Experts suggest giving no honey to newborn babies

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DHAKA, Feb 2, 2019 (BSS/UNICEF FEATURE) – Experts have cautioned guardians
for giving no honey to the new-born babies as no enzymes to be developed to
digest it before one year of age.

“The newborns even need no water in six months. Breast milk is the only
and best food for neonatal up to the six months as it is nature’s perfect
baby food,” assistant professor of Institute of Child and Mother Health
(ICMH, Matuail) Dr Nazmul Hossain said.

Cautioning guardians about giving honey or sugar in the name of ‘sweetening
mouth’ of infants immediately after their birth often risking their lives, he
said, “Elderly persons are doing such things. Newborns might suffer from
various infections after taking honey or sugar soon after their birth. So,
the guardians should avoid such practice and give ‘shal dhoot’ (colostrums)
of mother within one hour of their baby’s birth.”

“The ideal food for a newborn is breast milk. There is no substitute of
breast milk for a neonatal. It is quite enough to give breast milk to babies
up to six months,” Nazmul Hossain added.

Otherwise, the newborns often suffer from indigestion, breathing problems,
stomach pain and diarrohea, he continued.

Many guardians like Sayed Bhuiyan, father of a 22-day old female baby
Tajreen Akhter Chhoya, of Rahmatpur residential area in Chandpur district
town, who used to give their babies other foods mainly powder milk alongside
with breastfeeding, have complained that their babies do not take foods and
cry all the times.

They also complained that their babies used to suffering from diarrohea,
breathing problems, indigestion and losing weight.

Asked about the complain of many mothers that their babies do not get
sufficient breast milk, the doctor said, “In many cases, newborns do not get
sufficient breast milk in first three days after their birth. In those cases,
the mothers should give their breasts to their baby’s mouths in a two-hour
interval which will help to produce milk.”

He also suggested giving breast to their baby’s mouth in at least three
times at night.

In replying to a query, how a mother can realize their babies are getting
sufficient milk? He said, “A mother can easily understand whether their
babies get sufficient breast milk or not… If a baby urinates six times in a
day, after about 4-5 days of life, a mother can be sure that the baby is
getting sufficient milk.”

“The mother should know the appropriate method of feeding their babies,”
he said, adding that mothers can continue to feed their breast milk up to two
years as breast milk is the main sources of growing physical and mental
health of infants.”

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