Ancient sacraments of childbirth and breastfeeding were surrounded by many superstitions. Though ancient medicine has been quite developed for the time, modern scientists are still studying breast milk and making discoveries.
Those researches refute the many superstitions young mothers are willingly guided by. This happens because the new mother during the first months of life is very susceptible to the authority of the elder generation. Thus, your mother or grandmother may have told you, that in summer you should give your baby some water together with breastfeeding because milk is the food and water is a drink. Today you probably know, that breast milk is both and everything else!
The more knowledge mankind accumulates, the less of these superstitions remain. It’s essential that from day 1 you get the right information on breastfeeding and discover that many popular opinions are just idle speculations.
I Have Little Milk
It often happens that the mother has little milk. Generally, in order to breastfeed, you need to have special heredity.
This isn’t true. Almost every mother can fully and successfully breastfeed her child. You don’t need any special characteristics. The ability to breastfeed is inherent in nature. True hypogalactia (insufficient quantity of milk produced by mammary glands) meets very seldom (not more than in 3% of all cases), and is associated with severe pathology of the hormonal sphere. In all other cases, the mother who has the wish and aspiration to breastfeed her child can cope with this task quite successfully. And we will provide you with the information on how to breastfeed.
Pains at Breastfeeding
The process of feeding is often accompanied by painful sensations.
There must be something wrong. If during breastfeeding the mother feels pain, it normally means that the latch-on of the child is incorrect; he gets attached to the nipple in a wrong way traumatizes the breast. To minimize the risk of erroneous actions, use the following breastfeeding tips or consult a specialist on how to breastfeed.
During the first few days after childbirth, there may be moderate discomfort associated with the fact that very delicate skin on the nipple is experiencing intense friction during feeding, but gradually the skin coarsens. If during feeding mother feels a sharp pain after a few breastfeeding abrasions or cracks form on the nipples – it means that the child has captured the nipple not completely from the beginning, but from only one side. If it happens, you should immediately interrupt the feeding and carefully take the nipple from the baby.
It must be done like this: press your finger on the nipple near the baby’s mouth in order for air could get to the baby’s mouth, then the nipple can be taken quite easily. If you start to pull the nipple at a time when the baby continues to suck, the risk of injury increases by many times. Then you have to try to give the breast to the baby in a way that he captures the whole areola around the nipple with his lips. Such sucking prevents not only breast injury but also ensures maximum efficiency during breastfeeding – the child sucks the milk as long as he needs.
No Milk During the First Days after giving Birth
During the first days after childbirth, there is no milk or its quantity is very little, so you need to add formula to feeding.
In fact, the need for supplementation during the first days of a baby’s life is extremely rare. In most cases, the amount of colostrum, which is produced in the mammary glands of the mother, is enough for the child. On the first days after birth, the newborn’s need for food is 10 ml per feeding. On the third day, the need increases to 30 ml. It is the third day after childbirth when the mother has the so-called tide of milk – the breast begins to work actively producing not colostrum but transitional milk, and its quantity increases day by day – according to the needs of the growing baby.
During this period there is no necessity to finish the baby’s feeding with a mixture – on the contrary, it can bring only harm. If at the time of the next feeding baby will experience a healthy feeling of hunger, he will suck the breast with the required activity that will necessarily stimulate the breast. As a result, for the next feeding the breast will produce more milk because this process is governed by the principle of “feedback” – as more actively the baby sucks, the more actively the brain receives signals about the need to produce milk.
Observe a Breastfeeding Schedule
The child should be fed strictly according to the schedule, maintaining 3-hour intervals.
This rule has been promoted among young mothers for a long time. Fortunately, now women are offered to feed the baby on demand – giving breast milk when the baby wants. Such a regime provides the baby with enough food for normal growth and development and adequate mother’s lactation.
My Milk is of Poor Quality
The baby cannot gain weight because of the poor quality and low-fat breast milk. Conversely, if the milk is too fast, the child suffers from being overweight or has a stomach problem.
It’s an absolutely wrong statement! Milk can’t be of bad quality! It can’t be too fat or low in fats. All women who are breastfeeding have the milk of about the same composition. The content of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as minerals and vitamins – is constant.
But there is quite a significant difference in the milk of the same nursing mother. This difference lies in the fact that at the beginning of feeding the gland produces so-called front milk. This milk is more watery, contains less fat, but is rich in proteins and minerals. And at the end of the feeding, the breast begins to produce back milk, which, in contrast, is rich in fats and carbohydrates. Front and back milk differ in a sight: the front is lighter, more transparent, and the back one – is yellowish and dense.
Thus, the child can not suffer from the fact that the mother’s milk is flawed. The reason for the lack of weight gain may be exactly in the wrong attachment to the breast, wrong sucking, or time limiting of the amount of attachment to the breast.
I Should Eat for Two
Young mothers should eat a lot of high-calorie food, and drink a lot of tea with milk or whole milk; only under these conditions lactation will be sufficient.
In order to ensure the baby’s good nutrition, you don’t need to have a lot of high-calorie food. The diet should be balanced and contain enough protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Don’t forget also about vitamins and minerals. It’s better to consume vitamin-mineral complexes in order for mother and baby to get enough vitamins, micro-and macro-elements.
The amount of mother’s milk is more dependent on the amount of milk that the baby consumes, and to a much lesser extent – on the mother’s drinking regime, although her diet should include enough liquid – at least 2 liters. It’s better not to drink milk, especially undiluted, because its protein can cause a mother’s allergy and more likely – the baby’s too.
Surgical Sterility of Nipples is Required
It’s necessary to wash nipples before each feeding.
If the mother washes nipples thoroughly before each feeding, while this she washes off the skin – a protective film that prevents injury. In this case, a high probability of scratches and cracks appears which we discussed above. In fact, there is no need for careful treatment of the nipples before each feeding – a daily shower is enough. The mother’s skin contains a certain amount of bacteria that are normal inhabitants of healthy skin. And their penetration into the intestine of the child can’t cause any disease. Even on the contrary – the contact of a newborn with the mother’s skin promotes a healthy intestinal microflora.
Pumping and Dumping
It’s necessary to decant after each feeding.
It’s important to give the breast to the child on demand, and then the milk will be produced as much as it’s necessary for the baby. If one decants after each feeding, there will be much more milk than it’s needed, and it can lead to milk stagnation – lactostasis. The only real reason for pumping is when you have alcohol in your blood.
Breastfeeding is a Drama
Breastfeeding is very difficult, it is accompanied by great inconvenience for the mother.
Breastfeeding is primarily natural! And natural things can’t be incredibly difficult. In this matter, almost everything depends on the attitude of the mother to the issue of breastfeeding, on her readiness to listen to her intuition, and to the baby’s needs. There is nothing complicated in breastfeeding. Indeed, this process is provided in the most optimal way by the nature. Milk is produced in a completely finished form – sterile, with the best temperature, in an amount that is necessary to meet the child’s needs. This kind of food is always at hand. It can’t be spoiled, can’t finish at the most essential moment, and there is no need to sterilize the bottles and to run to the market when you’re out of formula.
It’s the only food that costs nothing, but is completely priceless!
The modern formula can replace breast milk successfully – they are virtually identical in composition.
Of course, science doesn’t standstill. Nevertheless, even the best and the super-modern formula can’t be completely identical to mother’s milk. No matter how the mixture is improved it will never contains antibodies to the disease produced by the mother’s body; the mixture will never vary in composition from the beginning of feeding to its end. Mixtures still contain too much protein compared to their content in mother’s milk, and the qualitative composition of the protein in the mixture differs substantially from that of breast milk. Mother’s milk is produced specifically for her child, it is not only the best food for the baby but also unique, it always corresponds to his changing needs during the first years of life.
Breastfeeding and Illness
If the mother is ill, it’s necessary to interrupt breastfeeding.
In fact, in almost all cases (with rare exceptions) mother’s disease is not a contraindication to breastfeeding.
If the mother suffers from a viral infection or a common cold, it’s quite sufficient to feed the baby in a gauze bandage, which must be carefully washed before each feeding.
Usually, mothers breastfeed during the period of the disease, which is called the prodromal. During this period, any complaints are not yet expressed, but the infection has already occurred, and the mother’s immune system produces active antibodies against the infections incitants that somehow appear in the milk. By the time the mother is already feeling sick, the kid gets a hefty dose of “vaccination” for the infection, that his mother has suffered. Exceptions should be made for serious conditions – complications of childbirth – metroendometrity (inflammation of the uterus) or purulent mastitis. Fortunately, this happens very infrequently!
It’s simple, pleasant, and most important, natural to breastfeed your dear baby. Modern mother, even if she has an active lifestyle, can successfully breastfeed their baby, if they will have more confidence in themselves and listen to their heart.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.