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How long should I breast feed the baby?

Q: I recently delivered a baby boy. It was a normal delivery but before the date. Till what time I should feed a child since I wanted to join back office. I am on leave for 3 months. What diet should be maintained for feeding the child?

A:As a pediatrician I shall be happy to provide you with some guidelines related to infant feeding you should breast feed for as long as possible. Ideally, a baby should receive exclusive breast feeding till 6 months of age. You must make all efforts to extend your leave for a period of 6 months. After all, this time with your baby will never come back! However, if you must join, then top feeding may be introduced as a single feed about 15 days before you plan to join. Toned pasteurised milk easily available in all cities is best for this purpose. You do not have to introduce a bottle. See if you could train your baby in using a katori feed or in the use of a sipper. Bottle feeding is associated with a higher risk of infection since it is difficult to maintain bottle hygiene. The baby may not accept another milk very readily at first but with loving patience they learn. Gradually the feed frequency may be increased to 2 feeds. After you join back continue to breast feed: before going for work and after getting back, for as long as possible. Introduce semi-solids after the baby completes 6 months of age As far as your own diet is concerned, the principles of normal healthy diet hold true: eat clean home cooked food. Eat as your appetite dictates. Your body decides how much amount of food it needs. Make sure to include milk & milk products and fresh vegetables and fruits. You do not have to take excess of fat. Drink plenty of fluids.


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