Introduction to complementary feeding
From 6 months onward the child is ready to start eating other kinds of food in order to cover all the nutritional requirements. Up to one year of age, the child should breastfeed first and then eat the other food products. This is because during this time of life mother´s milk is still fundamental for the child´s nutrition. The introduction of one new type of food every 2 to 5 days is recommended. These should be mashed or triturated and eaten using a spoon or cup in very small quantities.
Gluten should be introduced during the breastfeeding period and after 6 months of age. Do not add sugar or salt to the child´s food.
Comité de Lactancia Materna
Paula Lalaguna Mallada
How much milk should the child receive after beginning complementary feeding
As a general rule, children who have started complementary feeding should drink approximately half a litre of milk every day.
If the child feeds between 4 and five times a day on mother´s milk, there is no need for any other milk or dairy products. During the first year it is best to breastfeed on demand and just before the purée o porridge; after one year of age it is better to breastfeed after eating or between meals.
Cow´s milk and other derivatives like yoghurt or cheese should not be introduced until after one year of age especially in the case of children with a high allergy risks (direct family members with a medical history including allergies.)
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. Nevertheless, breastfeeding is a very personal decision and only concerns mother and child. So the duration of breastfeeding will depend and what they decide.
When the moment for weaning arrives, it should be done gentling and gradually, reducing the feeds little by little, postponing feeds or offering the breast in certain conditions but always offering some sort of solace or consolation. It is important that the child receives lots of affection during the weaning period.
Breastfeeding during pregnancy
It is not unusual that a women fall pregnant while still breastfeeding her child. If the mother wants to there is no reason to stop breastfeeding. However, it is important to remember that nipple stimulation releases oxytocin and this hormone tells the uterine tissue to contract. As a result , breastfeeding should be avoided in certain circumstances like: multiple pregnancies, a history of miscarriages or premature deliveries.
Breastfeeding during pregnancy may increase nipple sensitivity or soreness and change the taste and amount of milk produced. Some babies refuse to nurse because of this change while others refuse to nurse at first but later on start to feed again.
It is possible to breastfeed throughout pregnancy and then breastfeed two children at the same time after delivery. This is known as tandem nursing or tandem breastfeeding.
During the first few days the babies should nurse first to ensure they get a full share of colostrum. The production of colostrum is limited so they baby should always go first.
Tandem nursing requires the normal measures as far as hygiene goes. If the older child has an outbreak of herpes (lips or elsewhere) he or she should stop nursing to prevent transmission and infection.