Caring For Your Premature Baby at Home

The premature baby is finally home; now itŸ??s up to you to make sure your baby is warm, fed, bathed, and joyful!

Caring for your preterm infant may not be so different from how you had thought. In many ways, it is similar to a baby born on the estimated delivery date. Here are some tips that will help you provide better care for your preterm baby:

Adapting to life at home with your premature child

Once you are home, you can start caring for your child by making the required significant adjustments to ensure your child is healthy and comfortable. We recommend you browse through some general parenting sites and books that may give you some helpful advice from time to time with useful tips on sleeping routine, food, and other aspects of life with a premature baby.

The Correct Temperature

Safe and comfortable temperatures are essential for your premature babyŸ??s health. Using layers like waistcoats, sleepsuits, and blankets will help keep your baby warm, safe and in a comfortable position.

Helping Your Baby Sleep

Providing the right atmosphere with dim lighting and quiet surroundings at night will help your baby develop a healthy sleeping pattern.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

SIDS is a syndrome which results in the death of healthy babies in their sleep, usually during the first six months of life and premature babies are at higher risk when compared to other children.

Tips for reducing risks of SIDS

  • Use baby sleeping bags or lightweight blankets.
  • Avoid smoking inside the house.
  • Never fall asleep with your baby in your bed or sofa, especially when you are using drugs, alcohol, or medication.
  • Keep your baby away from heaters or radiators and avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Bathing Your Premature Baby

How many times you can bathe your baby will depend on when your baby was born and the babyŸ??s skin sensitivity. Doctors recommend plain water and soft cotton cloth for bathing as well as changing diapers.

Caring for dry skin

If your premature child has dry skin, avoid using any moisturizing creams without consulting your doctor. After a few months, you can slowly start including baby products and handkerchiefs in your daily skincare routine.

Top and Tail: Bathing your baby every day is not required. Just wiping his/her face, bottom, and neck clean using a fresh soft cotton wool ball will suffice and whenever you bathe your baby use only plain water.

Snuggle him dry: The chances of your baby freezing is high when the skin gets wet because it loses some heat. Always bathe your baby in a fresh, warm place and dry him/her with a towel soon after.

Main causes of premature birth

A normal and healthy pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks. However, due to various factors, the labour may occur well before or after the estimated date. If the labour occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the birth is considered to be premature, or preterm.


Based on how early the baby is born, the baby is classified as:

  • Late preterm: born between 34-36 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Preterm: 24 – 34 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Extremely preterm: born before 25 weeks of pregnancy.

Causes of premature birth:

The exact cause of premature birth cannot always be identified. However, there are certain factors which contribute to an early labour. Some of these factors are:

  • Women younger than 17 and older than 35 are at an increased risk of premature delivery.
  • Having a previous premature birth.
  • Pregnancy with twins or multiples often results in preterm delivery.
  • Malnourished women are also at a higher risk of premature delivery.
  • Women suffering from chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Being underweight or overweight during pregnancy.
  • Smoking, drug abuse, or excessive consumption of alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Problems related to cervix, uterus, or placenta.
  • Physical injury, accident, or some other kind of trauma.
  • Women with a past history of miscarriages or abortions are more likely to go into labour prematurely.
  • Excessive physical, mental, or emotional stress.
  • Infections, especially in the lower genital tract often result in preterm birth.
  • Women who conceive through in-vitro fertilization have a higher chance of premature labour as compared to others.
  • An interval of fewer than six months between successive pregnancies.

Prevention of premature birth:

Premature birth poses significant health risks for the baby, which include both short-term and long-term risks. In fact, premature birth was the leading cause of infant deaths in the past when medical facilities were not developed. Though certain risk factors are beyond oneŸ??s control, one can significantly reduce the risk of preterm birth by following these tips:

  • Quit smoking before pregnancy, or as early as you can during pregnancy.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol or drug use during pregnancy.
  • Before getting pregnant let your doctor know the medications you take, as some medications can be harmful to pregnancy and lead to premature birth.
  • Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
  • Eat a nutritious diet and avoid junk food.
  • Avoid stressful or physically challenging work during pregnancy.
  • Maintain physical and social hygiene to avoid infections.

Motherhood is a one-stop solution to all your pregnancy needs and care. Our highly qualified team provides you with expert guidance during your pregnancy to avoid premature delivery and other complications. Even if a premature delivery is needed, our extremely competent team is well equipped and experienced in handling preterm babies, while providing a smooth delivery process and the utmost comfort and care to the mother.

Tips for Breastfeeding Newborn: Motherhood Hospital by Dr. Sonali Santhanam

Breastfeeding is instinctive for both mother and baby. A newborn when left undisturbed on a motherŸ??s belly is able to crawl up to the breast, find the nipple and self-attach. However, despite being instinctive and natural, breastfeeding is not always easy.

New mothers have ample support at the hospital but they can feel overwhelmed with the new baby at home especially in the first few weeks. If breastfeeding is going well, it is easier for moms to start enjoying their newborn while they recover. However, breastfeeding can be challenging in the early days. Some roadblocks with breastfeeding include nipple soreness, painful latch, low milk supply or oversupply, poor weight gain in babies and lack of sleep.

Understanding newborn behavior and adjusting your expectations in the first few weeks can ease your transition to parenthood. Here are some pointers to get breastfeeding off to a pain-free and stress-free start.

1. Attend a breastfeeding class before your baby arrives. Understanding frequency and duration of breastfeeding, newborn sleep and wake cycles, and recognizing hunger cues will help you get into a rhythm sooner. Being able to practice nursing positions and latching techniques on model babies in class should help you gain confidence and troubleshoot with ease in the early days.

2. Feed within the first hour of birth. Babies are generally alert and demonstrate instinctive feeding behaviors in the first hour of birth. When a baby is allowed to crawl up to the breast and self-attach the latch is deeper and transfer of Colostrum is better. Studies have shown that early initiation of breastfeeding and skin-skin contact with baby improves outcomes by bringing milk in sooner, stimulating babyŸ??s feeding instincts and is associated with increased likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding for first 4 months[1, 2].

3. Stay close to baby: Babies like to be held and you cannot spoil a newborn with too many cuddles. Dr. Nils Bergman, one of the founders of Kangaroo Mother Care, describes the motherŸ??s breast as the newborn’s natural habitat. As with any mammal, separation from its natural habitat triggers a protest-despair response. The protest in the newborn involves crying to be reunited with mother and the despair response is the withdrawal, fluctuation in heart rate and a rise in body temperature that follows. Rooming in with the baby and holding baby skin-to-skin contact will help baby feel secure where she can hear your heartbeat and stay warm. This also means your baby will cry less and will be easier to handle.

4. Nurse with a SOFT touch

Bonding with a SOFT touch helps release oxytocin and facilitates milk production. Oxytocin is called the Ÿ??love hormoneŸ?? as it is responsible for the falling in love experience the mother and baby have as they bond.

SOFT touch is:
Skin-to-Skin Contact
Open Eye Contact
Fingertips Touching
Time Together

Oxytocin levels can drop with bright lights and if mom is conscious and surrounded by too many people. Uninterrupted quiet time with your baby is a must. Ask visitors to delay their first visit until you have established a rhythm with your baby.

5. Pay attention to hunger cues. Your baby may pucker and smack her lips turn her face from side to side, bring her hands to her mouth and even dive into your breast in search of the nipple. It is important to feed your baby at these first signs of hunger. Crying is a late sign and it is generally harder to get a crying baby to latch.

6. Feed on Demand in the first 3 months. Feed your baby at the first sign of hunger and as often as they want to. In the first 2 weeks, however, babies are very sleepy and may need to be woken up to feed every 2.5 hours. Frequent feeding in the first 2 weeks will help your milk come in sooner, regulate the milk production, and help baby maintain blood sugar levels steady. Once your baby has regained its birth weight (babies loose weight in the first week until the milk comes in) you can relax on this rule and start feeding on cue. Allow you baby to empty one side completely till breast feels soft to ensure baby get the rich fatty hind milk then burp and offer the other side.

Sleep training and schedule feeding if initiated sooner than 4 months of age can compromise milk supply. Breastfeeding is a demand and supply process and in the early days babyŸ??s have frequent growth spurts. During a growth spurt, the babyŸ??s appetite increases and it can be challenging to keep up with this increased need. You may feel discouraged and be tempted to supplement with formula, but you can be assured that your milk supply will catch up if you demand feed. A lactation consultant can help you quantify milk supply objectively if you suspect pathologically low milk production, which can happen in case of hormonal imbalances.

7. Get comfortable; Babies feed often in the first few months and poor positioning could cause your back and shoulders to hurt. Nurse baby-sitting in a comfortable chair using a feeding pillow that reaches up to the breast. Place your feet up on a low stool to bring baby closer. When the baby is latched on your shoulders should be comfortably relaxed and lower back supported.

Alternatively, you can use a laid back position to breastfeed in the early days where you are reclined to about 45 degrees and the baby is supported on your chest. This position also helps prevent traction on the nipple by the weight of the baby hanging under the breast. If you are unable to find a comfortable nursing position seek out a lactation specialist to help you as soon as possible.

8. Babies Breastfeed not Nipple fed. The latch is everything when it comes to breastfeeding. If your baby gets a large mouthful of the breast the nipples reach a comfortable spot in the babies mouth, so milk transfer is better and there is no pain. Conversely, if your baby is latched only on to the nipple it can get pinched between the babyŸ??s tongue and the hard roof of the mouth leading to painful cracked nipples and poor milk transfer. Breastfeeding should not hurt and if pain persists throughout the feed consult a lactation specialist. Sometimes a consult might reveal a structural issue such as a high palate, tight frenulum or inverted nipples that require special intervention.

Signs that baby is latched well include:

1. Lips are flanged out
2. More of the areola is visible on the top and less below
3. Chin is in contact with the breast
4. Nose is free
5. No clicking sounds or dimpling of cheeks

Usually, a well-attached baby suckles a few times and then pauses to swallow. If your baby falls asleep at the breast a few breast compressions can get the milk flowing and keeps baby interested through the feed. This is preferred to the usual advice of tickling the babyŸ??s ears and toes.

9. Stay away from bottles and pacifiers. If you need to supplement baby in the early days with formula or expressed milk it is best to use a syringe or a feeding cup. Introducing a bottle in the first 12 weeks can cause the baby to develop a preference for the faster flow the bottle offers. This might result in a nursing strike where the baby refuses to latch on directly. Coaxing the baby back to the breast will take patience and perseverance.

10. Enlist dad. Dads can feel left out during this phase that revolves around the mother-baby dyad. DadŸ??s positive and supportive attitude towards breastfeeding can really boost motherŸ??s confidence and encourage her to keep going on difficult days. Dads can take turns with nappy changes, help with burping and swaddling, also do skin-to-skin contact and help moms relax. Dads can ensure moms get adequate rest, eat well at regular intervals and keep stress levels low.

Breastfeeding isnŸ??t meant to be difficult or painful but it is definitely no mean feat! It is, however, an extremely rewarding experience when all goes well.

By Dr. Sonali Santhanam


1. Imdad, A., M.Y. Yakoob, and Z.A. Bhutto, Effect of breastfeeding promotion interventions on breastfeeding rates, with the special focus on developing countries. BMC Public Health, 2011. 11 Suppl 3: p. S24.

2. Sharma, A., Efficacy of early skin-to-skin contact on the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in term neonates: a randomized controlled trial. Afr Health Sci, 2016. 16(3): p. 790-797.

World Prematurity Day: Preterm delivery due to leaking of amniotic fluid

Nancy had just entered her 7th month of pregnancy, and was enjoying every aspect of it. From choosing baby names to decorating the nursery, she and her partner had planned it all. They were now just patiently waiting for their little bundle of joy to enter their world and turn it into a magical fairytale. Little did they know that Nancy was going to give birth to a premature baby, in just 30 weeks of gestation.

The care and attention given by NICU

Preterm delivery is always a challenge. Apart from the mother going through a lot of physical and mental trauma, there are added concerns about the wellbeing of the child and the extra attention the baby will need to reach its pink of health. This is exactly what the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Motherhood aims at. The level 3 unit offers the most advanced care for preterm babies. This wing is equipped with cutting-edge respiratory equipment including nasal cannulas, CPAP and ventilators. The monitoring equipment feature cardiac monitors, respiratory monitors and pulse oximeters. Apart from state-of-the-art medical equipment, the level 3 NICU unit is also run by the friendliest staff of doctors. The well-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists give your little one all the attention they need to nurture them back to health.

An extreme case of amniotic fluid leakage

In Nancy??s case, her baby was born in 30 weeks of gestation with a birth weight of 1 Kg 200 gms. Due to preterm delivery and respiratory distress syndrome the baby had to be kept in the NICU for around 50 days. When Nancy was rushed to the hospital, she was 7 and half months into her pregnancy with a cervical stitch. She also experienced leaking of amniotic fluid, which is a protective liquid that serves as a cushion for the growing fetus. Apart from protecting the baby, the fluid also provides the facility to exchange nutrients, water and biochemical products between the mother and the baby. Due to early onset leaking of the amniotic fluid, Nancy had to be treated immediately and the preterm baby was rushed to Motherhood’s NICU.

However, Nancy??s baby was successfully nurtured to health at the NICU wing. According to Dr. Prashanth Gowda, The baby is now 10 Kgs, showing all normal signs of developmental milestones. It gives immense pleasure to see such a small, very low birth weight baby, whom we call NICU graduates, bring such laurels to our hospital.?

The baby was discharged on 8th of May, 2016, and is doing fine post discharge. Dr. Gowda adds that the baby is in perfectly good health now and the parents are happy and thankful for the NICU team.

World Prematurity Day?? A medical marvel in 26 weeks

Giving birth to a beautiful and healthy child is a wonder in itself. Caring and nurturing for a premature baby is a herculean challenge, one that needs patience and belief. Most preemie babies are born before 37 weeks of gestation. However, in ShaliniŸ??s case, her gestation period was just 26 weeks weighing a meagre 820gm.

For mothers to be, the biggest fear is, having to give birth to a premature baby. The babyŸ??s organs are even formed. In the case of Shalini, the anxiety was more because, at just 26 weeks, the baby was too young to even breathe without help.

A state of the art NICU unit

At Motherhood, we understand this overwhelming feeling which is why our Neonatal unit is one of a kind. Our level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is equipped to care for and nurture the tiniest and sickest of newborns. The well-qualified staff consists of world-class neonatologists, neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists who specialise in the care of newborns. Apart from caring for premature babies, the NICU unit also caters to babies born with serious illnesses.

An extremely difficult case of Shalini

Shalini had a previous case of abortion, and when she was around six and a half months pregnant with her current child, she had abdominal pains. Not willing to take a chance, Shalini rushed to Motherhood hospital. By the time she got there, her pain had increased, and the doctor informed her that she was having preterm labour pain. Shocked and surprised, Shalini had to be taken in for an emergency procedure.

ShaliniŸ??s bundle of joy weighed just 820 gms and was extremely weak. Seeing their baby, the parents were worried if their precious one will make it or not. Thanks to the top-notch care and attention given by Dr Prashanth Gowda, Neonatologist and Pediatrician, the 26 week premature baby recovered to the pink of health after a long, two month period at the NICU.

The parents are tremendously happy with the NICU team. They love the service of Motherhood Hospitals and would definitely recommend this hospital to their friends and family.

World Prematurity Day?? A miracle in 29 weeks

Pregnancy is the most magical time for all mothers to be. This nine-month period is that time where all mothers are anxious and excitedly awaiting the birth of their precious child. This period, however, was extremely short-lived for Priya. When she was in her 29th week of pregnancy; Priya saw some spotting and immediately knew something was wrong. She was admitted to the hospital and had to give birth to her child when she was just seven and a half months into her pregnancy.

Technology to the rescue

Thanks to the technological advancements, there are methods to mature a premature baby, and MotherhoodŸ??s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides exactly that to the concerned parents of a preterm baby. Along with world-class respiratory equipment, monitoring equipment, feeding tubes, incubators and phototherapy, MotherhoodŸ??s NICU also offers the love and care every premature baby needs to grow and develop into a healthy and fit little one, ready to conquer the world.

Our level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is equipped to care for and nurture the tiniest and sickest of newborns. The well-qualified staff consists of world-class neonatologists, neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists who specialise in the care of newborns. Apart from caring for premature babies, the NICU unit also caters to babies born with serious illnesses.

The unique case of Priya

When Priya concieved, she was also undergoing treatment for had polycystic ovary syndrome. She was admitted midway through her pregnancy because the babyŸ??s heartbeat was falling and there was less fluid around the baby. Furthermore, the placenta, an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy, had completely separated. It is the placenta that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby and takes away waste products from your baby’s blood. This complication called for an immediate C-section.

Most premature kids are born before 37 weeks instead of the usual 38 to 42 weeks, and PriyaŸ??s case was further complicated as her gestation period was just 29 weeks. The vital organs of the baby mature only between week 29 and 30. So when Priya gave birth, the baby weighed just 1kg 220gm and had to be given special care for over a month at the NICU as the baby had Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Dr Prashanth Gowda was the primary consultant and ensured that the baby and the mother received the best care and treatment. After rigorous medical care, the baby was finally discharged on 9/7/2017 and is doing extremely well. They are in perfectly good health now, and the parents are well satisfied with the NICU team and the services of Motherhood hospitals.

World prematurity day?? Giving birth to preemie in 30 weeks of gestation

Giving birth to a baby is a miracle on its own. However, giving birth to a premature baby and nurturing it to good health, with utmost care, patience and love, is a whole different league. One such story is that of Neha who gave birth to her little one at 30 weeks of gestation. Needless to say, Neha and her partner were on the verge of breaking down when they learnt that they were going to give birth to a premature baby.

NICU procedures and equipment

In todayŸ??s day and age of technological growth, there are a plethora of procedures and top-notch equipment available to help nurture a premature bay into the pink of health. MotherhoodŸ??s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides exactly that to the concerned parents of a preterm baby. Along with world-class respiratory equipment, monitoring equipment, feeding tubes, incubators and phototherapy, MotherhoodŸ??s NICU also offers the love and care every premature baby needs to grow and develop into a healthy and fit little one.

Furthermore, Motherhood has a level 3 NICU which is equipped to take care and nurture even the smallest and sickest of babies. Apart from premature babies, the level 3 NICU also focuses on taking care of newborns with dangerous illnesses. The staff which works around the clock to ensure the babies get nothing but the best include renowned neonatologists, experienced neonatal nurses and certified respiratory therapists.

Care and treatment for preterm babies

MotherhoodŸ??s NICU is one of the most-preferred hospitals to take care of preterm babies. In NehaŸ??s case, her preterm baby was born is 30 weeks of gestation with a birth weight of just 1 Kg 200 gms. Due to the preterm delivery and RDS, the newborn had to be admitted in MotherhoodŸ??s NICU and nurtured to health for more than a month.

The mother came with the history of 7 and half months of pregnancy with the history of previous caesarian section and she had a cervical stitch in view of a uterine anomaly. She had leaking of amniotic fluid and very little fluid around the baby. She underwent an emergency caesarian section and the baby needed an NICU admission with previous lSCS. This led to Neha having cervical stitches in situ with a bicornuate uterus (Recurrent pregnancy loss), premature rupture of membrane and anhydramnios (lack of amniotic fluid). Due to this condition, NehaŸ??s newborn had to be kept in MotherhoodŸ??s NICU. However, with the help of advanced technology, support and care provided by the sisters and doctors at NICU, the baby is now doing well. According to Dr. Prashanth Gowda, Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatricians, the baby is healthy with normal neonatal screening and age appropriate developmental milestones. NehaŸ??s little one was discharged on 8th of April, 2017, and is doing fine post discharge. Dr. Prashanth Gowda also adds that the bundle of joy is in perfectly good health and the parents are very happy with the NICU team, the doctors and management at Motherhood hospitals.

World Prematurity Day?? Giving birth to premature twins

World Prematurity Day Giving birth to premature twins

Sapna was in a bitter-sweet sense of state when she was rushed to the hospital to give birth to her first set of twins. Sweet, because she was anticipating this day from the moment she saw the faint red line on the home pregnancy kit. She was going to meet her babies after months of nurturing them in her womb. Bitter, because she was being rushed for a caesarian, 33 weeks after conceiving. She knew she was going to give birth to not one, but two premature babies, and the thought of them not being healthy enough to survive was killing her inside.

The miracle of childbirth

Many such mothers face the fear of giving birth to their children well before they are completely formed. The thought of giving birth to a premature baby and nurturing them to good health in the neonatal wing of a hospital is quite frightening. At Motherhood, we understand this , which is why our Neonatal team ensures care is delivered with compassion to both babies and their parents.

Our level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is equipped to care for and nurture the tiniest and sickest of newborns. The well-qualified staff consists of world class neonatologists, neonatal nurses and respiratory therapists who specialize in care of newborns. Apart from caring for premature babies, the NICU unit also caters to babies born with serious illnesses.

Care and treatment for premature twins

In Sapna’s case, both her babies were premature, with one having the birth weight of 1 Kg 400 gms and the other at 1 Kg 100 gms. Due to preterm delivery and RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome ), the babies had to be admitted to the NICU of Motherhood Sarjapur Road. Dr. Prashanth was the primary Neonatologist along with Dr. Quazi Fazal Ali and other NICU team members. The baby whose birth weight was 1 Kg 100 gms had to be in the NICU for almost one and a half months and the other baby for more than 15 days.

Sapna had already undergone a premature childbirth at 33 weeks and 3 days of gestation with severe preeclampsia, which led to keeping the baby in the NICU. However, pre-term twin babies are a whole different league. Though the care given to preterm twins is the same, managing your emotions and preparing yourself to care for your preterm babies is the biggest challenge. We, at NICU, are elated that Sapna and her partner left no stone unturned in following all instructions provided to them.

According to Dr. Prashanth Gowda, Consultant Neonatologist and Pediatrician, the babies are now doing extremely well, both physically and developmentally, because of the utmost sincerity and patience shown by the parents. The babies got discharged on 17-08-2017 and 25-07-2017 and are doing phenomenally well. They are in perfectly good health now and the parents are well satisfied with the NICU team and the services of Motherhood hospitals. They also added that they would definitely recommend Motherhood to their close friends and family, to welcome their offspring to this world through professional and trust-worthy hands.

Complementary Feeding by Archana Reddy

  • What is complementary feeding?

The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods referred to as complementary feeding. From 6 months of age your baby needs breast milk and solid foods to promote health, support growth and enhance development.

  • When to start/what is the right age?

As per WHO baby has to be exclusively breastfed for first 6 months (if breast milk is not sufficient then formula milk can be given). So complementary feeding should be started when the baby reaches 6 months of age.

Introduction of solid food to be led by infants developmental signs like

  • Baby can sit with or without support.
  • Showing interest towards food when others are eating
  • Likes to put things in their mouths

At this age frequent breastfeeding should continue despite foods being introduced. During the next few months the variety and amount of foods can be increased, while breastfeeding still continues.

  • How to start?

Solid foods to be started gradually after 6 months of age. At 6th month solid can be given once/twice. One feed /month needs to be increased.

So by 9th or10th month baby should be taking 3 meals + one or two snacks along with Breast milk/formula milk.

  • What type of foods to be given?

Good choices for complementary foods are those rich in energy, protein, essential fatty acids and micronutrients (particularly iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate). These will be supplied when breast milk and a variety of suitable complementary foods are given to a baby.

Gradually increase food consistency and variety as the child ages, adapting the diet to the infant’s requirements and abilities

At 6 months: Feed mashed and semi-solid foods, softened foods

Feed energy-dense combinations of soft foods.

At 8th month:Introduce “finger foods” (snacks that can be eaten by children alone),textured foods

At about 12 months of age: Most children can eat what rest of the family eats (Family Foods).

Principles of Complementary Feeding

  • No Sugar,No Salt, No Honey till one year of age
  • No other liquid form of food to baby other that water,Breast Milk/Formula milk.
  • Always make baby sit in upright position and feed.
  • Water 30-40ml/day till 12 months.
  • No cow milk to be given to baby as a drink till 12months,but it can be used as a cooking ingredient.

Practice responsive feeding

  • Feed infants directly and assist older children when they feed themselves.
  • Offer favorite foods and encourage children to eat when they lose interest or have low appetites.
  • If children refuse many foods, experiment with different food combinations, tastes, textures, and methods for encouragement.
  • Talk to children during feeding.
  • Feed slowly and patiently and minimize distractions during meals.
  • Do not force children to eat.


Archana Reddy,Nutritionist, Sahakara Nagar

Breastfeeding Postures

Breastfeeding is not just about milk, it is all about mother’s love & care for her little one. Breastfeeding sometimes requires moms to be in one position for quite a long-time due to which many moms may be predisposed to developing pain on their neck, shoulders, forearms, wrist and low back. New mums sometimes find breastfeeding uncomfortable due to wrong feeding positions, or lack of support. This can lead to breast and nipple discomfort. Physiotherapy plays an important role here to help overcome the discomfort and swelling of breast engorgement ad make the process comfortable and happy for both the mom and baby.

How Physiotherapy is helpful for a lactating mother?

  • One of the first things physio can help is in educating a good posture when mom is feeding. The mom should be able to sit comfortably and relaxed during the feeding time.
  • It is important to sit with good posture, so that the strain to the body, neck and shoulders is less. Good posture will help the baby to latch well. A good latch can help minimise the amount of damage and irritation to the nipples
  • It will also help ensure that the breast drains well during feeds, and therefore decrease risk of developing blocked ducts and mastitis.
  • Physiotherapy can help reduce breast engorgement, inflammation and swelling, and instruction in gentle lymphatic massage to help reduce swelling.


Support your arms and baby while feeding

Positioning yourself and supporting your little one with pillows throughout the feeding will also help to avoid overuse of your arms and shoulders.

Be cautious of your positioning

Be conscious of your position throughout the feeding process. Try not to slide down into a slouched position, especially if feeding in bed or on the couch. It will put stress on your back and neck.

Try feeding

your baby while sitting upright with your back supported and your little one at the height of your breast.

Relax your muscles

You can get sore muscles caused by too much tension in your body. Unless necessary, always try to sit or lay down while breastfeeding. It will allow for extra support for your arms, neck, and back and will help to limit tension that youŸ??d get from poor support while breastfeeding.



  1. Breast pain
  2. Neck strain
  3. Upper back & shoulder pain
  4. Hunched posture of shoulder
  5. Hand and wrist pain
  6. Low back pain & Tail bone pain      


  • Milk flow can be restricted by a poorly fitted bra, poor positioning of you and the baby or due to compression from your fingers holding the breast, if too firm.
  • Positioning yourself and your baby correctly to avoid back and neck pain as well as avoiding compression of the ducts is very important.
  • Breastfeeding helps your uterus to shrink to return to its pre-pregnancy size more quickly at about six weeks postpartum.