A parent's instinct is to always protect their child from harm. When a baby is given mother’s own milk within the first 6 hours of birth and fed frequently on demand thereafter, it is a lifetime’s insurance against illness and disease. Breast milk, the “first vaccine” provides baby with essential nutrients, antibodies and factors that protect against infection.
Role of breast milk - Colostrum
Colostrum is termed as the first milk which is produced by a new mother which is full of antibodies and nutrients that acts as a provider for immunity to the baby against his first interaction of pathogens. Colostrum is considered a balanced natural diet for infants packed with concentrated protein which is much higher than other forms of milk. It also contains required growth factors which promotes the formation of a healthy gut and is proved to be an elixir of life.
Importance of Immunization for Newborn
Childhood vaccinations can seem overwhelming if you are a new parent. Immunization is the foremost step to secure your child from deadly diseases such as polio, tetanus and diphtheria to name a few. Infants are the most vulnerable to infections during their growth years. Vaccine helps by triggering the immune system to fight against diseases, if the child comes in contact with harmful pathogens, the immune system is able to respond more effectively hence preventing the disease from developing further. With so many harmful viruses and diseases on the loose, it is important for new parents to be aware of important vaccines for their child.
While it is important to be educated about the vaccines, it is also important to know the side effects that vaccination provides and not be alarmed by them. When a child is vaccinated, common side effects would include redness, pain, sometimes fever, abnormal crying and nausea in children.
Role of Father
Raising a child is just not a mother’s duty anymore. New age dads are leading the way to provide support to their better half by fulfilling their fatherly duties apart from helping in homework and looking after finances of household.
A father and child’s bond in this millennial age is not just limited to that of a strict father figure at home but is slowly shifting to be more of a friend- type relation.
(Author Dr Aruna Savur is Consultant Pediatrician and Lactation Consultant--IBCLC, BPNI-IYCF)