire is to perform extremely well at achieving the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring good health and wellbeing. Besides the universal health care, improving the food quality in order to improve on our nutrient intake at all ages is vital. For our little ones below six months, breast milk is the way to go.
This month and more so this week, we are all about the healthiest, safest and unadulterated drink there is, which is breast milk. The drink that should be exclusively fed to babies below six months and continually fed to the little one up to 2 years of life with additional food. Our prime focus is on how to fully achieve the 6 months mark without the mixed feeding interference, as is currently experienced, through having the right volumes.
Breast milk is essential and the health benefits are not only experienced by the little one but the mother as well. To the little one, breast milk provides all energy and nutrients required for optimal growth, promotes sensory and cognitive(learning) ability, protects against chronic and infectious diseases as well as reduce infant mortality as there are very minimal or close to nil chances of diarrhea which may contribute to malnutrition (undernutrition) that if not well-managed results to death.
For we the mothers, the golden drink contributes to our health and well being by reducing the chances of ovarian and breast cancers that are hovering all around us ready to devour us. Based on the benefits, it is therefore important to ensure that we breastfeed and not just do it casually but do it right. Getting it right the first time we actually do it.
Exclusive breastfeeding is to be introduced within the first one hour birth and continually done for the first six months of life and among the challenges to this are no self-belief to doing it, fear of the ‘fallen soldiers’ which is considered to negatively affect our body image, poor attachment and the greatest being low volumes of breast milk . low breast milk volumes can be as a result of a poor diet, lack of self-belief and psychological factors. If the above challenges come in play, the mixed feeding bandwagon increases its membership.
It is every mother’s desire to have a healthy baby that is well fed, and as usual, we got you covered. Our cardinal focus is on maternal and child health and how best to show our commitment than in ensuring optimal infant growth and development than by having a product that propels the agenda of exclusive breastfeeding. The secret lies in the Winnie’s Pure Health Hibiscus drink and Nettle drink which help improve breastmilk production.
In addition to the products, it is important to ensure warm drinks are consumed as they also help in breastmilk production. This does not necessarily mean increased consumption of tea (chai) as this will affect calcium and iron levels in the breast milk. It is also important to minimize or even avoid stress as it may hinder milk production.
In the case of very reduced amounts of breast milk, it is, therefore, necessary to stimulate the progesterone hormone which is vital in milk production. Stimulation is done by massaging the lower part of the back. Not only does this improve milk production but it also makes your partner feel like they are part of the journey.
Exclusive breastfeeding is not only limited to the stay at home mums or the seronegative mums but the working-class mum expected to get back to work after a 3 months maternity leave and the seropositive mum who is strictly following her medication. In the case of the working-class mum, it is important for her workplace to minimize her working hours or to give her a special room to express and store the milk. This is to encourage them to exclusively breastfeed. For the seropositive mums, they should avoid mixed feeding, if they choose to breastfeed, they should carry on with this for the 6 months.
Regardless of the various breastmilk substitutes around, it is important to exclusively breastfeed. Eating right, coupled with proper breast latching is the way to go if we have to achieve the third SDG which will help minimize infant death.