Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed.Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. Breast milk adapts as your baby grows to meet your baby's changing needs
Advantages of breastfeeding for the baby
- Superior nutrition.
- There is an increased resistance to infections, and therefore fewer incidents of illness and hospitalization.
- Decreased risk of allergies and lactose intolerance.
- Baby experiences less nappy rash and thrush.
- Baby experiences fewer stomach upsets and constipation.
- Breastfeeding promotes the proper development of baby’s jaw and teeth.
- Breastfed infants tend to have higher IQs due to good brain development early in life.
- Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby bonding.
- In the long term, breastfed babies have a decreased risk of malnutrition, leukemia, obesity, diabetes and heart disease compared to formula fed babies.
Advantages of breastfeeding for the mother
- The baby's sucking causes a mothers uterus to contract and reduces the flow of blood after delivery.
- Mothers who breastfeed tend to lose weight and achieve their pre-pregnancy figure more easily than mothers who bottle feed.
- Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer later in life.
- Breastfeeding is more economical than formula feeding.
- There are less trips to the doctor and less money is spent on medications.
- Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby bonding.
- Hormones released during breast-feeding create feelings of warmth and calm in the mother.
Complication and treatment
- Nipple soreness: it’s a deep crack
- Hand expresses some milk onto the nipple and allow it to air dry after each feeding.
- Alternate nursing positions to consistently empty milk ducts.
- Avoid using excessive amount of soap on the breast during shower.
- Wear all cotton bras and change breast pads frequently.
- Engorgement: breasts overly full ,you may feel hard, painful, hot and appear taut or shiny.
- Apply a hot, moist towel or take a hot shower before nursing your baby.
- Apply cold compresses or cold cabbage leaves prior to nursing if breasts are severely swollen or engorged. Ice as necessary to relieve discomfort and reduce swelling.
- Rub breast before and during breastfeeding and pumping.
- Breastfeed frequently 8-12 times in 24 hours.
If doesn’t work ask your doctor to prescribed cream.
Why I need to pump my breast milk?
The most common reasons to pump are to collect your milk so your baby can have it when you're not around and to maintain your milk supply for when you're together. This is important if you're going back to work but want to continue nursing. You can also use a breast pump for these reasons:
- To stimulate your milk production and increase your milk supply.
- To collect milk to feed a premature baby or one who can't latch on to your breast.
- To relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts – though too much pumping when you're engorged can make matters worse.
- To keep your milk supply up if your healthcare provider advises you to stop nursing temporarily because you're taking medication that might be harmful to your baby (this is rarely necessary) or if you're hospitalized for a short time and can't breastfeed throughout the day.
How do I use a breast pump?
To use an electric pump, you put a breast phalange (or shield) over your nipple, turn the machine on, and let it do the work of suctioning your milk into an attached container. (Phalanges are supplied with the pump.) Manual pumps also use a phalange, but you extract the milk by operating a squeeze mechanism or pulling a plunger with your hand rather than relying on a motor.It usually takes ten to 15 minutes to pump both breasts with a good electric pump and up to 45 minutes with a hand pump. Be sure to use the right size phalanges for your nipples and position them just right so you don't pinch or irritate yourself.
What about storing breast milk?
- You can store breast milk in a feeding or storage bottle secure cap or special storage plastic bag . (Many pumps come with storage containers).
- Fill the container three-quarters full if it's going in the freezer, to allow for expansion.
- Store the milk in the amounts that you normally use at a feeding. (If your baby typically takes 60ml, then store 60ml in portions).
- Write the date on the bottle or bag before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer so you'll know when you pumped it. (You'll want to use the oldest milk first).
- Don't combine fresh milk and frozen milk (by topping off a frozen container with some fresh milk, for example).
- You may be surprised to see what breast milk looks like. It's normal for the fat to separate and float to the top, and sometimes the milk has a bluish hue, especially early on. (Your milk color may also be affected by your diet or medications.) Don't shake the milk. Instead, gently swirl it to mix the fat back in.
How long can I store breast milk?
- Fresh breast milk. Use fresh, refrigerated milk within two days. (Store it in the back of the main part of the refrigerator).
- Frozen breast milk. In the freezer compartment of a refrigerator (5 degrees F), milk can be frozen for two weeks. If there's a freezer compartment with separate doors (0 degrees F), it can be stored for three to six months. And in a chest or upright deep freezer (-4 degrees F), it will be good for six to 12 months.
If you need to transport milk, insert milk container in cooler with 3 ice packs to keep it cold until just before using.
How to use fresh and frozen breast milk?
- For fresh milk you can remove the bag or the bottle from the refrigerator put it in room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Or skin it in warm water for 2 min.
- To thaw frozen milk, hold the bag or bottle under warm water until it's a comfortable temperature or let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Don't use the microwave for defrosting or warming, because it kills the nutrients in breast milk and hot spots can develop.Once you’ve thawed frozen milk, you should use it within one hour ,if not you should throw it away, since you can’t refreeze it again.
References:"Breastfeeding." Benefits of Breastfeeding. N.p., 29 Jan. 2016. Web. Sept. 2016.
"Breastfeeding." Sore or Cracked Nipples. N.p., 29 Jan. 2016. Web. Sept. 2016.
"Breastfeeding." Engorgement. N.p., n.d. Web. Sept. 2016.
"Breastfeeding." Pumping Breast Milk. N.p., June 2015. Web. Sept. 2016.