How Long Is Breast Milk Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: For First Six Months

Postpartum is the period during which the mother needs to take utmost care of their newborn baby regarding food habits, and also both the parents are counseled about birth spacing, immunization, Early detection, and regular treatment of complications. But a mother is counseled to take care of their health by having enriched nutrition food because their health conditions affect the newborn baby if they are breastfeeding.

How Long Is Breast Milk Good for?

The American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) is a professional association of pediatricians and they suggest maternal mothers breastfeed their babies for 6 months. The period can also be extended up to 12 months and even more if there are no issues or health problems for babies. When it comes to how often a mother should breastfeed their baby well, for the first month 8-12 times or less than the range per day is also enough, and a mother can easily know when their babies tummy is full as they would resist taking milk when they are enough.

Newborn babies are hungry always because breastfeeding easily gets digested and makes them feel hungry due to their empty stomach and can be seen licking things near to them. As babies grow older their frequent breastfeeding times get shorter like when the baby is 1-2 months old they would be required to breastfeed only 7-9 times a day. The time gap between the feeding is also very important so in the initial days of postpartum mothers are suggested to give a time-lapse of 2 hours for every time they breastfeed.

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Sometimes the time-lapse would also depend on the newborn baby as they can feed for every 90 minutes or 3hours. But newborn babies are not suggested to get breastfeed having a time-lapse of 4hours or more than it.

Days/months of newbornsHow often do they require breastfeeding per day
Initial days of newborns8-12times
1-2 months old7-9 times

Why Is Breast Milk Good For So Long?

It would be quite interesting to know what does this breast milk contains and why it is suggested to breastfeed during the initial days of the postnatal period because colostrum gets released which is the first form of milk that is produced by mammary glands which contain immunoglobulins. Colostrum is thick and yellow which gives the babies beta carotene from the mother. When it comes to talking about nutrients in breast milk it contains 3%-5% fat, 0.8%-0.9% protein, 6.9%-7.2% carbohydrates which are known as lactose, and other nutrients and minerals which constitute about 0.2%.

Breast milk gives a natural passive immunity to babies which safeguards them from deadly infections to which they can be easily prone. There are even some other disorders that are becoming major as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS), Diarrhoea, Ear infections, Diabetes, Asthma, and obesity. So by breastfeeding and postnatal checkups can be helpful in early diagnosis.

The checkup includes for both mother and their newborn regarding their vitals. Vital checkup of newborn babies includes heart rate which should be 100-160 beats per minute, Respiration(breath), blood pressure, are considered according to the months of infants.

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Conclusion

Taking care and tips on how to breastfeed newborns is also very important to a mother during her maternal days as it would be a little confusing like when should they alternate breasts for feeding their babies. But it’s very simple as the tip is on how much time you give to each one for nursing and give the same time to others. This prevents overfilling of milk in the breasts which leads to severe pain in the breast and also there would be equal milk supply from each.

Not only feeding babies but also burping them is also very crucial in which during switching the breasts for feeding a mother should give a time for their new ones to burp as this can prevent spitting. It’s quite common for a baby to spit up the milk but when it takes often the advice would be to burp them often. But when making them burping often doesn’t help to spit it would be better to call for a doctor.

References

  1. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001141.pub4/abstract
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/Supplement_2/S69.short

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