KUCHING: Nursing mothers must be given full support and care to enable them to successfully breastfeed their babies for their healthy growth.
Science (nutrition) officer of Sarawak Health Department (JKNS) Jacqueline Joana Stanley Sating said that a woman who exclusively breastfeeds needs the support of her spouse, family members, workplace as well as professional support for the health and wellbeing of the mother and her baby.
“The husband or close family members can provide emotional support or help around with house chores so that nursing mothers can focus on breastfeeding her baby.
“If a nursing mother is also a working mother, then her employer can provide an avenue for her to pump her breast milk.
“All this may seem small, but it does give a big impact on the mother’s emotion. Because a nursing mother cannot be stressed out during breastfeeding or else it can cause an effect whereby her milk supply is decreased,” she said during a virtual talk on the topic of breastfeeding in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week 2021 organised by JKNS in Facebook on Friday (Aug 6).
She stressed that it was also important for nursing mothers to know the right technique and position of breastfeeding.
“First, mothers must sit comfortably, ensure the baby’s chest is brought closer to the mother’s chest, and not the mother leaning towards the baby. During feeding time, make sure the baby’s mouth is wide open where the baby should have the areola in the mouth and not just the nipple itself and mothers shouldn’t feel any pain.
“The baby’s suckling should be slow, deep sucks with pauses. And when the baby is full, the baby appears content and would turn away from the breast,” she explained.
Jacqueline said the optimum duration for breastfeeding is that mothers are to exclusively breastfeed their baby after birth until six months old, without giving formula milk.
“If the mother gives formula milk in between breastfeeding, this would reduce the mother’s milk supply and cause nipple confusion in the baby,” she said.
On the benefit of breastfeeding, she said breast milk is called the gold standard nutrition for the baby’s growth and the baby is less likely to develop infections in the digestive system.
“Through breastfeeding, it would also help to increase the mother-infant bonding,” she said.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated every August 1 to 7, aimed to raise awareness on the breastfeeding benefits to the health and welfare for both mothers and their babies.
This year’s WBW theme is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”.
For further information on breastfeeding and other health topics, public can visit Kenyalang Nutri-Info: Sarawak Nutrition Information Centre on Facebook.