What is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding refers to when your baby is given breast milk from you. This is also known as nursing. It is personal decision to breastfeed and is also personal and will likely draw the attention of friends and family.
Many medical professionals, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynologists, strongly recommend exclusively breastfeeding for six months (no formula, juice or water). It is recommended that breastfeeding continues for the first year after the baby has been introduced to other foods.
The frequency at which you breastfeed depends on how often your baby likes to eat small, frequent meals or more frequent feedings. As your baby grows, this will change. Newborns will often need to be fed every 2-3 hours. At 2 months old, babies are used to feeding every 3-4 hours. By 6 months, most babies are eating every 4-5 hours. Your baby and you are both unique and can decide to breastfeed.
Signs that your baby is hungry
Crying is one of the easiest ways for your baby to let you know that they are hungry. You can also see other signs that your baby is hungry.
- Lip licking or sticking out their tongues
- Rooting is when someone moves their jaw, mouth or head to search for your breasts.
- Put their hand in their mouth
- Open their mouths
- Things to be sucked on
Breastfeeding is good for baby
Milk provides infants with the perfect nutrition. It contains a perfect blend of vitamins and protein. This milk is ideal for babies. It’s also easier to digest than infant formula. Breast milk is rich in antibodies that can help your baby fight bacteria and viruses. Your baby’s chances of developing asthma or allergies is lower if you breastfeed. Breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months without formula is better than any other method. They also have fewer ear infection and respiratory illnesses as well as fewer episodes of diarrhea. They also require fewer visits to the doctor and hospitalizations.
Some studies have shown that breastfeeding has been associated with higher IQ scores later in childhood. In some studies, breastfeeding is linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood. As they grow, breastfed babies are more likely to be healthy than obese children . According to the AAP, breastfeeding plays an important role in preventing SIDS ( sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Although it has been shown to reduce the risk of diabet and obese, as well as certain cancers, more research is necessary.
Breastfeeding benefits for mothers
Breastfeeding can burn more calories so you can lose pregnancy weight quicker. The hormone oxytocin is released, which can help your uterus to return to its pre- size. It may also reduce the risk of uterine bleeding. Breastfeeding lowers your chances of developing ovarian carcinoma. You may also be less likely to develop osteoporosis.
It saves time and money as you don’t need to measure, sterilize, or heat bottles. You can also spend regular time with your to bond.
Are You able to make enough milk to breastfeed?
Your breasts are the ideal place to produce your “first milk” within the first few days of birth. Colostrum is also known as it. It is thick and yellowish. Although there are not many, it will provide enough to satisfy your baby’s nutritional requirements. Colostrum is essential for a baby’s ability to absorb breast milk and helps develop its digestive system.
The first phase of breastmilk is called colostrum. It changes as your baby grows to ensure that they get the nutrients they need. Transitional milk is the second phase. This is when your breast milk gradually replaces the second phase, which is called transitional milk.
After birth, you will start making transitional milk. You’ll start to make mature milk within 10 to 15 days. This gives your baby all the nutrients they need. The majority of babies lose weight within the first three to five days after giving birth, but this is not related to breastfeeding. Your baby will need more milk, so your breasts will produce more milk. Experts recommend that you breastfeed exclusively for six months. This means no formula, juice or water. Your breasts may produce less milk if you add formula to them.
Even if you breastfeed for less than 6 months, it is better to breastfeed briefly than never. If you wish to continue producing milk, you can breastfeed for up to 6 months.
Does your baby get enough milk?
Many mothers who breastfeed wonder if their baby gets enough milk to provide good nutrition. Your baby should be getting enough breastmilk.
- In the first few days following delivery, they should not lose more than 7 percent of their birthweight
- Between meals, you should feel satisfied for approximately 1-3 hours.
Which is the best position for breastfeeding?
You and your baby should feel comfortable and relaxed in the best position. These are the most common positions to breastfeed your baby.
Position your baby in the Cradle.
Place your baby’s head on the crook side of your elbow, with their entire body facing you. Your baby should feel supported by your entire body. You can use your other “free” arm to wrap around your baby’s neck and head, or reach down through the legs to support their lower back.
Position your baby in a football position.
Place your baby on your back and hold it there. This is best for newborns and small babies. This is a great position to be in if you are recovering from a cesarean delivery and need to protect yourself from the weight or pressure of your baby.
This position can be used for night feeds in bed. Side-lying is also a good option if you are recovering from an episiotomy (an incision to expand the vaginal opening during birth). To make yourself comfortable, place pillows underneath your head. Next, snuggle up to your baby. Use your free hand to lift your chest and insert your lips into your baby’s . After your baby has been properly “latched on”, support his head and neck with your freehand so that there is no straining or twisting.
A comfortable chair with armrests will allow you to sit straight. Your baby should be held in the crook on your arm, which is opposite the breast that you will use to feed him. Your hand should support their head. Place your baby on your back so that your tummies are facing each other. Your other hand can be used to hold your breasts in a U-shaped grip. Place your baby’s head on your breast, and hold it there.
This position is also known as biological nurturing. This position is meant to tap into your natural breastfeeding instincts. On a couch or bed, lean back but not flat. You should have good support for your head, neck and shoulders. Your entire body should touch your baby’s. As long as your cheek is near your breast, your baby can take whatever position they like. If your baby needs it, help them latch on.
How to get your baby to latch on during breastfeeding
Your baby should be facing you so they are comfortable and don’t have to turn their necks to feed. One hand, hold your baby’s breast and lightly stroke your lower lip with your finger. The instinctive reflex of your baby will be to open his mouth wide. He will naturally open his mouth by putting your hand on his neck.
Your baby will be “latched on” when your lips are closed around your nipple. Your infant should have all your nipple as well as most of the areola (the darker skin around your nose) in their mouth. Although you might feel some tingling or tugging during breastfeeding, it should not be painful. If your baby is not properly latching on and you aren’t nursing in a comfortable, smooth rhythm, gently push your pinky between the baby’s gums. This will break the suction. Sore nipples can be prevented by good latching on.
Tips for new breastfeeding moms
These are some things that can help you prepare to breastfeed.
- Prenatal care is essential to avoid preterm birth.
- Tell your doctor that you intend to breastfeed. Ask what support you will receive from the facility after you give birth.
- Attend a class in breastfeeding.
- Ask your doctor for a referral to a lactation consultant. They can help you learn about breastfeeding and assist you if you have any questions.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions or medication that may affect breastfeeding.
- Tell your doctor and the hospital staff that you wish to breastfeed as soon after birth as possible.
- Talk to your friends who are breastfeeding or join a support group.
- Make sure you have all the necessary supplies for breastfeeding.
These tips, known as the ABCs for breastfeeding will help you and baby feel at ease with the process.
- Awareness. You should be alert for signs of hunger in your baby and breastfeed when your baby is hungry. This is known as “on-demand” feeding. In the first few weeks you might be nursing 8-12 times per 24 hours. Hungry babies move their hands towards their mouths, make mouth movements or sucking sounds, and move towards your breast. Do not wait for your baby’s crying to stop. This is a sign that your baby is too hungry.
- Be patient. Your baby will want to nurse every time you breastfeed. Do not rush your to nurse through feedings. Breastfeeding takes between 10 and 20 minutes for infants.
- Comfort. This is crucial. Your milk will flow more easily if you relax while breastfeeding. Before you start to breastfeed, make sure to get comfortable. Use pillows to support your neck, arms, and neck.
Is there any medical considerations when breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can cause harm to a baby in certain situations. Here are some reasons not to breastfeed.
- You are HIV positive. Breast milk can transmit the HIV virus to infants.
- Active, untreated tuberculosis.
- You are receiving chemotherapy to treat cancer .
- You are using illegal drugs, such coke or pot.
- Galactosemia is a rare condition that affects babies and causes them to not be able to tolerate breast milk’s natural sugar called galactose.
- Certain prescription medications are being taken, including drugs for migraine headaches and Parkinson’s disease.
If you are taking any type of prescription drugs, talk to your doctor before you start breastfeeding. Based on your specific medication, your doctor will help you make an informed decision.
You can still breastfeed even if you have a flu or a cold. Breastmilk won’t cause the illness in your baby and may even provide antibodies that can be used to fight it off.
The AAP recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed starting at 4 months old. Infants who receive more than half their daily food as human milk should also be supplemented by oral iron. This should be continued until iron-fortified foods, such as cereals, are added to the diet. AAP recommends that all children over the age of 1 test their iron levels.
Talk to your doctor about supplementation with both iron and Vitamin D. You can talk to your doctor about how much and when to begin supplementation .
What are some common challenges with breastfeeding?
Some soreness during breastfeeding.
After each feeding, make sure your baby latches correctly. You can also use one finger to remove the suction from your baby’s mouth. This will prevent sore nipples. If your breasts still feel sore, make sure to nurse each breast completely enough to empty the milk tubes. Your breasts may become engorged, swollen and painful if you don’t. Temporarily, you can ease the discomfort by using ice or frozen peas to soothe sore nipples. It is also a good idea to keep your nipples clean and let them dry between meals. At the beginning, your baby will suck less. Start feeding your baby with the less-sore naple.
Dry and cracked nipples.
After a nursing session, you can apply pure Lanolin to your nubs. But be careful not to over-wash the lanolin before you start breastfeeding again. Your nipples will stay dry if you change your bra pads frequently. You should only use cotton bra pads.
Concerns about making enough milk.
Your breast milk should not be supplemented with formula. You should never give your baby plain water. To produce milk, your baby’s body requires regular nursing. Many women mistakenly believe that they cannot breastfeed if their breasts are too small. Small-breasted women can still make milk as well as larger-breasted ones. Good nutrition and adequate rest are key factors. Staying hydrated is also important.
How to pump and store milk.
Your baby may need to be introduced to breast milk in a bottle over a period of time. If you are returning to work, it is a good idea to start practicing. If breast milk is stored in a refrigerator, it can be used safely within two days. Breast milk can be frozen for up to 6 month. Do not heat or thaw frozen breastmilk in the microwave. It can destroy its immune-boosting properties and cause breast milk’s fatty parts to heat up. Instead, you can either thaw breast milk in the fridge or in a bowl with warm water.
The inverted nipple does not protrude when you pinch the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple). If you are looking for breastfeeding tips, a lactation consultant can help. They specialize in education and support women with inverted breasts.
Breast engorgement. Breast fullness can be natural and healthy. This happens when your breasts are full of milk and remain soft and pliable. Breast engorgement is when your blood vessels have become clogged. Your breasts become hard and painful due to the fluid trapped in them. To relieve mild symptoms, alternate heat with cold, such as hot showers and ice packs. You can also use a breast-pump or hand to let your milk out.
Blockage of milk ducts.
One sore spot on the breast (which may appear red or hot) can indicate a blocked milk duct. Use warm compresses to relieve the blockage. It is also possible to get help more often by nursing.
Mastitis (breast infection) Call your doctor if you notice a sore spot on your breast and other symptoms such as fever, or fatigue. You may need to take antibiotics to treat a breast infection. However, you can continue breastfeeding while you are ill. Apply moist heat for 15-20 minutes to tender breasts four times per day.
Anxiety and stress can cause your body to shut down. This is your body’s natural release from milk into the milk ducts. This is triggered by hormones that are released when your baby nurse. You can trigger it by listening to your baby cry, or even thinking about your baby. It can help milk flow and let down if you are calm and relaxed before and during breastfeeding. This can calm down and relax your infant.
It is possible for new born babies to not be breastfed immediately. Sometimes, breast milk can be released by mothers and fed through a tube or bottle.
- You may notice a change in the color and appearance of your breasts.
- Unusual discharge or bleeding from your nose.
- Your baby isn’t getting enough milk or gaining weight, and you are worried.
Where can I get help with breastfeeding?
It looks easy when you see mothers nursing their babies. But, some women need help. This can be from a friend, a doctor, a family member or if the mother is struggling to overcome any obstacles.
Ask your family members, friends, and doctor any questions. Most likely, women in your circle of friends have faced the same questions.
Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
Although breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy, it is not always a good idea to be depending on it to birth control. It all depends on how frequently you breastfeed, and the age of your child. It is possible to get pregnant again while still nursing another child. You may be wondering if you are going to have another baby, whether it is planned or unexpected. Here are some things you should know about breastfeeding in pregnancy.
Are You Ready to Wean?
One of the good reason to wean is a new pregnancy. Some children are able to wean themselves. Other moms recommend weaning in order to prepare for the new baby. You don’t necessarily have to wean if you are pregnant again. Breastfeeding can be continued. After your baby arrives, you may choose to continue breastfeeding your older children.
Is Breastfeeding during pregnancy safe?
Talk to your doctor if you find out you are pregnant again, and he or she will help you decide if or not to continue breastfeeding. It is safe to breastfeed during a new pregnancy. Breastfeeding should be possible if you are healthy and have a healthy baby. There are situations where your doctor might recommend you stop breastfeeding. Your body releases when you breastfeed. This hormone is called oxytocin. The hormone of love and bonding, oxytocin can also cause contractions in the uterus. These contractions are considered safe in a healthy, low risk pregnancy.
It may be a good idea to wean.
- High-risk pregnancy
- A previous miscarriage has occurred
- With another pregnancy, you went into preterm labor.
- Vaginal bleeding is a possibility
- Twins or more are your options
- You are not losing a healthy weight
How breastfeeding affects your child
It is not known if breastfeeding during pregnancy can harm your current pregnancy or cause problems for your baby’s growth and development. You can still make breast milk for your child while giving nutrients to your baby. These are some helpful tips.
- You need a lot of energy in order to produce breast milk, nourish your baby and stay healthy. You should keep your strength up and avoid depleting your body of nutrients by drinking plenty of fluids and eating a balanced diet with healthy calories.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any medical issues, such as anemia, diabetes or if you are following a vegetarian/vegan diet to ensure you get all the nutrients and calories you need.
- Regular prenatal checks with your doctor are recommended to ensure that your pregnancy progresses as it should. Also, that you are gaining enough weight.
How a new pregnancy can affect your breastfeeding child
Your breast milk or your milk supply could have an impact on the baby you are breastfeeding. These changes should be closely monitored if your child is younger than one year. If your toddler is already eating solid foods and drinking from a cup of milk, the change in breast milk amount should not be a problem.
Breast Milk Changes
The baby that you are carrying will get the first breast milk, . As your pregnancy progresses, and your body prepares to give birth to your baby, your breast milk may change from the mature milk your older child has been drinking. These changes are important to know:
- Colostrum contains a lot of nutrition, and is still good for older children. You don’t need to make a lot of colonstrum.
- Colostrum tastes and looks different from mature milk. The milk volume decreases and the amount of milk sugar drops, making it less sweet. The milk becomes saltier as the sodium content increases. These changes may not affect the child who is currently breastfeeding. However, the sodium level will increase making it saltier.
- Use Colostrum as a natural laxative. It aids newborns to move their first baby poop, meconium, out of their bodies. You may notice loose stool in an older child who is breastfeeding.
Breast Milk Supply
Getting pregnant while you breastfeed can cause a drop in the breast milk supply.
- It is possible to notice a decrease in your milk supply immediately or later in pregnancy.
- Talk to your pediatrician if your child is less than one year old and notice a drop in milk supply. To ensure your baby gets the right nutrients, you may need to give infant formula to her.
- Your child should get more nutrition from solid foods if she is older than one year. Breastfeeding can be continued, but you might need to start giving your child whole milk or toddler formula.
- A decrease in milk supply can cause a slower breast milk flow. Some children stop breastfeeding because they are frustrated.
How a new pregnancy affects breastfeeding moms
It is possible to continue breastfeeding in a new pregnancy. However, it can be difficult. As a breastfeeding mom, there are many things that can happen to you. These are some common breastfeeding problems and how to address them.
Sore Breasts and Nipples
The familiar problem of breastfeeding can return during pregnancy. Hormonal Changes during pregnancy can cause tender breasts and tender nipples. Sore nipples can make breastfeeding uncomfortable, or even painful. The hormonal cause of sore nipples in breastfeeding is often hormonal. Unfortunately, this means that the usual remedies don’t work for a new pregnancy.
The best treatment for pregnancy-related tenderness in the nipples is time. You may not feel the pain for the first three months. If you are able to get through the first trimester of pregnancy you should be fine. You can try these things to help you cope with it:
- Use cold compresses to moisturize your nipples or a safe, nipple moisturizer
- Wear a supportive Bra
- When breastfeeding, try to minimize distractions to prevent your baby from pulling at your nipples or moving around.
- You can try other nursing positions.
Due to hormonal changes in your body, it’s common to feel tired more than usual during pregnancy. Breastfeeding and taking care of another child can definitely make it more difficult. Get plenty of sleep if you can, although it may seem difficult when your baby or toddler is crawling, or running around, make every effort.
- While you breastfeed, sit down or lie down while your feet are up.
- When your child is sleeping, take a break
- Don’t skip meals and consume plenty of fluids
It can be difficult to find a comfortable place to breastfeed as your belly grows, this is why it may be easier to breastfeed with holds that relieve the stomach pressure. It may be a good idea to:
- Breastfeeding while you lay down on your side
- The football hold
- Try out new positions and see if it works for you and your child.
A word from Whole Pregnancy
When they learn that they are pregnant with another child, many women wean. If you are not ready to wean and your doctor does not feel there is a medical reason, it is not something you should do. You can continue breastfeeding safely through a new pregnancy.
You can continue to breastfeed your older child with your new baby once she is born, and this is what we call tandem nursing. A new pregnancy can cause sore breasts, decrease in milk supply and a need for more energy. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and tired. You may find it easier to wean during pregnancy due to changes in breast milk taste and quantity. This could make it easier to decide that it is time to stop nursing. And, that’s okay, too. You can do what is best for your family, and you don’t have to feel guilty.