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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1391 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
1391 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
1392 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
1392 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
1392 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!
1392 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
1393 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
1395 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
1395 days ago.
Thanks dominique, never thought about goat's milk! Do I just buy it in the grocery store?? dominique23
1395 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
1396 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 Tunny904
1397 days ago.
nickykennedy: my baby is 15 months old and I'm in the same boat, she's not biting me, but I'm just ready to be done! But i'm having a hard time too, b/c she's not into whole milk AT ALL! so i feel guilty not giving her breastmilk when she won't drink the whole milk! but i go back to work next month, so I think that will be the point when she drinks the whole milk b/c I won't be able to nurse her during the day. When I weaned my first, I just eliminated a feeding every few days and replaced it with a sippy of milk so my supply would start to go down slowly. I think the whole process took about a month. I eliminated the day feedings first, then the morning, and last the bedtime feeding. Tunny904
1397 days ago.
kidatrbaby: I know a lot of people who still nurse at night, I think it's a personal choice that you have to decide when you and baby are ready for it. I personally was ready at 6 months for baby to wean at night. I didn't do it cold turkey, cut it down to 1 feeding a night, then I shortened the feeding a few minutes at a time, then went to just cuddling baby, then soothing in the crib, then when she cried, I left her go a few minutes, turned on her lullabies and she was out. You just have to find out what works for you both. And although I weaned my baby from night feedings, there were times I did nurse her for comfort at night, like when she was teething or not feeling well. You'll figure it out! Good luck! nickykennedy
1398 days ago.
Hi our son is 16 months, he is still breastfeeding. I want to wean him! I enjoy breastfeeding him but he has a mouth full of teeth and he bites! I am ready to get back to my usual self I wish i knew how to wean him. Any ideas? kidatrbaby
1398 days ago.
@ tish I dnt believe toughening ur nipples work either ... this is my 2nd bf baby it hurt the 1st few wks only if she was latched on wrong mostly & the only other time was wen I had and yeast infection on my nipple (oouucchh) but I had to hv a lc to help me this time around & Im still going 6 mos strong , hoping to make it to 1 yrs as I did with my son ... Good luck hunn
1398 days ago.
Just trying to see if this is the norm or not my baby is 6 mos old she still wakes up twice a night to breastfeed although I try to fed her baby cereal or baby food 3 times a day breakfast, lunch & a late dinner, somedays it doesnt workout cause she'd rather nurse :) She went for her 6mos chk up & the doctor said I should cut her cold turkey from nursing at night Im like WTH I may wean her from the night time feedings but cold turkey seems a lil harsh for me... Are any of you all still waking up to nurse a baby 6mos or older ??? Ive also noticed since feeding her baby food since Im not nursing as much I hv started spotting...Im on the depo shot & im due to get another shot in august which I will not be getting cause I hate the weight gain since the shot ... but is it normal to hv some spotting when u go from only bf to introducing bay food since ur child prob doesnt eat as much ??? just curious my son is almost 13 so I cant remember how it went with him :-// Tunny904
1402 days ago.
Tish: I've heard of toughening nipples, too, but I think that is a myth. Although it does hurt for a while, 3 months, like you experienced is a long time for it to hurt. Did you see a Lact. Consultant? It sounds like baby was not latching properly if it hurt so bad. When you deliver, will you have access to a LC? They are really helpful with latches and you can continue to contact them if you need help. With my first, it hurt for a good 3 weeks until my nipples got tougher, with my 2nd, it really didn't hurt too much. Bleeding and cracked nipples can be common, they have some remedies for that. Maybe find an LC prior to delivery and talk about your concerns, and maybe they can help you. Good luck with everything!! Tunny904
1402 days ago.
ticker: check out Kellymom.com for resources about that, I know there are things you can eat, but I'm not sure what they are, that website is WONDERFUL for breastfeeding info! Tunny904
1402 days ago.
mtoto: I always expressed in my car when I was traveling for work, is this an option for you? TishFerguson
1403 days ago.
Hello everyone. I am 14 weeks pregnant and have a few questions about breastfeeding that I am hoping to have cleared up. 1st I'll giv eyou some back ground. I have two daughters. My first I breast fed for about 3 months before I just couldn't do it anymore...meaning, my nipples were bleeding, scabbed, baby had pieces of scab in her mouth...I literally cried during feedings. My second I was determined to try and took a class in preparation. I had planned to concur the breasfeeding. However, she came out tongue tied and she could not latch. In fact she needed special bottle nipples it was so bad. I pumped for about 6 weeks before my milk just stopped. It was never enough for her but I wanted her to get as much as I could give her. Alright, so now for the new information I heard and the question? I recenlty heard that you should be preparing your nipples for breastfeeding prior to baby arriving. I have never heard of this...I hear that this is why I had such a difficult time/painful time with my first. Anyone have ideas on how you 'prepare' for breastfeeding and toughen up your nipples? ticker2
1405 days ago.
Hey ladies is there anything that I can eat that will help me producers milk. My son is five months and I just feel like I'm not producing enough I do pump but I don't get anything cause he takes it all. But I don't understand why I won't produce more mtotowangu
1406 days ago.
I'm wondering if you could give me suggestions or ideas... I'm returning to work and I'm still exclusively breastfeeding. I'm only going back for 2 days a week. DS has refused to take the bottle :( Anyway, my question is, I will not be returning to my previous role. The role they have for me is an outreach role where we go out into the community. As we'll be out and about and away from an office, I'm not sure how to go about expressing????? I have a manual breast pump, so I don't need a power outlet, but I'm wondering what to do! I'm not shy about nursing in public, but I don't think I could express in public. I also don't want to express in a public loo either!! Any thoughts, ideas??? I work in London (Camden) if that helps...... gailah
1410 days ago.
Elizabeth: I did discover if I use the foot ball hold he is much better at latching right away, vs the cradle hold he doesn't seem to like anymore. So that is helping me. And I am also really guiding his head and my nipple together, where as I must admit, I was getting a little lazy with that. He was doing so well on his own I just let him do the work, but now, with more guidance again he is doing better. My SIL suggested that in the beginning he was going on instinct, where as now he is actually learning and remembering what and how to do it.... elizabeth7heaven
1411 days ago.
Gailah- same here, I think its just because it keeps changing. But now I think I am drying up. She is only 8 days old. I am so stressed on what to do. She really only likes the left side. This is the 4th baby I have breastfed. Praying it works out. gailah
1412 days ago.
My son is 2 weeks old today. He latched really well from the get go and everything was going great. When my milk came in and my breasts were engorged he had a harder time originally latching due to the firmness of the boob and smaller, flatter nipple, but after diddling the nipple a little he was able to latch and feed well. Well, now my milk has settled, but he is still not latching right away: he diddles the nipple a bit, makes some small sucks, latches and then comes off, and then finally latches on good for the feed. I'm not worried about him not gaining or feeding well. I was just wondering why he has reverted to having a harder start? Anyone else experience this or something similar?