Breastfeeding Questions and Answers – by an expert
Having a baby is one of the most stressful times in any ones life and one of the biggest causes of stress is often breastfeeding problems. Many moms have every good intention to breast feed their baby for as long as they can but find it complicated and fraught with problems and reluctantly give up feeding prematurely. Here are a few of the more common questions regarding breastfeeding with some great answers from a professional breastfeeding expert… I hope you find them interesting and helpful.
At the outset I must say I really enjoy breast-feeding & my 16 month old son loves it as well. It gives us some good bonding time together, especially now that I’ve gone back to work. Research says, one should continue breastfeeding till the baby is 2 years but friends & family are saying otherwise. I’ve been told to stop soon to ensure that he gets out of the ‘habit’. I’m also concerned that if I wait too long it will become difficult for my baby to stop. I’m also not sure how to get him to stop – what techniques should I use? Currently, he insists on a feed at night when he wants to sleep.
You are right in that the World Health Organisation recommends you breastfeed your baby until he is two years old and you have done a tremendous job by breastfeeding him for as long as you have. You will find that there are opinions and advice out there for every aspect of parenting, it is hard to do what you feel to be right when people you are close to you are advising you differently. It can get confusing when the advice you receive is sometimes contradictory too. You seem to be a well-read and interested mum who has done a bit of research so keep it up! Choose your information sources wisely and continue to be a confident mum who makes good choices for her son. Don’t worry about it becoming difficult for him to stop, how many mums do you see breastfeeding their kids at break time in school?! When you and he are ready, you will find a way of weaning him. It is different for every mum so speak to as many as you can who have been through a similar experience. If the night time feeds are a problem then you could try distracting him with alternative rewards such as an extra bed-time story, singing a few of his favourite songs or a giving him a new soft toy to snuggle with. Do you have a supportive partner who could take over the bed-time routine for a period of time? Speak to him and tell him what your plans are, your baby may be young but he understands a lot. Weaning can be a traumatic time for both you and the baby so you need to feel it’s right for both of you so that you are determined to carry through with it.
I am due to have my baby shortly and want to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible and avoid formula as far as I can. As we are only allowed 4 months maternity leave in our country, I am not sure what I can do to express milk while at work so that my baby can still get “breastfed”? How many times a day does one need to express milk and is there a law that allows employees to use office hours to express besides lunch? Is pumped milk still as good fresh milk from the breast?
Firstly I need to say, well done to you for not allowing your decision to return to work to prevent you from continuing to breastfeed your baby. What a great mommy your baby already has! One of the most important skills you can teach your self after you have got breastfeeding well established (after about 6 weeks) is learning the art of hand expression. This will allow you to express any time and anywhere as long as you have a suitable sterilised container to collect the milk in. The best option is for someone to teach you though as it’s hard to visualise. You should also do some research now on different types of breast pumps, different mums swear by different makes. You need to ensure that the size of the flange opening is big enough (slightly big is better than too small) for your nipple size otherwise you will be causing yourself unnecessary discomfort and possible nipple damage. Preferably you need to express as many times as your baby feeds during the time that you are apart but because you never get the same amount out as what your baby does (sucking is MUCH more efficient than pumping) it would be ideal to express one extra feed. You will need a fridge at work in which to store your milk in order to keep it fresh (possibly hide it from some squeamish colleagues). If you do not use it within 24 hours it needs to go into the freezer. Breastmilk can be kept for 3 months in the freezer. You will need sterile storage bags or containers designed for the storage of breast milk. These can be labelled and dated. Breastmilk has amazing keeping qualities. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents that keep it fresher than nearly any other organic fluid. When you are expressing it helps to have lovely pictures of your beautiful baby to look at and maybe a blanket or babygro that smells like him or her as this helps with the milk flow. You will obviously need a private and secure room where you feel comfortable to express without being accidentally interrupted – very embarrassing, I know! Finally you’ll need an icebox to transport your precious cargo to and from your even more precious bundle! There is an excellent book written by working mums who expressed at work called The Milk Memos, the website is called milkmemos.com. I would highly recommend reading the book. Best of luck with your imminent arrival!
My little one has about six teeth now I would like to breastfeed until he is two years old however I am finding that he has a tendency when he is asleep or angry to bite down with those sharp little teeth how does one stop little ones from doing this as it can be really painful.
Ow! Poor you:( This is a problem that some women experience but it can be overcome with patience. Biting is usually a game for babies as it elicits a lovely squealing response from mummy every time they bite, one of the funniest things in the world to them! When you watch your baby’s mouth next time he feeds you will see that his tongue sticks out over his bottom lip slightly which seals the side of the mouth so that a good suction is formed. I don’t know if you have tried to bite with your tongue sticking out, the results are not beneficial to yourself! In other words it is impossible to suck and bite at the same time. Watch your baby next time you feed him, some babies give clues before they bite such as: pause in their sucking, look up at mum, smile or little glint in the eye and then…BITE. If you sense that he is in this process, try to remove him quickly before he bites using the tip of your finger in the corner of his lips to ease him off. If he does bite then try your absolute best not to yell out (very hard, I know) then put him down off your lap immediately, being firm but gentle, and say clearly, (his name) NO BITING MUMMY. Let him know by withdrawing comfort, not smiling, turning away your face that you are not pleased and this is not a game. The most important thing in the world for little ones is to feel that Mummy loves and welcomes them so this is why removing that welcome is such an effective form of discipline and can be used in any situation. Because he is still quite young I wouldn’t remove him from the room, just put him down on the ground (safely) for a perhaps 20 to 30 seconds then try again. You need to be consistent. Good luck, I hope this helps.
Is it true that milk stout or beer in general help you have more milk? If so, how much is safe to drink when breastfeeding?
It may be the brewers yeast in beer that could increase your supply but drinking alcohol is not recommended when you are pregnant or breastfeeding as even tiny amounts may be harmful to your baby. You could take this in capsule form instead, however, there are many other things you could try first that would also help increase your milk supply as this seems to be your primary concern. The number one rule to remember is the more you feed your baby the more milk you will produce. Your body is wonderfully made in that your breasts will produce the milk that your baby requires if you provide the opportunity for your baby to drink (don’t make your baby wait longer than 2 to 3 hours from he start of one feed to the start of the next). Number two, ensure your baby is latched on properly and allow for as much skin-to-skin contact as possible between you and your baby. Three, make sure that you are resting as much as possible as tiredness and stress are great enemies of milk supply. Fourthly pay attention to your diet and fluid intake, make sure you are eating healthily and drinking plenty of fresh water. Fifth, cut down on the use of dummies (I’m assuming you are not supplementing with formula as this would adversely affect your supply). Finally there are herbal teas one can drink that some women would say has helped increase their milk supply, these include
- Fenugreek tea (large amounts may lower blood sugar levels)
- Blessed thistle tea can be taken in small amounts.
- Fennel tea also taken in small amounts
- Raspberry leaf tea
- Goat’s rue teas
- Nettle tea
- Teas containing the following herbs: Hops flowers, brewer’s yeast, Milk thistle, Alfalfa.
Is there any health risks to my baby when I am going to breast feed, with silicone breast implants? My breast implants are 6 years old and done underneath the muscles.
The truth is, there is not enough research to indicate whether it is safe or not to breastfeed with silicone breast implants. You would need to consider all the benefits your child will receive from having your breastmilk versus the risks associated with drinking formula milk, a tough decision. Although silicone can leak from implants, it is not likely that it will be able to enter your milk supply. You may want to talk to the surgeon who performed the operation as there there could be possible damage to the nerves and milk ducts that might have occurred during surgery. However, having said this, many women do manage to successfully feed with implants, and they are compatible with breastfeeding. If you are worried about producing enough milk for your baby due to damage to your milk ducts, it would be a good idea to get help from a Lactation Consultant who can help you monitor your baby’s growth. The only way to know for sure how much milk you will be able to produce is by feeding your baby. If your baby’s output is inadequate, and you realize that your milk supply is not meeting his nutritional needs, formula can be offered at your breast using a nursing supplementer. Normal output in your baby’s first couple of days of life is two to three wet nappies a day, and one to two dirty nappies daily. As your milk becomes more plentiful around the third or fourth day of your baby’s life, wet nappies begin increasing from about three each day to one wet nappy for every feed (about six to eight per day), with at least two dirty nappies each day. A Lactation Consultant would be able to guide you in the use of a nursing supplementer. Ultimately your goal needn’t be to be breastfeeding your baby 100% as every little drop helps and your success as a mother is not measured by your success with breastfeeding. Good luck, I hope it goes well for you.
As a breastfeeding mommy I find it very difficult to feed in public. I use a feeding cover, and still notice people looking at me. I don’t know if it is because I feel self conscious or if they really are looking at me because they disapprove. I think most breastfeeding moms find it difficult to breastfeed in public places (even if they are covered) fall in the same category that I do of being too self conscious. Any tips?
You are definitely not alone in feeling self conscious about feeding in public. Some women seem to be able to feed so confidently without a care in the world and for others it’s a nightmare and they would rather sit in a boiling hot car or, even worse, a public toilet (how disgusting that we should feel lowered to feed our babies here, who expects anybody to eat their dinner in such a dirty place?) than be caught in the public eye. The truth it it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks at all! It is your baby and you have chosen to give her or him the best milk you can. Maybe some of the looks are more out of curiosity as a feeding cover is quite a new invention and there may be many women out there who are wondering what it is and wishing they had one too. By feeding in public you are making a statement about how normal it should be, other women will be encouraged by your example. Your confidence will grow with practice too and as the baby get older and is able to latch by itself. Don’t be put off by other people, what you are doing is a beautiful thing, you have made the best possible choice for your baby and nobody can argue with that.
These helpful websites might answer any further breastfeeding questions you might have:
About the Author: This guest post was supplied by Olivia from ecoBaby Company
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