It is rather difficult to breastfeed an infant without any substitute for more than three years. And it is indeed a shame indeed, that some city women don’t even breastfeed for even two months!
The main reason these women give for not breastfeeding is that there is no milk to feed the baby. This has been the most common phrase mentioned by breastfeeding mothers, when in reality, the only way milk stops producing is with the lowering of it’s stimulation through the baby’s sucking. Actually, the minority of people living in tribes has no other choice to feed their babies, but through breastfeeding. In fact, it is most convenient for them, as there is no need of any warming devices, is always available and is sterile. They consider it a true gift of life!
The campaign for breastfeeding is now long from stopped. Since there are lots of women who cannot feed their infants, the more educated a woman is on breastfeeding, the more chance she has of breastfeeding. Nowadays, women climb in their careers, to become a great help in the financial standing of the family. However, nothing stands to debate in this global age. However much a mother yearns to breastfeed her baby; science itself is an advocate by providing alternatives for working mothers. The different options offered to ease the lives of mothers include usage of formula feeding bottles, electric and manual breast pumps, books/references and cereals.
Paediatrician usually advise mothers to give rice cereals to the infant when the baby is as young as 4 months old. The infant is only given the first taste of his cereal as a serving of one teaspoon in between his milk feedings. The reason for introducing so much of cereal is to that the baby gets adjusted to the solid food gradually, with small amounts. This initial feeding lasts for about one week, and increases till the end of the month. However, while feeding the baby cereals, the mother should continue breastfeeding the baby. Remember the secret to abundance of breast milk lies in not stopping it! An alternate milk formula when given to the child may affect the mother’s milk production. However, the stimulation of the breast by the infant’s continuous sucking is the secret to good breast milk.
The mother need not give rice cereal only to the baby. Some fruits and vegetables should be simultaneously introduced. It can be continued for several months, and could be mixed with the rice cereal. However, it should be remembered that eggs are absolutely a no-no for infants below the age of one year. The infant’s rice cereal is specially made to supplement infant dietary needs and can be prepared at home using white rice recipes or those found in groceries that come in packages. The main purpose of rice cereals is to add more energy to the baby’s diet with the introduction of carbohydrates. The main reason for introducing rice cereal, is however, to increase thickness of feeding for babies with swallowing difficulties and to develop the habit of feeding with a spoon.
In other words, it could be said that the practice of weaning an infant lies in the mother’s discretion. Actually, without even introducing rice cereals in the fourth month, pure breast milk proves to be sufficient to keep the baby healthy and strong. Breast milk is always the best for babies, where it’s lifetime benefits, as far as antibodies are concerned, and increases with the growth of the baby. With rice cereals, the baby’s satiety that his craving for mother’s milk generally increases. On the other hand, breastfeeding satisfies the infant’s sucking instinct, gives less trouble to the baby, and is forever available.