Breastfeeding comes naturally to some whereas among other women it has to be learnt by seeking guidance and support of kith and kin, friends, midwives or health visitors. Mothers would comprehend from their babies, by deciphering their signals & finding out how to respond to them. For women having inverted nipples, using breast shells would help in making the nipples more protruding so that latching on by the infant would be more comfortable. For women delivering in hospitals, ensure that the nursing team is aware that they intend to breastfeed . Suckling the infant following delivery would help in forming a bond with the baby as soon as doable and letting the infant get accustomed to suckling.
Colostrum & Breastmilk
In the three days following childbirth, a new mother’s breasts would start producing a thin, yellowish liquid known as colostrum having protein, minerals, and water as its chief constituents. It is rich in antibodies which shield the infant from an array of the respiratory tract and intestinal infections. In the initial couple of days, mothers should be putting their children to their breasts regularly for feeding them this colostrum and getting used to proper latching on to the breasts. No sooner have the breasts begun producing milk, initially it would be watery in look and once the baby starts suckling – the foremost milk is runny, thirst-relieving after which comes the protein, fat-rich hindmilk.
Tips to Ensure Ample Milk Supply
The key to ample milk supply is to look after oneself, staying relaxed, eating a properly balanced diet and drinking sufficient fluids.
- Resting as much as one could, especially in the initial weeks and try getting plentiful sleep.
- One tends to produce more milk during dawn while one is rested. In case one becomes tense in the day, milk supply tends to be poorer by evening. Going through your antenatal unwinding routines and having a lie-down on a daily basis is imperative.
- Household chores could be delegated or getting help or doing only what is most needed.
- Eating a proper balanced dietetic intake that is rather high in protein. Keep away from highly-refined carbs (cake, biscuit, sweet and others).
- Continue taking antenatal vitamins (supplemental form). It is necessary to take Iron, calcium and B-complex tablets upto 6 months post delivery.
- Drinking around three litres of fluids on a daily basis and keeping a drink in close reach while breastfeeding.
- Expressing any milk that the infant does not take in the early feeds of the day for encouraging the breasts to continue milk production.
- Combination birth control pill could lower milk production hence keep away from their intake when your breastfeeding. The solely progesterone pills can be taken. Discuss the types of birth control with the physician and women should not be only relying on just breastfeeding.
In case one is seated then ensure that one is well-supported. Lying down is ideal during night-time feeds; when the infant is quite small one might require lying him on a cushion for easy reach to the nipples. Lying down position appears to best suit women who have undergone episiotomies and find being seated discomforting. In case a woman has undergone a C-section, her tummy is yet sore and she could try lying with the infant’s feet placed underneath her arm.
It is truly helpful to wear a proper supportive nursing bra when one breastfeeds. A couple of weeks prior to delivery women could seek guidance from in-store experts. The objective is selecting those with frontal fastening and broad straps which would not be cutting into the shoulder area. Frontal drop or zip-fastener type of brassiere is uncomplicated in undoing single-handedly while one holds the infant in the other. The right brassiere would help in minimizing discomforting sensations in case breast soreness is felt.
How long on every breast?
- Keeping the baby on the breast for as much time as he/she wants to suck. In case the infant continues sucking even following emptying of breasts then it might be that he simply likes the feeling which is alright if it is not making the breast tender.
- Once the infant has completed feeding on one breast then in a gentle manner take him off that nipple and putting him on to the other one. The baby might not suck for that much time on the second breast.
It is absolutely normal for breastfeeding mothers to encounter some bumps on the path hence avoid worrying about small setbacks like infant refusing feeds. Mothers need to bear in mind that the child is also learning and it would take time for mother and child to get used to nursing hence perseverance is the key alongside asking your lactation consultant for guidance or suggestion. Mothers should avoid getting nervous on encountering nursing problems as it might lead to additional difficulties, making them more disheartened, affecting milk supply and also putting them off nursing. Avoid letting small issues lead you towards rushed decision-making.
It is quite normal for newly born babies to not suck quite strongly or for more time in their initial 1-2 days following birth. But when this continues beyond this time then there might be an issue which needs addressing. Breathing problems are the most probable reason for infants facing issues with taking a breast. It could be that the mother’s breasts are covering the baby’s nostrils; in case so, then in a gentle manner pull the breast back from the infant’s face, just above the areolas. In case the baby is suffering from snuffles or nasal blockage then seek a physician’s opinion who might give prescription of nasal drops for clearing blockages in nostrils. In case there is no apparent reason for the infant refusing feeding, he/she might basically be irritable. An infant who cries because he’s hungry or has been changed or fussed over when he/she was famished could become quite distraught to feed. The baby could be soothed by carrying him in a gentle way yet firm manner and talk or crone to him. It is pointless to attempt feeding the baby till he has been calmed down. In case there has been some postponement in breastfeeding, the infant might find it harder taking the breast and such mothers need to have patience and persistence. At such times mothers are recommended to offer breast milk after expressing from a special cup till the infant can take all he/she needs from the breasts. Supplementary bottles are atypically needed and they might cause nursing moms to forego it. As a substitute, offering milk after expressing is a better choice.
Majority of the infants like to suck on their mother’s breasts for comfort’s sake rather than feeding. Eventually mothers are able to comprehend between when their babies actually feed and when they are sucking for comfort’s sake. While breastfeeding, one might observe that the infant sucks vigorously and truly swallowing. It is fine till the time the mother is not experiencing soreness in her nipples, though the baby takes majority of his feed during the initial couple of minutes.
Snoozing through Feeds
In case your infant does not appear to show interest in food in the initial couple of days, ensure he is taking his heart’s content from a single breast. In case the baby snoozes at the breast, it is a sign of contentment, although preterm infants must be woken up and fed at regular intervals as they have a tendency of excessively sleeping. In case the infant dozes off at the breast then try waking him up in a gentle manner thirty minutes later and offering him a feed. In case the baby is famished he would soon perk up.
In case your little one is not settling down for breastfeeding or seems to not show satiety then it is possible that he is simply sucking on the nipple and not able to get ample milk. This might even lead to soreness in nipples. Correct positioning of the infant on the breast is quite important. In case the infant had to wait for feeding & is distraught then try soothing him pre-feed.
Breastfeeding mothers might feel anxiousness that they are not able to see how much milk the infant has taken however rarely a breastfed infant would not be getting ample milk. Thirst might be a reason for babies to continue sucking even after emptying the breasts. In such cases, start offering around thirty ml or one fluid ounce of cool water post-boiling from a special cup. In case your infant appears irritable and hungry then do visit your paediatrician for weighing him so that one could check whether weight gain is occurring as swiftly as anticipated.
Tips on How to Express Milk
- Ensure that the container one uses to express milk is at a convenient height since leaning over a low surface could cause backaches.
- Expressing milk must ideally be pain-free and in case it hurts then halt and seek advice from lactation consultants whether your technique of expressing is correct.
- Try being relaxed as it would make the process easier. In case the milk is not flowing then try placing a warm washcloth on the breasts for opening milk ducts or try to express after bathing or showering.
- In case one has concerns that your infant may not revert to breastfeeding subsequent to getting habituated to the bottle then one could feed expressed milk from specially created cups or use spoons and ensuring their proper sterilization has been done.Expressed milk should be immediately refrigerated or frozen following collection or it will go off. Milk in refrigeration has a shelf-life of a day while frozen milk could last for seven days in the freezer section of a refrigerator or 3 months in a deep freezer.
- Placing expressed milk in sterilized, sealable containers and plastic bottles are perfect. Avoid glass ones as they could crack.
- Several females prefer using breast pumps to express their milk while some use their hands. In the initial 6 weeks manual milk expression is often trickier since the breasts haven’t yet attained complete production, however keep persevering.
- The ideal time for expressing milk is in the mornings when one has more milk though no sooner has the infant given up the night feed, evenings might be the ideal time.
- Continue expressing milk for keeping milk supply going – in case your infant is preterm and can’t yet breastfeed.