BreastfeedingBaby and breast are the perfect feeding team!
For the best nutrition, breastmilk is the best food to feed a baby. It is made specifically to meet the nutritional needs of babies. Human breastmilk changes as the baby grows to offer the best nutrients for the baby. It has over 1000 components - many of these have not been duplicated in infant formula. Baby and Breast- A Perfect Feeding Team
Over the past 25 years, research has continued to show that breastmilk is better than infant formula. In fact, more studies are released each year showing that there are health risks to the baby and the mother when they do not breastfeed.
Infant formula should be seen as a `safety net` for babies who cannot breastfeed and not as an equal replacement.
Many common illnesses, such as colds, flu, skin infections or diarrhea, cannot be passed through breast milk. In fact, if a mother has an illness, her breast milk will contain antibodies to it that will help protect her baby from those same illnesses.
Knowing what to expect and how to deal with setbacks in breastfeeding can help ease the adjustment that you and your newborn will go through as you take on breastfeeding. Nursing comes naturally but it does take a while for the mom and baby to get in sync with one another. How to breastfeed:
Get into a comfortable position. Whatever position is comfortable for you and for the baby is a good position to use.
Position your baby facing your nipple.
Support your breast with your free hand. Keep your fingers off your areola, which the baby needs to grasp.
Gently tickle the baby's lips with your nipple until the mouth is opened wide. Then, move your breast closer.
Don't stuff the nipple into an unwilling mouth. Let the baby take the initiative.
Make sure the baby latches on to the nipple and areola. Sucking on just the nipple will not compress the milk glands. It will also cause soreness and cracking.
If your breast is blocking your baby's nose, lightly depress the breast with your finger. Be careful not to loosen your baby's grasp of the areola.
If the baby has a strong steady rhythmic motion that is visible in the cheek, then most likely the baby is attached and sucking well.
When finished or repositioning the breast, don't yank your breast out of the baby's mouth. This will cause injury to the nipple.
Don't be tempted to skip or skimp on feedings because of pain. The less the baby eats, the worse the pain will be.
Ten Steps to Support Parents` Choice to Breastfeed Their Baby (pdf) Breastfeeding Basics
101 reasons to Breastfeed Your Child (pdf)
How the Baby is Preparing for Breastfeeding
* Start as soon as possible after birth
* Be patient and calm
* Don't try to feed a screaming baby
* Ask for help when you need it
Breastfeeding is a learned skill that becomes easier over time. You are more likely to succeed with long-term breastfeeding by having a plan, becoming familiar with basic techniques, learning how to handle minor physical problems and getting help quickly when you need it.
Before they are born, babies begin learning important skills that will help them breastfeed. Teaching mothers about these skills can increase their confidence in the baby`s ability to nurse at birth.
- By the time a mother is 11 weeks (almost 3 months) pregnant, her baby has learned to swallow. Babies swallow amniotic fluid in the uterus.
- By the time a mother is 24 weeks (6 months) pregnant, her baby has learned to suck. Babies spend a lot of time with their hands close to their mouth before birth. Babies are often seen sucking on their thumb, fingers or hands during an ultrasound exam.
- By the time a mother is 32 weeks (8 months) pregnant, her baby has learned to root for the breast. The baby will turn its head if touched on the cheek and open its mouth if the bottom lip is tickled. By this time the baby can also suck and swallow in a coordinated way.
- By the time a mother is 37 weeks (9 months) pregnant, her baby has learned to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing so it can do all three when breastfeeding after birth. Babies practice shallow breathing before birth using amniotic fluid.
- Breastfeed your baby on demand rather than setting a strict schedule, especially in the first few months.
- Taking care of yourself will also help you to establish your milk supply. Eat right and get rest when you are able.
- Avoid bottle-feeding your baby breast milk until breastfeeding and milk supply are well-established, which is usually about 4 to 6 weeks. This helps build your milk supply. Not using bottles also helps prevent your baby from developing nipple confusion, which is a preference for an artificial nipple over the breast.
- Look for signs that your baby is getting enough milk, such as eagerness to eat and feeding sessions that last at least 15 to 25 minutes. By 6 days of age, your baby should need about 6 to 8 diaper changes, settle well after feeding and usually awaken on his or her own to feed every 1 to 3 hours. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
- Help clear blocked milk ducts by using warm compresses and massaging your breasts before and during feedings. Also, breastfeed more frequently and in different positions. Offer your baby the affected breast first at each feeding.
- You can help relieve the pain from sore or cracked nipples with drops of expressed breast milk or lanolin creams.
The color of your breastmilk
The first milk is called `colostrum.' Colostrum is a clear, yellowish fluid. It is rich in protein, nutrients and antibodies, which protect the baby from infection. By starting to nurse the baby right after birth, the baby will benefit from the colostrum and the `mature milk` will come in sooner. Colostrum changes to `mature milk` sometime in the first 1 to 7 days. Comments: Breastfeeding
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`Mature` breastmilk may look blue in color. The milk that comes out first during a feeding (foremilk) is thinner and watery. The milk toward the end of a feeding (hindmilk) looks thicker. It is richer and higher in fat. If a woman pumps her milk, the fat (or `cream`) will separate easily and rise to the top.
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838 days ago.
Trinam - I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with a 2 yr old daughter. Against the advice of all my friends and my mum (who's a doctor!!) I continued to nurse my little girl. I was warned that my milk may dry up around 12 weeks but it didn't. Lily gradually weaned herself over the last 4 weeks - she just started to ask less and gradually the milk dried up. I felt so much better that she had led the weaning herself and there was no trauma involved for either of us. If she still wanted to nurse I would still be letting her and I know one woman at our local breast feeding group who was nursing her first baby while in labour with her second! Nursing an older child while feeding a baby too id fine as long as the baby gets to nurse and have their fill first. I will definitely be letting this next one wean itself when its ready. And I will ignore everyone else who tells me I'm either wrong or weird! excitedrose
845 days ago.
Hey ladies! I organised a breastfeeding flash mob in London back in the summer, here is the official video! I hope you enjoy and if so then please share x
848 days ago.
Hi ladies. I'm new:-) my little one is 2 weeks tomorrow and I have had sharp pains in my breast after feeding. Could it be milk coming in dominique23
854 days ago.
kirbys- fenugreek should do it, but you can take 3-4pills 3x a day, you can also take brewers yeast you can get it in pill form online or health food store. if that doesnt work for you you can try a lacation blend you can find online or healthfood store or if you have fred myers they sell it as well. also order domperidone off line that will for sure give you an increasewith in a few days, its a prescription med you can order it from Canada online with no script or get it from you doc give yourself some time try to relax, if you do have to supplment your baby, and wont take formula you can look into donated milk, facebook page human milk for human babies find your local area there, also eats for fets online. another option is goats milk, i started mine at 6 months once in awhile, if i had to leave her and couldnt pump out enough for the whole time i was gone . its closer to breastmilk in compensation and taste and easy on the tummy. beegee
857 days ago.
kirbys- My LC told me about Mother's Milk Tea, you can get it at any health food store, or a GNC. You drink the tea a few times a day, and you should see results in a few days. I'd recommend that, and have the baby nurse and/or pump as much as possible. Best of luck. suzq
858 days ago.
1st post! Im 22wks pregnant and still breastfeeding my 3 1/2 yr old. Have been feeding for 6 years non stop!. Fed my now 6 yr old got pregnant kept feeding her till she 4+.. Advice if your milk is decreasing, try to keep your baby at ur chest as much as you can (only seperate if u really have to). Also keep yourself full and well hydrated. The more she tries the more milk will be made. Dulcianasmom
858 days ago.
kirbys2nd - Did you start your period? I noticed with my middle child that once my period came back that my supply really dwindled. I tried Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek but it didn't help that much. Then when she was about 10months old I got a nasty stomach virus and that just about wiped it comepltely out :( It sucked :( Good luck and just keep hydrated and try to pump often! kirbys2nd
859 days ago.
My son is 61/2 months old and has been exclusively breastfed. Well about a week ago my milk dropped dramtically. Also at his 4 month check up he was 13lbs 6ozs and at his 6 month check up he was exactly the same. So I have been giving him a bottle after every feeding of his frozen milk, My milk is dwindling that I had stocked up so today while I was out and about I tried to give him formula for the first time and he refused it. Ok so question one. I want to try and get my milk up. I do not want to give him formula at all. What can I try. I started taking fenugreek yesterday and will be nursing as frequestly as possible and pumping. So has anyone had this problem with any luck? Has anyone had a problem giving there baby formula? If I have to give him formula what if he won't take it?!?!?! Anything will help and be greatly appreciated! jlevine
859 days ago.
beegee- she did have her tongue snipped, but because she was tongue tied, and it was hard for her to latch we wre bottle feeding.. and now that she can nurse.. she doesnt want to and throws a fit when i try. its too much work for her to breastfeed and have to work for the milk to flow than to have it already there in front of her. I do keep trying though a couple times a day to get her to latch and nurse just so she stays familiar with it and we willkeep on trying. but in the mean time.. ive been pumping like crazy and have no time to rest whatsoever since i have 2 other children at home that I have to tend to! The things we do for out babies! <3 charmedby3
860 days ago.
trinam, I was still nursing my son when I got pregnant this time. If you are at risk for pre-term labor you should wean, but if you are not high risk, there is no reason to wean. (nursing causes your body to produce oxytocin, which can also cause contractions) I intended to nurse my son straight through my pregnancy, but I was under a lot of stress (marital issues) and wasn't eating properly, and as a result my milk dried up when I was 17 weeks along. I also didn't think my son was ready to wean, but as my milk supply decreased, he lost interest in nursing, and stopped asking for it on his own. Dominque is also right, your milk does change taste as the pregnancy progresses, usually some time in the second trimester, and some children will stop nursing when that happens. Others won't care, and continue nursing anyway. Bottom line: Unless you are high risk, there are no health risks for you or your baby. If you aren't getting enough nutrients to both nurse and grow a baby, your milk supply will be what suffers, not the health of the fetus. Hope this helps :) beegee
860 days ago.
jlevin- I'm not sure how that works either. Did you get her tongue snipped? If so, are you going to try to nurse again or strictly pump? If you notice that your baby is going through a growth spurt I'd throw an extra pump session in. But it seems like you are making more than enough right now. trinam
862 days ago.
dominique23 The LC has directed me to a special dietitian... They're suppose to be getting back ahold of me soon... I'm eating very well, and have already gained 10 pounds. So I don't think calories is an issue, but I don't want to lack anyone, including myself, of important nutrients... I'll let you ladies know what she says... ;) Thanks for the input! dominique23
863 days ago.
trinam- i havent nursed threw pregnancy, docs dont like you too i know that, but you have to consider the risks, lots of women do and are fine, but i woudl have to stop if i got pregnant due to being really high risk, i know with nursing one baby and being pregnant you need 3000 cal or so thats what my friend was told, but 2 babies...that is gonna take a toll on you! i heard that your milk changes taste so sometimes babies will start weaning because of it, or some milk decresses . and i have no idea what i wodul do with 3 nursing babies lol you do need another boob! good luck i hope it works out curious what LC says trinam
863 days ago.
I'm going to contact a lactation consultant this morning... or at least try to... but perhaps you ladies here may have some insight... I'm exclusively breastfeeding 17 month old twins... They are on solids now too but still nurse several times a day. I am also 15 weeks pregnant with another child (surprise...lol) Neither one of my babies are ready to wean... And the more I try the more they want. So I've decided to make sure I eat lots, double up on my vitamins, let them take the lead and keep breastfeeding... I'm not sure what I'm going to do once this other baby is born... Maybe if I could somehow grow another breast life would be fine! LOL jk I'm not sure about health risks (for me or them) and how I'm going to time manage this... Anyone else in this boat? (even with a singeton...) Thanks! Lissie****
864 days ago.
I had to exclusively pump for my son's first month of life. I took warm showers before i pumped if I was having a hard time letting down. Or a warm washcloth adn a gentle massage. My breasts adjusted to the pump adn it was fine. Another option is to weigh the baby before and after feeding adn you'll know just how many ounces he/she is getting :) My sisters baby had issues gaining weight and that is what the lactation consultant did. Good luck! brandi33
864 days ago.
Iam currently about 30 weeks along, but recently found out that my little guy is facing surgery soon after birth..... I have been trying to decide if breast feeding would be best for him being he will be facing so many obstalces. I would however not want to actually breast feed, but pump and use a bottle because I will be too worried that he isn't eating enough... I think i would just feel safer knowing exactly how many oz he is taking each feeding...... Has anyone done this who could give me some tips..Thanks in advance : jlevine
864 days ago.
hi ladies!! I have a pumping question!! My baby is 2 1/2 weeks old and would never latch due to a tongue tie, so I have been pumping pretty much since day 1! I pump and then bottle feed her. How much should i approx. be making do you know? She eats about 3 oz every 4 hours and i pump about 4-5 oz every 4 hours! because i'm pumping and not nursing, how will my body know when to make more, once she starts eating more? should i pump more often? I'm so confused about this! lol I breastfed my 2 year old up until he was 8 months old without a problem and rarely had to pump so I;m not too educated on the pumping! any help, advise and or input would be great! thanks! :) beegee
865 days ago.
Jaime- I'd pack 3 bottles. My daughter eats 5ozs about every 3-4 hrs. When I am going to work I always go by counting the number of feedings that she is due, depending on what time I last nursed her, and I add 1 extra. Good luck!! beegee
865 days ago.
dominique-thats so funny. Heather is the same way, for a few hrs between 6-10pm, she is just crazy. I hate it because I can calm her down by nursing her, but my fiance and the babysitters are SOL when I am at work in the evenings dominique23
867 days ago.
Prob leave 2 1/2-3 bottles Jaime928
867 days ago.
Hey ladies I have been breastfeeding my 8 week old for about a7 weeks now and now Im going back to school. im only pumping 2 onces everytime I pump he eats close to 4 onces or 5. He will be at the sitters house for about 5 hrs while I go and he eats every 2-3 hours. How3 many bottles of milk should I take with his sitter while im at school? dominique23
867 days ago.
Dulcianasmom- babies go threw a period of being fussy at the brest in the evening its pretty normal, usually after a few weeks it stops. mine around 3 mnts every night between 6-10 pm would cry cry cry, nurse , pull off cry, nurse pull off cry over and over this went on for hours. i found what helped us was nursing in motion, like walking around and nursing or rocking and nursing. beegee
869 days ago.
dulcianasmom-it might be something that you ate. Have you changed your diet at all? Dulcianasmom
872 days ago.
has your LO started getting fussy at the breast? Cami will get so fussy at her late afternoon and evening feedings ?? I don't know why. there is tons of milk there cause i can see it in her mouth and then when i can finish up with her i'll pump for 10 minutes and i get quite a bit of milk that was still in the breast. the only tthing i can attribute it to is maybe its just her 'fussy' time ?? she'll be 2 months old on November 7th beegee
874 days ago.
thanks dominique. I think I am going to call a LC to ask them some questions about milk production and my supply. I think it is fine now because I'm feeding her every 3 hrs still, and pumping at night and when I'm away. You guys said I can eliminate the night pump, I just think that my supply will lower because of that.