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When To Give

WHEN DO WE START WEANING?

Ideally at around six months.
Earlier, if the mother is working.
Some may not need foods even at 8-9 months; others may need at 4 months. Mothers vary and so do infants.
Plot growth curve to find if infant is growing well. If the curve flattens - then supplement.
If this occurs < 4 months increase the breastmilk supply. If this occurs > 4 months increase the BM supply and introduce complementary foods. One may void using animal milk as complementary food.

WHAT IF FOODS ARE GIVEN BEFORE 4 MONTHS?

Dangerous practice.
Contaminated food/water - diarrhoea
Full stomach - less suckling at breast - fall in BM output.
Less suckling - less Prolactin - LAM benefit lost
Energy intake by infant thg BM reduces - growth faltering.
Risk of developing allergies.

WHAT IF FOODS ARE DELAYED BEYOND 6 MONTHS?

Growth stops around 6 months - risk of malnourishment
Infant's reluctance to try new foods and tastes after 9 months - difficult to start new complementary foods

BREASTFEEDING BEYOND INFANCY

Breastmilk is an important source of nutrition and anti-infective protection for toddlers, especially in poor families.
Continue breastfeeding as long as the child wants (atleast for 2 years).

BREASTFEEDING SHOULD BE STOPPED SLOWLY

Ensure that the child eats enough; increase number of meals.
Increase interval between breastfeeds. Drop one feed every day per week. Taper over 2-3 mo.
Stop morning breastfeeds first, then afternoon feeds after 2 - 3 weeks. Avoid situations that remind the baby of the breast.


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Disclaimer: All material provided at Breastfeedingindia.org is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.