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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1559 days ago.
Hey ladies I've been fully breastfeeding my son for 6 months and I feel like I'm losing ly milk is there any special food I can eat or anything I can do to produce more.? lizakn
1565 days ago.
Hey! Just wanted to let all you ladies that are currently breastfeeding or pregnant with questions, that I am a Lactation Consultant/Lactavist. So if anyone has any questions just message me!
I've been a LC for over 2 years now...and have also nursed both my children.
I am a VERY strong believer in breastfeeding & there is no question to silly or embarrassing to ask me!
So feel free :) Tunny904
1566 days ago.
malenasmommy: check kellymom.com, it's a great resource for what you can/not take while nursing. If you're truly worried about it, can you pump and dump and supplement with formula, or if you have a stash built up yet, use that?? But, if doc's told you it's okay, I would probably trust them. Or you can always ask your pediatrician! phatbaby57
1566 days ago.
Here's a list of drugs and there safety...http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/aap-approved-meds.html If you are still concerned contact a local lactation consultant (LC). Rubes
1567 days ago.
Do not let her sleep tgrough yet. Lilia slept 8 hrs a night from 4 weeks old and wouldnot dream feed or wake to feed. My milk started deteriating from that moment. malenasmommie
1567 days ago.
I really need some help on this...DH and I are ttc BABY #4. Doc put me on Progesterone to induce a cycle and told me it would be ok to nurse my 6 mo. old as usual twice daily. Yesterday I had issues with my Gall Bladder so doc put me on prednisone regiment. Can I still nurse?? Both docs said it was ok but it seems like that would be a problem for my baby but by the same token I don't want to lose my milk supply over the next two weeks! Any input will help! monika01
1568 days ago.
hi.. i just had my first baby on monday! shes is perfect . in the nicu b/c born at 34 wks 4 days she only has jaundice and is almost 8 lbs ! i am pumpimng and feeding... my Q is my left nipple is inverted when i do the sandwich hold to give it to her... its odd.. first 3 days were fine... ( i have ben producing milk for over 4 monyhs before she arrived. my niple gets rok hard anf inverts...? a i pumping to hard? like to fast? i have triede compresees ..pumped before feeding etc... nothing...any advice~~??? Tunny904
1568 days ago.
YES!!! Enjoy your sleep when you can get it! As long as she's gaining, she'll wake to eat whenever she's hungry! green2u
1569 days ago.
hi ladies, my second little girl is two weeks old today.. I am breastfeeding her. Today at her appointment she had exceeded her birthweight and they told me it was ok to let her sleep longer at night instead of waking her to eat. Is it ok to let her sleep through the night if thats the case? ninik1
1570 days ago.
it seems it is very common ... I was kind of concerned thank you ladies... <3 Rubes
1574 days ago.
Also get this even though I 'failed' im still producing lol Rubes
1574 days ago.
Hey ppl I had a bad breast feeding experience with my daughter (now 19 months) and had to stop when she was 4 months. It was akin to starvation. Im 19 weeks pregnant with number two and desperately want to breastfeed. any tips on how to prevent a similiar experience??? Msgs on my page will be greatly appreciated :) thanks x abubon
1575 days ago.
hey ninik1 - get this.....i had my first daughter 7 years ago and breastfed for one year. I still could express a few drops of clear/milky colored liquid from my breasts for years afterwards especially if it was around the time of AF. Even if I didn't squeeze I would occasionally get a drop or two of leakage that would make my bra stick to my nipple. I just had my second daughter on 4/8 and am exclusively breastfeeding her now she hasn't started any solids yet and she will be four months on the 8th. ninik1
1575 days ago.
I breast feed my baby until he was a year and 2 months old, my milk decreased gradually until a few drops a day, but its been a year + since I stoped BF and I am still leaking milk and now is with some clear fluid... is this normal for some woman? thx 4 the answer. <3 kidatrbaby
1576 days ago.
Angela I think it'll change Im pretty modest also this is my 2nd BF child but this time im @ 50lbs heavier so I was like iM not gonna want anyone watching me , I hv the nice breastfeeding covers from uddercovers.com & I used to be scared someone was gonna see my fat belly but no more when my baby start screaming I will feed her anywhere in front of anybody Im not showing them my boobs so It doesnt bother me, at the mall , at a restaraunt,where ever at my son school I took her to the car to nurse cause I didnt want him to be embarrased , but I nursed for the 1st time in front of my FIL I did hv a nursing top on so nothing showed but its sooo natural my inlaws are soooo proud that I even hv the patience & my baby is 6mos old Im african american & a lot of my family or friend dont real care for the bf idea & hv given me greif but I dont care , I look for support from others cause Im the 2nd bfeeder in my large family but I luv it I nursed my 1st 2 kids but BF is much better to me :) Tunny904
1577 days ago.
Angela, I had the same thoughts as you before I had my first, the thought of ANYONE seeing me breastfeeding aside from DH was mortifying for me. But, when baby girl came out, it kind of all changed for me. I figured I had been through labor and everyone saw the 'worst' of me, so how bad could it be?! And when the LC came in (and yes, it was a man!) but a very very knowledgable man and someone who put me at ease very quickly, I didn't care who I breastfed in front of. If we're out in public, I usually just throw a blanket over me or use the nursing cover I have. In the end, it's your choice and if you need privacy while feeding baby, then just ask for it, no one will (or should) care! Good luck, it's a great adventure :) phatbaby57
1577 days ago.
angela-they make really great covers if you're really modest (and it sounds like you are). Also yes if you'd like to be alone when feeding I don't see any problem asking them to step out when you do it. They love you and should understand. However having one of them with you when you see a lactation consultant (lc) might be helpful if you need advice or help getting lo's latch right. phatbaby57
1577 days ago.
janna-until you can get the point across that biting is bad and will not be tolerated keep a little pressure on her chin so she can't chomp down. Angela03185
1578 days ago.
ok ladies, I am pregnant with my 3rd, I did not breast feed with my other two, I have a hard time explaining why, but to sum it up I think it's been my own insecurities with my body and breasts. I have talked to my husband about this and he has expressed that he would really like me to TRY breast feeding with this little one. I guess the reason I am posting is because I need some advice. My biggest problem is I do not want anyone aside from my husband and obviously nurses around when I'm breast feeding until I can myself become comfortable with it. My husband is going to be deployed when I devliver our lil one this time so his mom is going to be there and my mom is going to try to come up as well. Is it ok if I ask them to step out while I feed? Am I being a baby about all of this, do you think I'll get over it? Advice needed, thank you ladies!
1578 days ago.
Janna5: you're doing the right thing, take her off, tell her no the first time. If she does it again, take her off and put her down. The important thing is try your hardest NOT to show her any reaction, that's where she's getting her kicks! Maybe try not to feed her until she's really hungry, too, so that she won't want to play around too much while eating. janna5
1579 days ago.
I need advice from experienced BF'ing moms. I have a very silly, active 9 month old little girl who just loves to bite when I feed her. She has no teeth yet but does have what seems to be two teeth coming in on the bottom. She is really silly, and just loves how mommy jumps every time she does it. Any advice as to how I can teach her to stop doing it? I have tried removing her from the breast when she does it, and telling her no and it doesn't faze her. She seems to not realize that she is hurting me and just smiles. I really don't want to wean her yet...but those 2 teeth coming in, really...really scare me! babyhysong
1580 days ago.
Hi all! I was reading your posts and wanted to share a wonderful support site for those that have Facebook. It's called The Leaky B@@b and has 26,000+ supporters from all walks of life. It saved my breastfeeding relationship. Tunny904
1580 days ago.
Thanks dominique, never thought about goat's milk! Do I just buy it in the grocery store?? dominique23
1581 days ago.
Tunny904- you could try goats milk, its closer tasting t breast milk, and easier to digest. most babies will take it. you can buy it in powder form its a little cheaper than by the gallon or quart kidatrbaby
1582 days ago.
Tunny- thx I am going to try to cut her down to 1 feeding a night instead of 2 I just hate to hear her scream ... thx again