Feeding of infants and children may be done either by breast or by using a modified cows milk preparation. Mothers may use either one or both of these two methods. If bottle feeding is used in addition to breast feeding, it is called complementary.
Breast feeding is considered to be the best and safest method of baby feeding. Mothers should be advised about this and given as much assistance as they need.
Things that can cause a mother to be unable to breastfeed
- If the mother is suffering from active tuberculosis, cardiac failure, malformed or cracked nipple.
- If the infant has such abnormalities as a hare-lip or cleft palate.
- If the infants has been removed to hospital hospital suffering from any other disease where it is impossible for the mother to attend the hospital for feeding purposes.
FEEDING REQUIREMENTS FOR AN INFANTS
It is estimated that an infant requires daily approximation of 154 milli-litres per kilogram of body weight (two and half fl. oz. per 1b).
It is calculated that the infant require 460 kilojoules per kilogram (50 calories per 1b) of the body weight per day during the first four to five months of life.
There are two schools of thought on feeding intervals. They are:
Feeding to schedule: The infant is fed at regular intervals in every three to four hours.
Demand feeding : The infant is fed whenever he appears to be hungry.
If the infant is being underfed, the following will be noted:
- Small dry greenish stools
- Failure to gain weight
- Frequent crying after feeds and at night
On the other hand, if the infant is being is being overfed there will be:
- Sore buttocks
- Frequent greenish yellow stools
If an infant is in hospital and it is not possible for the mother to attend for feeding purposes then artificial feeding has to be undertaken.