Nutrition Officers, Samuel Atuahene Antwi. Stella Afful and Sandra Owusu have disclosed that considering the good health of newborns, it is required for breastfeeding to start 30 minutes after birth.
According to them, breastfeeding within the first 30 minutes is essential because the baby starts to receive the immunological effects of colostrum, the first form of milk produced immediately following delivery of the newborn.
The seasoned nutritionists explained that colostrum contains high amounts of bioactive compounds, antibodies to protect the newborn against disease and infection and in addition, growth factors that help activate the immune system of the newborn ensuring the best start to life.
“Colostrum is thicker than mature breast milk and produced in smaller amounts, but it’s packed with goodness. The newborn feeding on your colostrum ensures practice at sucking, swallowing and breathing before your milk comes in in larger volumes.”
Speaking on Plan B FM’s health show dubbed ‘Apomuden Fie’, Mr Atuahene Antwi pointed out that early breastfeeding helps the mother settle with regards to the process of breastfeeding.
“Ideally, your baby will be put on your chest as soon as he’s born to give him access to the breast. He might feed, he might not; but give him the opportunity to do so.”, Mr Antwi implored.
Touching on the span and frequency for which a mother is expected to breastfeed in a day, the nutritionist stressed that breastfeeding does not require any form of timing and should be given to babies at all times.
Stella Afful added that, breastfeeding within a day should not be less than 12 times, even if the baby declines to breastfeed.
Aside the above benefit the baby gains from breastfeeding within the first 30 minutes post-birth, Mr Antwi indicated that early breastfeeding also helps the stimulation of digestion and bowels of the baby.
Concluding, the nutritionists indicated that, sucking difficulties may be avoided if the baby feeds properly at the early stages of life, an action which goes a long way to enhance the mother-baby bond.
Sandra Owusu also urged all breastfeeding mothers to be with their babies at all times in the breastfeeding stage.