About Essential Nutrition Actions at Critical Stages in the Life Cycle of Women and Children
Infants from birth to the first six months
Breast milk alone is the ideal start to a baby's life. All studies show that Breast milk is the best exclusive food for your baby up to six months.
- Put the baby on the breast within 30-60 minutes after delivery and ensure skin-to-skin unrestricted contact (Breast Crawl).
- Give the first yellow milk (colostrum).
- Do not give pre-lacteal like water, glucose or other fluids like tea or soda.
- Do not give any fluids (including water or animal's milk) or food up to six months.
- Breastfeed the baby on demand day and night (at least 8-10 times).
- Ensure correct position and attachment to prevent common breast problems.
- Completely empty one breast before offering the second breast to the baby.
- Do not use pacifiers.
- If separated from your child during the day, you should express enough Breast milk to feed the baby during your absence. Expressed Breast milk can be stored up to 8 hours at room temperature or up to 24 hours in a refrigerator. Caregivers should be thorough on how to feed the child using a clean, open cup. Avoid using a bottle!
- Follow the growth of your baby by going for monthly Growth Monitoring and Promotion. Visit the health centre immediately if you see your baby is not growing or is losing weight.
Mixed feeding, such as breastfeeding while giving other drinks and foods, may cause the baby to get diarrhoea, respiratory and ear infections.
Note: HIV positive mothers should receive appropriate counselling during ANC in order to make an informed choice on infant feeding options during the first six months.
- If your baby is born premature or with low-birth weight, he/she should get Iron-Folic Acid supplementation from two months up to twenty-four months. You should be able to get the syrup from any primary health care facilities.
- Continue breastfeeding even if pregnant or ill.
Mixed feeding, meaning breastfeeding and giving other drinks and foods, may cause the baby to get diarrhoea, respiratory and ear infections.
Note: HIV positive mothers should receive appropriate counselling during ANC to make an informed choice on the infant feeding option for the first six months.
6 March, 2016