Diet for an Infant and appropriate infant feeding practices ~ Nursing Guru

Diet for an Infant and appropriate infant feeding practices

Diet for an Infant and appropriate infant feeding practices

Diet for an Infant is proper infant nutrition which is critical to the child's continued health, from birth to adulthood. Proper nutrition in the first three years of life is particularly important because of its role in reducing morbidity and mortality, reducing the risk of chronic disease throughout life, and promoting regular mental and physical development.  Community health nurse should be aware of following important points to educate the mother and family.

Diet for an Infant and appropriate infant feeding practices

Diet for an infant: Exclusive breastfeeding

According to the WHO, babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding should start within an hour after delivery and do not throw away the first milk (colostrum), as it increases the baby's immunity and protects him from various infections. Exclusive breastfeeding ensures safe nutrition for the baby, reducing the risk of infection. Babies should be continuously breastfed until 2 years of age and older. Exclusive Breastfeeding Aids Baby's General Development Breast milk is the most natural and healthy food for babies' growth and healthy development. No need to give additional water to Breastfed infants 

Advantages of Breastfeeding

It is a proven scientific fact that all commercial infant milk foods and animal milks are inferior to breastmilk: 

(i) maternal milk is nutritious food for infants which is readily available, simple to feed, hygienic, develops emotional bonding and prevents allergic disorders; 

(ii) breastfeeding protects against several infections including diarrhoea and respiratory infections, and saves lives. An exclusively breastfed infant is about 14 times less likely to die from diarrhoea, 3 to 4 times less likely to die from respiratory diseases and 2 to 3 times less likely to die from other infections than a non-breastfed infant; 

(iii) breastmilk is much more economical than artificial milk or powdered milk food, the average charge of feeding a 6 month old infant for 1 month on infant formula may be equal to the average monthly family per capita income 

(iv) 'exclusive' breastfeeding exerts a strong contraceptive effect in the first 4 to 6 months post partum; 

(v) maternal benefits include earlier termination of post partum bleeding and protection against breast and ovarian cancer.

Diet for an infant: Appropriate Infant Feeding Practices

Preparation for Breastfeeding during Pregnancy

Pregnant women, particularly primiparous women, and those who have experienced difficulties with breastfeeding management, should be motivated and prepared to exclusively breastfeed. This should be accomplished by instructing mother, through an individual methodology, about the advantages and the executives of breastfeeding. 

In the last trimester of pregnancy, the breasts and nipples should be examined and the pertinent advice given. Pregnant women should be advised to eat an additional portion of the family meal with some green vegetables. In addition mothers should be encouraged to take 30 minutes to an hour's rest and, if possible, switch to lighter jobs during the last trimester. Consumption of salt only in the form of iodized salt should be guaranteed.

Starting breast feeding

Virtually all mothers with mild to moderate nutritional deficiencies can successfully breastfeed. Subsequently, the mother must be allowed to live with the newborn (shared housing). After normal delivery, babies should be breastfed as soon as possible and preferably within the first hour after birth. During and after this period, the normal newborn should not receive any other liquid or food such as honey, butter, animal or powdered milk, tea, water or water with glucose because they are potentially unsafe and harmful. 

It is important for the baby to get the first milk, called colostrum, which is thicker and paler than the later milk and only comes in a small amount during the first few days. All the foods and liquids she needs at this time are colostrum. No supplements are required. Not even water. 

The mother, especially in the first delivery may need help to continue to breastfeed properly. She breastfeeds as often as she can and each feeding should continue for as long as the baby wants to breastfeed. After a cesarean section, breastfeeding should be started as soon as possible and preferably within 24 hours after delivery. The mother will need help for the first two days to breastfeed.

Exclusive breastfeeding

During the first months and, as far as possible, until the age of 4 to 6 months, "exclusive" breastfeeding should be practiced; Young babies do not need extra food, water, or any other fluids such as tea, herbal water, glucose water, or fruit drinks. Breast milk alone is adequate to meet hydration needs even in the extremely hot and dry summer conditions prevailing in the country.

Diet of the Lactating mother

Excess caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol should be discouraged. Consumption of salt only in the form of iodine-enriched salt, ie iodized salt, should be guaranteed.

Diet for an infant in special situations

Drug Intake by the Mother

Drug therapy should be avoided in lactating mothers and when necessary, a safer alternative should be prescribed. Drug intake should preferably be timed during or immediately after breastfeeding. The majority of the commonly used preparations are compatible with safe breastfeeding. Only a few drugs necessitate discontinuation of breastfeeding like anti-cancer and anti-thyroid therapy, radioactive preparations, ergot, gold salts and lithium.

Low birth weight

Infants Breast milk is the best food for low-birth-weight babies. Low-birth-weight babies who are near term and stunted can suckle quite well at the breast and should be fed on demand. However, low-birth-weight babies and other high-risk babies who are unable to breastfeed should receive expressed breast milk rather than formula feeding using appropriate techniques such as a clean cup and spoon, tubes. The child should be placed directly on the chest as soon as possible. A nursing woman should be advised to eat an additional portion of the family meal and to eat green leafy vegetables regularly.  It is not necessary to abstain from certain foods.

Common illness in Infants

Breast milk is the easiest food for a sick baby to digest. Breast milk feeding is really beneficial for common childhood ailments like diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Therefore, breastfeeding should be guaranteed during these types of illnesses. The child may suck less forcefully or for a shorter time and should be fed at more frequent intervals. However, breastfeeding and indeed any type of feeding should not be attempted in critically ill babies.

Illness in the Mother

The most common maternal illnesses do not require the interruption of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is recommended even with mastitis, breast abscesses, and other infectious diseases such as urinary tract infection, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS), hepatitis, and other viruses. However, physically disabling systemic illnesses may require discontinuation of breastfeeding. Psychosis is a contraindication to breastfeeding due to abnormal maternal behavior. In such situations, whenever possible, the breasts should be emptied frequently to maintain lactation.

Drug used by the mothers

Drug used by mothers should be avoided in nursing mothers and a safer alternative should be prescribed when necessary. The intake of medications should preferably be scheduled during or immediately after breastfeeding. Most of the preparations in common use are compatible with safe breastfeeding. Only a few medications require the interruption of breastfeeding, such as cancer and thyroid therapy, radioactive preparations, ergot, lithium and gold salts.

Breastfeeding Substitutes

If a mother is unable, for some reason, to exclusively breastfeed her baby (less than 4 to 6 months old), for example a working mother, expressed milk should be given to the baby instead of other animal milk or milk formula. If inhumane milk is unavoidable during the first 4 to 6 months of life, provided by the family, then milk should still be used normally and commercial infant milk products should be strongly discouraged. 

Of course, these situations rarely arise. For babies, some of the excess fat in buffalo milk must be removed by separating the cream from the milk after boiling and cooling to room temperature. Young babies who consume only cow's or buffalo's milk need an additional supplement of plain water. A clean cup and spoon should be used instead of a bottle with a nipple.

Semi solid and solid food

1. Importance of Appropriate Addition after 4 to 6 months

Many mothers do not have enough milk to be the only source of nutrition for their newborns and, therefore, it is necessary to stop development. Delay in extra food due to malnutrition especially in newborn infants. Improper introduction of these foods is fraught with the following risks: (i) diarrhea due to infection from unhealthy preparation, and (ii) inadequate calorie intake due to low frequency and low calorie density of extra foods.

 2. Timing of Introduction of Semi-solids

To increase milk production, semi-solid foods should be introduced between the ages of 4 to 6 months and preferably in the poorer sections at 6 months. Within this age range, individual judgment is indicated by the growth and physical maturity of the child. In order to minimize any interference in the normal course of breastfeeding, semi, solid food should be given preferably between breastfeeding.

 3. Continue breastfeeding

Breast milk is the most important food for the baby first and the weaning food is extra. Later, even when more semi-solid foods are added, breast milk is still an important part of the infant's diet. Breastfeeding should be continued for as long as possible and preferably for the second year of life

4. Feeding Guidelines

 (I)Formulate Additional Foods from the Usual Family Diet

Breastfeeding (complementary) foods should be cooked in a thicker but mashed form than in regular family meals and with a variety of efforts. As far as possible, commercial lactating foods should be used. To be avoided Giving family a family plot for food and drink - in a mashed form. It is economical to provide some additional items such as oil / fat and green vegetables without or before adding hot spices or extra salt (only iodized salt), saves time and the infant becomes accustomed to traditional foods.

 (II) Increasing nutritional value

The nutritional value of these nutrients includes pulses (for protein), oils / fats / sugar (for increasing calorie density), green vegetables (for vitamins, especially A, B and C, and iron). With) should be full of nutrition. And iodized salt (for iodine). 

Benefits should be derived from a mixture of cereals and pulses (adali, dosa, pongal, khachri, ransi roti, etc.) with regular dietary samples which include some oils / fats / sugar and green vegetables. Weaning diets should be reduced and the use of water-filled lentils and lentils or vegetable water should be strongly discouraged. The use of animal milk, renal products, fruits, eggs, fish or meat can be encouraged if it is culturally acceptable and affordable. Most of the lactating food can be reduced by making cereals.

(III) Frequency, Amount and Consistency of Feeding

Infants vary tremendously in the amount that they require and eat. In general, therefore, mothers should be advised to prepare and serve mixed nutritious foods from common household foods and leave the baby as long as they want. The child's general activity and growth, as judged by the family and the health worker and confirmed by weighing as often as possible depending on the facilities, is good evidence of adequate food intake. However, the following broad feeding guidelines can be offered.

(a)  Four to six months

Any cereal-based porridge (semolina - wheat flour, wheat rice, ragi, millet, etc.) rich in oil / fat and / or animal milk (if possible) or peeled fruit like bananas (or other seasonal fruits) Fruits such as papaya or mango). One or two teaspoons are enough to get started and the quantity and frequency should be gradually increased. At the end of this stage, the child should consume about 50 to 60 g of food (half a cup) daily.

(b)  Six to nine months

Should be used to feed the baby from household utensils (lentils, rice with mushrooms, a little chapatti which is soft in lentils or milk, yogurt, mashed vegetables, fruits, etc., rich in some fats and green vegetables )۔ They need 4 to 5 weaning meals a day in addition to regular breastfeeding.

(c)  Nine to twelve months

Children can chew on soft food. Food does not need to be mashed but, if needed, can be cut or shelled. Numerous home meals should be fed 4 to 5 times a day and the amount gradually increases. For about 1 year, young children should eat cooked home-cooked food but at least 4 to 5 times a day. A child between the ages of 1 and 2 needs half of what the mother eats. Preparation and storage of weaned foods Careful hygiene preparation and storage of weaned foods is essential to avoid contamination. Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water before preparation and feeding, and the cooking area and utensils should be clean. Food should preferably be fresh, cooked or well-boiled, and if possible, it should be prepared before meals. 

If food is stored for more than two hours, it should be used well until it can boil before consumption. Feeding during and after common illnesses should be continued during common illnesses such as diarrhea and respiratory infections unless the child's medical condition is inconsistent. Food restrictions or reductions should be discouraged. Despite anorexia, the newborn may eat small amounts but more often (every 2 to 3 hours). After the illness, the baby should be given more than the usual dose to lose weight.

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