The breast milk is the best food a mother can give her child newborn. Not only for its composition but also for the powerful bond that is established between the mother and her baby during the act of breastfeeding. Breast milk contains everything the child needs during its first months of life; it protects the baby against many diseases. Women who breastfeed their children lose the weight gained during pregnancy more quickly, and will hardly suffer from anemia, hypertension and postpartum depression. It does not matter if you have large or small breasts, breast size does not influence breastfeeding. At Helios7.com we bring you complete breastfeeding guide for newborns and new moms.
Advantages of breastfeeding for mom and baby
Breast milk is the best food that a mother can offer her baby because it is the most complete and contains all the nutrients that the baby needs for its growth, it includes the maternal antibodies that immunize in front of certain diseases. Mother’s milk is organic food. It is not manufactured, it is not packaged or transported, thus avoiding the expenditure of energy and environmental pollution. For the family, it is a great saving. Breast milk is not an economic expense, and above all, it is the best way of feeding for the baby.
During pregnancy, the baby’s digestive system works only partially, since it is the placenta that is responsible for getting the nutrients and eliminating the waste products. However, after birth, the baby has to use its gastrointestinal tract to digest its food, a big change for this still immature system.
How breast milk works in the baby’s digestive system
- Breast milk is rich in fats – The fat is the recommended nutrient in the diet of the newborn for two reasons, because the gastrointestinal tract of the newborn easily absorbs it, and because, given the small size of your stomach fat can cover your caloric needs so efficient in small doses.
- However, the colostrum is protein-rich milk, low-fat milk in which the nutrients are easily assimilated by the newborn. It contains easily digestible oligosaccharides and polyunsaturated fatty acids of long chain and cholesterol, essential for the development of the central nervous system and brain tissue.
Whats in Every Drop of Breast Milk
The reason why the baby can only drink milk
The digestion of complex carbohydrates requires the production of certain digestive enzymes that the baby will not begin to produce until about 6 months of age, hence the smaller carbohydrates, such as lactose in milk are those that the baby needs to consume until then, since it digests them with the help of enzymes present in breast milk and their saliva.
The gastrointestinal tract of the newborn is only partially developed, hence it is susceptible to infections. Any bacteria or virus that reaches the baby’s mouth can reach your digestive system, which is poorly prepared to fight these infections.
The protective layer of the stomach and intestine, known as the intestinal mucosa, as well as the microbiota present in the intestinal villi and along the digestive tract, constitute the first line of defense against external infections in the baby since they will be the first in the fight the foreign body.
While the baby is not able to produce its antibodies, something that evolves as it grows, its protection depends almost exclusively on its microbiota and its mother. Bacteria present in the baby’s intestine can cope with infectious agents in several ways, such as by competition for the adhesion space or by the secretion of antimicrobial substances.
On the other hand, the newborn has received antibodies from his mother during pregnancy, and then receives them through breast milk. The production of antibodies is a process that is triggered by being in contact with a foreign body and, in general, if mother and child are together, they are exposed to the same infectious agents, so that the antibodies that the baby will receive will be the same. What do you need?
From birth to 6 months of age, there is a dizzying evolution of the baby’s digestive tract, increasing both its capacity for digestion and combating possible infections.
Colostrum, the first breast milk for the baby
The colostrum is the best food for the newborn baby. This type of breast milk begins to occur in the last weeks of pregnancy and will be the first food that the baby takes during its first two to five days of life since from that moment is when the breast begins to produce milk.
Video: What are the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby?
Despite the many myths that have arisen about this liquid and the refusal of some cultures to breastfeed the baby with colostrum, we can say that colostrum represents the best way to feed our child.
We tell you what colostrum is, and why your baby should take it.
What is colostrum from breast milk?
Colostrum is a yellowish fluid, more viscous and denser than breast milk. It constitutes the ideal food for the newborn during the first days of life for the following reasons:
- Colostrum is rich in immunologically active cells: antibodies and other protective proteins. As the food it constitutes the first immunization of newborn babies, it helps them to regulate their immune system protecting them against various infections.
- Contains growth factors, which help mature the small intestine, to function effectively. This makes it harder for microorganisms and allergens to develop in the body of newborn babies.
- It stimulates the baby’s intestinal movement so that the meconium is eliminated quickly. Thus, colostrum helps release the substances that produce jaundice, thus helping to reduce it.
- It has stimulating factors and hormones, which favor better levels of glycemia in the first days of life.
- It comes in small volumes, just what the newborn baby needs.
- It is rich in vitamin A, which helps protect vision and eyes and reduce infections.
Although it seems to us that the amount of colostrum we produce is small, we should not forget that the stomach capacity of the newborn is very small, and therefore it will demand food very often. Colostrum, besides, is very easy to digest.
You should not supplement the baby with formulas or water, even in the warmer months, just offer the breast more often to the baby to have all their needs covered.
First Day Breastfeeding Experience
Being a new mother means facing multiple new situations, many of them together, and in a very short space of time. This avalanche of news can overwhelm the mother, but it is not about becoming the super mom in 24 hours, you have to face the situations with encouragement and calm, perhaps we do not do well at the beginning, but little by little we will gain experience. One of these situations is breastfeeding that starts minutes after delivery.
What happens in the first moments of breastfeeding – The first moments of breastfeeding
During the first days, the breast still does not produce milk but a liquid called colostrum. Many mothers now introduce a bottle of support when they doubt that the baby has enough food, but it is important to know that colostrum is very rich in nutrients and is enough to feed the baby during the first moments.
Currently, in many maternity wards, the first thing they do after the birth of the baby is to check its condition, wrap it and put it on the mother’s breast so that breastfeeding starts as soon as possible. In my three births, still on the stretcher in the operating room, I put the babies to the breast to begin breastfeeding, and it has always been miraculous how nothing else to be born hooked without any problem and began to suck as if they had done all his life.
The first suction strange, it is a mixture of physical strangeness at the feeling that the baby is sucking, desire to protect him, love, doubts …
I remember that after the first shots, I began to feel pain, a pain that was increasing and I found it very unpleasant the early few days. My friends also remember him with terror: ‘why did not you tell me what the breastfeeding hurts, so much to tell me about your births, and you forgot to tell me this!’ Maria protested indignantly between threats to stop breastfeeding. I also know other cases of mothers who could not stand the pain that caused them the first days and left.
Today, there are a lot of breastfeeding support groups that help moms put the baby to the breast, which is the main guarantee of success and enjoyment of breastfeeding. Midwives and experts recommend:
- Frequently put the baby to the breast even if milk still does not come out, thus stimulating its production.
- Wake the baby if he is sleepy and not leave him more than two or three hours without putting him to the breast, even at night.
- Take care of the nipple from the first moments maintaining a good position of the baby to the chest to avoid cracks.
- At the end of the shot, spread a little milk on the nipple to avoid injury and redness.
- Breastfeeding on demand.
- Alternate each breast and always start with the one we have finished.
When and how to start breastfeeding?
The first time a first-time mom faces the task of breastfeeding her baby, a lot of doubt arises. In the classes of preparation to the childbirth they will have oriented you on how it has to be the initiation to the breastfeeding, but it is now when you have to face the calm and trusting moment and to generate that so special intimacy between the baby and the mother.
When to start breastfeeding – How to start breastfeeding
It is best to put the baby to the breast in the half hour after delivery. You should offer her the nipple and let her take it if she feels like it at that moment. You may be a bit sleepy, but the skin-to-skin contact will stimulate you and help the milk to rise.
During the first hours you should offer your breast if you cry, and in case you spend a long time sleeping, you will wake up to breastfeed and avoid dehydration. Nowadays it is recommended to breastfeed on demand, but during the first weeks of the baby, you have to try to make eight doses a day.
When you start breastfeeding you probably do not have a large milk production. The first milk that the baby will get is called colostrum, and it is a yellowish liquid. Its quantity is not abundant, but it is very rich in nutrients.
In most women who are breastfeeding, the rise in milk occurs between 48 and 72 hours after delivery, but during this time do not stop putting the baby to the breast constantly to continue taking colostrum and help with your suction to stimulate milk production. If you have had a cesarean section, the rise of the milk may take a little longer, but still lets you hold on to your chest.
Do not worry if your chest is too big or too small, the size of the breasts does not influence the amount of milk they produce.
How to start breastfeeding: the position of the baby
The baby will make a suction effect on the breast and use the tongue from front to back so that the milk can come out. For the start of breastfeeding to be effective and the baby to suckle well, it must be properly attached to the breast.
There are several possible positions: sitting, lying on the bed or with the baby placed to your side. You have to find the position that you like, but the most important thing is that you are both comfortable and calm. Being nervous, agitated or stressed will not help, and the baby will perceive this feeling by rejecting the chest.
The most recommended position is one in which the navel of the mother hits against the navel of the baby so that the baby will hold on to the breast from below. It will be easier if your head and body are in a straight line. You can brush your lip with your nipple to stimulate it to suck. The newborn has to introduce as much chest as possible in his mouth and should be more areola above his upper lip than below the lower lip. The baby’s mouth has to be wide open, and his cheeks have to be rounded while he sucks, never sunken to avoid hurting and cracking the nipple.
If you have had a cesarean section, you will be more comfortable if you breastfeed in the bed on your side.
How to establish a feeding routine in the newborn
One of the first steps we take in the education of our children is to teach them to eat . We feed them from birth, so the choice of our approach to this becomes one of the first decisions we make as parents. These are the basic rules to establish a healthy routine of feeding in the newborn.
Three basic rules of nutrition in the newborn baby
- Choose the best form of feeding, breastfeeding, mixed or artificial lactation. The breast milk is the best food for newborns because it contains the ideal proportion of micro and macronutrients for optimal infant development, taking into account the immaturity of their digestive and immune systems. However, sometimes, the family can opt for another type of diet, because, for whatever reasons, they have weighed the pros and cons of breastfeeding and it does not work for them. The artificial feeding it consists of feeding the baby with adapted milk (cow or vegetable, according to their needs) in a bottle, while mixed breastfeeding combines breastfeeding, either breastfeeding the baby or with milk extracted and offered in a bottle, with formula milk.
- Respect your rhythm – Babies can transmit their needs to their parents or caregivers, we learn it little by little, observing them from the beginning. In general, a newborn begins to move its head on both sides when it needs food, looking for the mother’s breast. Crying is a late sign of hunger, so if we wait for our baby to cry, we are ignoring the first signs, and it is probably harder to feed him or even not get enough food. Respecting their rhythm, we favor their autonomy
- Do not Force breastfeed. When a baby releases the breast is that it is over, if it does the same with the bottle, the same: it is manifesting its decision not to drink more milk. Insisting, putting the bottle back in his mouth so he can hurry what is left we are forcing him to eat when he is already satisfied. Respecting their desire not to eat more, we teach the baby to make decisions about his diet and to understand and respect the signs of the fullness of his own body. It is our first step in the prevention of overweight and obesity.
When we have respected the rhythm of our child during the breastfeeding period, we should not stop doing it when we introduce other foods.
It is true that this task is easier when the self-regulated diet is followed since the child makes his decisions, but if the child is fed with purees, we must observe when the child no longer wants to, and respect it. We must not forget that putting in their mouths another teaspoon is to feed them more than the child needs.
Breastfeeding tips for summer
The Breastfeeding is, without a doubt, the best food for newborns because it is the way nature has established for mammals feed their young until they are ready to eat other foods. However, many mothers have doubts about whether to offer the baby any other liquid, especially in the hot months. Follow these tips to breastfeed your baby in the summer. How to manage breastfeeding and heat.
Solutions to breastfeed the baby in summer- Breastfeeding in the hot months
The World Health Organization recommends that breastfeeding is maintained exclusively during the first six months of life and then, combined with other foods, continue until at least two years of age.
When we talk about breastfeeding exclusively means that nothing is offered to the baby other than breast milk, no water, no infusions, no orange juice when it is constipated: only breast milk. However, it is easy for this to become contradictory or difficult to argue when summer arrives and its high temperatures. Then what do we do?
Tips for Breastfeeding in Public
Do I have to change the way I breastfeed my baby when the heat arrives?
The answer is blunt: NO. Breastfeeding should remain exclusive with high temperatures. Following these easy tips, you will have no problem to quench your baby’s thirst:
Hydration: The mother must stay hydrated – drinking water, eating salads or taking fruits rich in water such as watermelon, melon, strawberries …), not because it will affect their milk production or the quality of it, but for their The dehydration of the mother does not influence breast milk until it is very evident-close to or even higher than 10%, at which point maternal health is seriously compromised-milk production remains stable.
Alert: The mother should be alert to the early signs of hunger/thirst of the baby, to prevent dehydration. If we wait too long, that is, if we do not offer the baby breast until it is crying, we are hearing late signs of hunger/thirst, and will easily reach an undesirable percentage of dehydration in a baby.
Respect: The demand of the baby must be respected 100%. While respecting their demand is desirable at all times, when the heat tightens it is even more so, since it is the breast milk that will cover your water needs and therefore the one that will prevent the dehydration of the baby.
Do not force – The milk demand of the baby become shorter and more frequent when it ‘s hot. Breast milk varies its composition during the intake, being more watery at first, to satisfy the baby’s being, and more fat at the end, to satisfy it. If the baby is able to regulate the duration and frequency of his shots, he is able to obtain both the water and the nutrients he needs to satisfy all his needs
Tricks to increase milk production in lactation
Once the baby is born, and lactation is established, milk production is achieved through the stimulation of the mother’s nipple by her son. This simple action sets in motion a cascade of hormones that make breastfeeding possible.
However, something that worries mothers too often is the feeling that we do not produce enough milk, something that is often totally subjective, it does not stop being a sensation (as it can happen in the so-called ‘growth crisis’).
At Helios7 we give you tricks to increase milk during breastfeeding.
Home remedies to increase breast milk production
Since the beginning of mankind, or almost, herbs have been used in different cultures whose properties, supposedly, were to increase the production of breast milk; It is what we know as galactagogues.
Most of these substances have not been scientifically evaluated, so they do not know their real effectiveness. In addition, many of the infusions used to increase the production of milk in the mother are contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, or because they pass into the milk (and consequently the baby, which may cause some harmful effect) or because far from getting the desired result, what they do is decrease milk production.
These remedies of the grandmother, are not all as safe as they seem, or its effect is not desired. Let’s analyze the most used:
– Fenugreek: it is a plant of the pea family, it is assumed that milk production begins 48 hours after starting to consume infusions made with leaves. It is rated as quite safe by e-lactancia.org (risk 1)
– Anise: in the form of dried seeds. Considered unsafe by the web e-lactancia.org (risk 2), it can produce the opposite effect and decrease milk production.
– Alfalfa: Considered unsafe by the web e-lactancia.org (risk 2)
– Fennel: The fruits of the herb are used. Considered unsafe and can decrease milk production.
– Cumin: It seems to be contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. Unknown risk level.
– Chasteberry: Mature fruits are used. ATTENTION risk 3, totally contraindicated during lactation. Decreases milk production
– Beer, brewer’s yeast and barley derivatives: There is no risk to breastfeeding and could increase milk production due to an existing polysaccharide.
On the other hand, we have medicines, and there are some that as a side effect leading to an increase in the production of prolactin, such as domperidone and metoclopramide. Others that are also used are sulpiride and chlorpromazine.
These drugs are much more effective than medicinal plants, and their effectiveness has been proven in numerous studies. Your prescription must be made by a doctor, always after the evaluation and correction of all possible treatable causes of insufficient milk. A medical follow-up is necessary, monitoring possible side effects
Before using a galactagogue, it is necessary to address the questions referred to the evaluation, correction of some modifiable factor such as the frequency and meticulousness of the emptying of the breast. The medication should never replace the evaluation and advice on the modifiable factors (Always consult the midwife for advice). As with other medications used by women who are breastfeeding, it is necessary to monitor both the mother and the baby closely.
Breastfeeding on demand
Breastfeeding is the normal, natural and healthiest way to feed babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) and numerous national and international scientific organizations (including the Spanish Association of Pediatrics) recommend and encourage exclusive breastfeeding the first six months of life and, continue with breastfeeding on demand, along with other foods, up to 2 years or more, depending on the child and the mother’s desire.
We tell you everything you need to know about breastfeeding on demand.
What is breastfeeding on demand
Until not long ago, the belief that the baby needs to take its mother’s breast 20 minutes from each breast (every three hours) to obtain the necessary food to cover its needs was widespread among mothers and professionals. Sadly still today, this recommendation continues to be heard from time to time.
These recommendations are made thinking that breastfeeding only covers the baby’s nutritional needs, but breast milk is much more than a morsel of food. This offers many advantages for the physical and mental health of the mother and child, as well as many scientific studies.
Breastfeeding has to be on demand. This means that the baby should be offered when the baby asks for it and for as long as he wants until he releases it spontaneously. That is, breastfeeding on demand is breastfeeding without schedules or duration times.
Benefits of breastfeeding on demand for mother and baby
Thanks to breastfeeding on demand, the production of milk is regulated according to the needs of the child, ensures the intake of milk at the beginning and end of the intake, whose composition is different, and a good emptying of the breast is achieved, avoiding excessive milk accumulation that can cause engorgement and mastitis (problems that often cause breastfeeding to fail). With the feeding on demand we get:
– An adequate weight gain of the baby (since when emptying the breast, it is able to reach the fattiest portion of the milk, which satisfies and helps it to gain weight )
– Proper regulation of milk produced by the mother and the need for her son (is the baby who marked according to your need at every moment. A quantity of milk produced by her mother, and at the peaks or growth spurts, which you need more calories and nutrients the baby will breastfeed more often)
Many children, in addition to food, seek comfort in their mother’s breast. A baby who cries and demands to be breastfed needs his mother. Delaying unnecessarily the time of the shot causes avoidable suffering for both the baby and his mother.
The importance of the baby burping
There will come a day when you have to teach your children that belching after a meal is not socially acceptable in many places in the world. But until that happens, you can forget about manners because babies need to burp, especially the smallest ones.
The reason that babies burp is simple, and it is their need to expel the air they have swallowed during the meal. Therefore, it is very important that the baby belches, as important as not obsessing about it. If the baby fails to burp, it may be because he has no air to expel.
Why is it important for the baby to burp?
Many mothers tell us about their concern because it is difficult for their baby to burp after taking them. Babies usually swallow air when eating, especially if you are giving them a bottle. If the baby is fed directly through the chest, it is more difficult to get air in, because his mouth fits perfectly to the breast of the mother.
The air also enters when the child cries. If before eating, the baby has had an episode of crying and if he eats with anxiety, it is very likely that air has entered him that he must expel belching after the meal. That way, you’ll rest and sleep peacefully. But what happens if the baby does not belch?
It is not good to obsess about the baby burping. If it does not come out naturally, you may simply have no air to expel. You will know if your baby should burp or not according to their behavior after the feeding. If the baby remains placidly asleep, it seems obvious that he does not necessarily have to burp. On the other hand, if after the meal the baby feels uncomfortable, annoyed and cannot relax, it is probably because he cannot expel the air inside him.
Tricks for the baby to burp
In the event that your baby becomes restless after taking, we have some tricks to make burping easier. The most recommended position is the vertical one. You will hardly get the baby to expel the air if he is sitting because if his stomach is bent, he will not get it.
Keeping your baby upright, with your back straight and your tummy resting on your chest while you give a gentle massage on the back, from bottom to top is the most effective way for the baby to burp. You can also put the baby on your knees, hold it well by the armpits and make small jumps. Surely this way you get the baby to expel all the air.
If you notice that he often has difficulty burping, try to put him upright longer. It is proven that in places where there is a habit of carrying the baby in an upright position, they burp themselves without any trick.
Best method to feed the baby with a bottle
We know that the best nutrition for a baby is breastfeeding. However, depending on the circumstances, it can not always be achieved. The bottle can also be a mom’s choice when it comes to feeding your baby. And within this diet, there are different techniques. Do you know the Kassing technique?
We explain what the Kassing method to feed the baby bottle is and why it is so beneficial for him and his parents.
The benefits of the Kassing method to feed the baby with a bottle
Bottling a baby can also create a bond of attachment between the mother and the father and their baby. With this objective, the Kassing technique was born to bottle feed the baby. It consists of creating in the newborn the same sensation that babies have when breastfeeding feeds them. That is to say: the baby feels that he is feeling as if he were really breastfeeding.
This method is named after the American doctor Dee Kassing, an expert in breastfeeding and a supporter and advocate of breastfeeding. The doctor, aware of the problem and the difficulties of many women to breastfeed their baby, created this method that guaranteed as much as possible, a very similar experience for the baby to that of breastfeeding.
In this way, the mother who begins to bottle feed her child during the first days following this technique, can start later with breastfeeding with much less difficulty , while in the other way, if you start to bottle feed the newborn , then the safest thing is that the baby does not manage to grab the breast and rejects breastfeeding. You can also use this method if you bet on mixed breastfeeding.
How to use the Kassing method to feed the baby with a bottle
If you bet by this method, you must take into account all these conditions and tips to get it to work:
- The bottle nipple should be completely round. It would not serve for example the oblique teat for which bet so many bottles. The round nipple looks more like mom’s nipple. It is also convenient that the teat is long.
- The bottle nipple should be slow flowing, with the base narrower and softer.
- The bottle should be straight, never curved. The idea is that for the baby it is something more demanding. Curved bottles make milk come out more easily. When suckling, the baby should try hard. This is what we are looking for with the bottle and with this Kassing technique.
- The baby should be upright, as seated as possible when bottle feeding. Avoid the position in which you are lying.
- The bottle should be horizontal when feeding the baby. He will have to work harder to reduce the effect of gravity, and it will be as if he had to suck the milk from his mother’s breast. In the same way, thanks to this position, the baby will be able to control the quantity and speed of the milk that it takes.
- Hold the baby’s neck with one forearm and use the other arm to hold the bottle.
Remember that thanks to this method, you can bottle feed your baby and return or start breastfeeding if for some reason you want to try again. You can also use the Kassing method if you wish to or should combine breastfeeding with a bottle.
What can happen if you do not feed your baby breast milk or formula
The breast milk is milk that nature has devised for mammals feed their hatchlings, becoming the only food, exclusively, can provide a human being with all the nutrients you need.
Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, during the first six months of life, the infant receives only milk from its mother – or in the absence of the corresponding formula milk. This formula milk is cow’s milk (or vegetable milk for cases of babies with allergies) adapted to get as close as possible to the composition of breast milk. This is what can happen if you do not feed your baby with breast milk.
Dangers of not feeding the baby with breast milk
The content in macro and micronutrients of breast milk is in the ideal proportion for the optimal development of the baby, taking into account that his digestive system and immune system have not yet reached maturity. These nutrients are practically absorbed by the whole infant’s organism, making its digestion easy and fast, so that infants generate very little waste.
The feeding of formula milk, despite being adapted in the best possible way, duplicates the difficulty of the digestion process, increasing the probability of colic. This complication is maximized if the baby is fed with non-adapted milk, which can severely damage the gastrointestinal tract.
Unfit cow’s milk, as well as soy, rice or oatmeal vegetable beverages, provide higher amounts of protein and protein profiles more difficult for the baby to assimilate. These amounts of protein – and minerals, in amounts about four times higher in cow’s milk than in breast milk – are well above what the baby’s kidneys are prepared to filter, so it ‘s easy to become saturated by working well above their means.
This damage to the renal system can be permanent, depending on the assiduity with which the baby is fed with these kinds of milk, and their age. On the contrary, these kinds of milk lack proteins of great importance, such as lactoferrin, involved in the improvement of iron absorption.
Additionally, the fats present in non-adapted milk are very different from the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids present in breast milk. These essential fatty acids, as well as the oligosaccharides that breast milk contains, are necessary for the development of the central nervous system and in particular of the brain so that severe brain damage can occur feeding the child with non-adapted milk.
Also, cholesterol, present in breast milk in amounts higher than cow’s milk and absent in plant milk, is vital to manufacturing the cell wall, bile salts, and many hormones, interfering with the growth of the infant if it is fed with non-adapted milk.
Fear of not having enough milk to breastfeed the baby
The lack of safety in one, fatigue, inexperience and ‘well-meaning’ advice from people closest to you are some of the qualitative reasons that convince a nursing mother that her milk is not enough to feed her baby.
The key: trust in yourself. When these fears are established at the head of a mom, and even more if gilt, it is tough to fight. Therefore, sometimes they are directly related to the premature and unnecessary abandonment of breastfeeding exclusively; or in the best case, mixed breastfeeding is chosen.
It is normal for many women to be afraid of not having enough milk to breastfeed their baby. We explain how to know if you have enough milk to feed the baby.
How to know if I have enough milk to feed the baby
Among the quantitative aspects is mainly the peso, which is the indicator par excellence that the small is growing. When assessing this increase, it is imperative to take into account the WHO Growth Charts, which show the statistics of infants exclusively breastfed.
Another myth to banish is the size of the chest. Larger breasts do not have more milk compared to smaller ones. That is, the size of the chest does not matter.
The Prolactin is the hormone that causes mammary gland produce milk. The more prolactin, the more milk. And the more suction, the more milk is produced, regardless of breast size. That is if a baby is very hungry and sucks a lot, a lot of prolactin is produced and, therefore, more milk.
But if he is not hungry or is not fed whenever he asks for it (the famous pattern every three hours instead of on demand), he will not breastfeed much and milk will be produced less. If this happens frequently, each time the mother will have less milk. So the only way to achieve higher production is to have more suction. When breastfeeding is established, milk production is regulated according to the needs of the baby; or children in the case of twins, and even triplets. Nature is wise.
Recommendations from mom to mom to get calmer:
- Try not to listen to the advice that many people give, whether or not they know about breastfeeding, and focus on those of people who have specific training. For example, health personnel trained in this area, lactation consultants or experienced mothers.
- It is highly recommended to go to the Breastfeeding Groups, in which many experiences are shared among women who are going through the same thing as you and who will understand you perfectly. There are many types of groups and approaches. If the people who form one do not convince you, look for another one in which you feel comfortable.
- Remember that breast milk is very digestive and the baby digests it in two hours, so it is usual to demand breast every two or three hours. And that also includes the night, of course.
- If you feel softer breast after breastfeeding do not be scared; it is because they have been drained considerably, although infants never empty 100%.
- Around three months, babies experience the so-called ‘Crisis of the three months,’ which is that being larger suck faster and also begin to be interested in the outside world. On the one hand, they take less time to suckle and, on the other, they are more distracted and playful, so many mothers think that they no longer have enough milk.
In short, if you suspect that the child is not getting enough fat, you can control – preferably without obsessions – the weight, the stools and your mood. But the most beneficial for the child and the mother will be not to take into account those “expert” tips on breastfeeding because it will have a positive effect both on her confidence in herself and on the healthy growth of her baby.
11 lies about breastfeeding that you should ignore
There are hundreds of myths related to human breastfeeding and breast milk. Each country or region has its own and, sometimes, these little lies make mothers doubt what they are doing.
From ‘The fault of not being able to breastfeed the baby is by the type of nipple’ to the classic ‘I do not produce enough milk, and it is of poor quality.’ Today we offer 11 lies about breastfeeding that you should ignore because they jeopardize the success of breastfeeding with your baby .
The 11 great lies of breastfeeding that jeopardize the success of breastfeeding with your baby
- Being able to breastfeed is a matter of luck: There are certain situations that we can not control, but in order to breastfeed the baby and to achieve the breastfeeding we want, we can prepare for it, and pregnancy is the best time. Do not leave anything to chance and get ready to feed your baby through breastfeeding.
- Babies have to learn to suckle: Babies prepare in the uterus to suckle. In fact, if you notice, once they are placed skin to skin with their mother, right after the birth, they know how to look for the nipple and start sucking. It is a natural instinct, and nobody needs to teach them. They are guided by smell and know how to suck to extract milk without problem.
- The nipple has to harden: The nipple is ready for breastfeeding. It is not necessary to harden the nipple by massages or creams during pregnancy, and when we are breastfeeding, if we have pain, we should ask for help as soon as possible.
- Colostrum is not enough to feed the baby: Colostrum is the baby’s first shot. It is served in small quantities since there are large volumes of protective substances in it, which will be responsible for “upholstering” the entire digestive tract of the baby and thus avoid infections. Do not be afraid to feed the baby during the first days with colostrum. Even if it seems to be a small amount, your baby will be taking enough food.
- If you cannot breastfeed for a long time, it’s better not to start: Breast milk is a gift for health. If you can breastfeed him one day, it’s a gift; if you can see a week, it’s a gift; If you can one month, it’s a gift. Each drop is a gift. Do not become obsessed or discouraged: it is best to offer the milk you can for as long as you can.
- There are low-fat milk sources: Many mothers think that their milk does not feed the baby and does not make your baby fat because it is very liquid and does not have enough fat. Fat is the most variable component of breast milk. If you observe a small amount of fat in your expressed milk you should not worry, your milk is perfect for your child.
- If you have a fever you cannot breastfeed: If you are sick or have mastitis, there is no risk of breastfeeding. The milk does not spoil or is bad. In fact, if you have mastitis, the best idea is to breastfeed frequently.
- You cannot smoke if you breastfeed: No one should smoke, tobacco is a harmful habit, and it is very important not to smoke during pregnancy. If you cannot quit smoking during breastfeeding, it is preferable to continue breastfeeding with precautions such as smoking outside the home, with different clothes and hair collected. But it does not mean that you cannot feed your baby through breastfeeding. CAUTION: Smoking is injurious to your health whether you are breastfeeding or not.
- The breast pump is used to measure the milk production: The breast pump can easily “pull” the milk that the baby has left in the breast, but there is no better pump than a baby. So what the breast pump gets has nothing to do with how much milk the baby can get.
- There are some pills to cut milk: They are usually prescribed some famous pills to “cut” the milk, but in reality, they are not effective once the breastfeeding is already underway. If we want to wean, it is best to stop stimulating the breast little by little.
- At the baby’s year, milk does not provide defenses: Breast milk does not lose defenses, nor does it stop feeding. Breast milk is the only food that adapts and modifies with the growth of the baby. No matter how old you are, the milk will continue to provide health for the baby.
How to perform the manual extraction of breast milk
Possibly you know or have recommended you breast pumps of different brands for moments in which you cannot directly give the breast to your baby, want to store milk … etc.
The technique of manual extraction is less known. It requires technique, learning, and practice but once learned is very useful, especially important in the first days after the birth of the baby.
Advantages of manual milk extraction
We tell you how you can extract the milk manually.
The extraction of milk manually (without using the breast pump), has its advantages. Here are some:
- To collect small amounts is much more effective since it is wasted much less than with the extraction with a breast pump. Since colostrum is produced in a few milliliters, and it is so beneficial, it is important that the use is maximized.
- Always available, you do not need any items except your hands and your ability.
- It is free and ecological and more physiological.
- Stimulates milk ejection reflex.
Tips to prepare to express breast milk manually
It is very favorable, before expressing breast milk, that a loved one or someone you trust, massaging your shoulders, your back … Creating a pleasant sensation, that helps you to release oxytocin-hormone that is secreted at birth, in breastfeeding during sexual intercourse … – and with it, increase the ejection reflex.
The extraction is more productive if both prior to extraction and cyclically during the same …
Therefore, we must consider before and during the technique:
- We perform a massage of the chest, making circular movements towards the ribs with the fingers, without moving on the skin. The message will be performed rotating in a spiral, taking the nipple as a point of reference.
- Stroke the breast to the nipple (the feeling is like a caress) from the chest to the nipple, across the chest or lean forward and gently shake the breasts.
Marmet technique to manually express breast milk
- Place the thumb and index and middle fingers, behind the nipple about 2-3 cm- the position varies from one woman to another-, surrounding it with a position similar to that of a ‘c,’ placing the thumb on the top of that ‘c’ and the other two fingers, on the bottom.
- Bring your hand to the ribs while maintaining the position of the hand.
- Make a movement in the form of a wave – which tries to mimic the movement of the baby’s tongue when it sucks on a breast – from the outermost part, towards the nipple, with your thumb. Accompany this wave movement, simultaneous pressure accompanying, with the fingers of the lower area.
- Repeat rhythmically to empty the chest.
Thus our cycle in the realization will be:
Massage / caress / shake- Extract milk- Massage / caress / shake- Extract milk
When the mother does not produce milk and the formula milk is not accessible
This question has come to us from several women, concerned that they do not produce enough milk to breastfeed their baby and also do not have access to formula, what can they do then?
The first thing we need to know is that in conditions of maternal health, the more a baby sucks more milk we will produce. The percentage of women who cannot produce milk is really very low, and the problem is usually more a lack of information than a real pathology.
What to do if the mother does not produce milk and there is no artificial milk
When the situation in which one lives prevents access to artificial milk or formula, it is important to influence breastfeeding, in this way, the breast will produce enough milk for the baby. For breastfeeding to be adequate and the breast to produce the amount of milk needed for the baby there are some important premises:
- The baby under six months should take the only breast. This means that you do not get water, nor infusions, nor wet your pacifier in anything. The baby’s stomach is very small, if we fill it with water or other food the baby will necessarily have to skip breast milk (your stomach will be full), so the woman’s body “will understand” that the baby needs less milk and start producing less quantity.
- The breastfeed is always given on demand. On demand, it always means that the baby shows signs of wanting to suck. It does not matter if you ate 2 hours ago or 10 minutes ago if the baby wants to suckle, either because he is hungry, or because he calms down at the breast while naturally stimulating the nipple and thus milk production will rise.
- To increase the amount of milk it is more efficient to make many short takes than a few long ones. That is why many babies catch the nipple and release it after 5 minutes, asking it again 20 minutes later. They are making it perfect to increase production! They are not playing, nor are they using a pacifier, they are ensuring their survival.
- At night it is when more milk production is achieved. It is not unusual for babies to sleep a lot for the day but they also need to suckle a lot at night, now do you understand why?
If your baby still does not gain weight as normal for your age, you can go to a professional breastfeeding specialist to help you solve the problem.
You should know that babies up to 6 months can only eat breast milk or formula milk. None of the other kinds of milk (neither animals nor vegetables) nor food are suitable for a baby. They would not feed him and could also cause serious health problems.
In case you really cannot breastfeed your baby and you do not have access to formula milk adapted, it will be appropriate for another woman to donate your milk or breastfeed your baby if necessary.
Foods that change the taste of breast milk
The maternal diet after birth strongly influences the milk produced by the breast, not in quantity or quality, but in the flavors, odors, and quantities of some of the nutrients, it contains.
We explain what foods change the taste of breast milk.
Foods that change the taste of breast milk
It has been shown that the particles responsible for flavoring food are able to cross the placental barrier, so that, within the uterus, where the fetus swallows amniotic fluid in a regular manner, is already in contact with the most familiar flavors of the diet of his mother. However, although inside the womb the baby cannot do anything about it, if he can do it when he is taking breast milk, rejecting it if the taste in question displeases him.
Although this is possible, it is more often the case that babies fed with breastfeeding are more attracted to try and accept new foods afterward, since they are accustomed to the common changes in the taste of breast milk. The formula milk, obviously, is always the same, with the same taste and smell, unless you change brands.
Foods that alter the taste of breast milk
Actually, it could be said that all flavors pass into breast milk, but the baby is already used to them and knows them from his intrauterine stay. However, unknown flavors or some known but stronger or more intense may surprise you, for good as well as for bad.
- Garlic: The fact that the flavors of food pass into breast milk is something that has always intrigued researchers, and there are several studies on this. For example, in one of them, performed more than 20 years ago, garlic pills were used to observe its effect in infants compared to a control group administered pills without garlic (placebo). Interestingly, when the intensity of garlic was higher in milk, babies were more attracted to breastfeeding. This double-blind study, where neither the mothers nor the researchers knew who received the garlic pill and who received the placebo, was able to demonstrate the presence of both odor and garlic essence in the composition of the breast milk of the group of mothers who took the garlic pills.
- Asparagus, onions, artichokes and Brussels sprouts: Other foods potentially involved in the intense change of flavor in milk are asparagus, green and white, onions, artichokes, or Brussels sprouts. The taste and odor of these foods are detectable in the milk during a variable period of time, generally, according to the intensity of the milk and the amount of food ingested, so, whatever the effect in the infant, it disappears after a few hours, returning to normal.
The consumption of some of these foods is also related to the appearance of flatulence. This is also not a reason to avoid its consumption during lactation, since, although the mother may suffer a terrible afternoon of gas after eating a dish of gratin cauliflower, for example, the gases that this produces do not cross the intestinal barrier, they pass to the blood, and therefore, they do not leave for the mother’s milk either, so the baby is completely safe.
In this way, although it is not necessary to avoid any food beforehand because they change the taste of the milk or because it produces gases, it may be the case that the baby rejects the breast at some time due to the change of taste of the breast milk, what is the mother’s decision to avoid or not the food in question.
How to preserve breast milk
The conservation of breast milk is a more common practice than a priori can be thought and more and more mothers who choose this formula.
There are several options when it comes to preserving breast milk, at room temperature, in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Below we explain what each of them consists of.
We explain how to preserve breast milk.
What is the correct formula for storing breast milk
Breast milk can be stored once it is extracted from the mother’s breast, either manually or with a breast pump. The most important thing when storing it is that the container where it is going to keep this l impious and sterilized to avoid possible contamination of the milk. In addition, a label or sticker must be affixed with the date in which the milk has been extracted.
How and where to conserve breast milk
If the option is chosen is preservation at room temperature, keep in mind that the temperature must never exceed 25 degrees Celsius, and at most, it can be extended up to 8 hours.
In the case of storing breast milk in the refrigerator, breast milk can be stored for a maximum of 3 days, provided that the refrigerator does not exceed the temperature of 4 degrees Celsius.
Finally, if you choose to keep breast milk in the freezer, you have to take the temperature into account. If the freezer is at -18 degrees Celsius, it can be kept up to a maximum of 4 months, while if the temperature reaches -20 degrees Celsius, its conservation can be extended up to 12 months. Once defrosted, it should be used within 24 hours after thawing and if there is milk left over from the outset, it can not be frozen again.
How much can breast milk be stored?
In the beginning, you can keep all the quantity that is required, but it is advisable to keep it in portions that later may be optimal. It is best to know the amount of milk that the baby usually drinks and keep it in that proportion, thus avoiding milk waste and easier handling for the milk.
The risky business of breast milk on the internet
Would you be willing to sell breast milk online? And to buy it? How can we know the origin of that milk? And the conditions in which it reaches our hands? The business of buying and selling breast milk online thrives, but few respond to the warning voices: beware, it is not a risk-free business.
Breast milk should be stored in refrigeration. Otherwise, it can transmit diseases caused by bacteria. To donate milk, hospitals require certain requirements from women: no smoking, no drinking, no drugs … who controls these requirements online?
The danger of the business of breast milk on the internet.
The risks of buying breast milk online
Different studies, conducted by hospitals in the United Kingdom and the United States, have shown that 90% of breast milk sold online is contaminated with some type of bacteria, and 10% is adulterated with cow’s milk. Even in some cases, salmonella was found. However, the business grows, and more and more milk from breastfeeding mothers is sold online. The best-known breastmilk sale page in the US is called Onlythebreast.com. It is a community portal for mothers who sell, buy or donate breast milk. The prices range between the dollar and two and a half dollars (30 ml).
The Maternal Milk Banks warn about these practices among individuals. The best option, they say, is to go to a hospital, where they can find a donation bank for breast milk. There, if all the necessary hygiene and milk conservation requirements are guaranteed.
Why you should not buy breast milk online
You already know that you cannot trust everything you see and hear on the Internet. Often, many people lie or prefer to hide their true identity under another name. These are the main reasons why you should not buy breast milk online:
- There are vendors that hide information. Many people lie on the Internet, change the date of the product.
- Does not offer sanitary guarantees. There is no one who has supervised the product and can assure you that it meets the necessary requirements.
- No one can guarantee that it has been preserved properly. Mother’s milk needs refrigeration. Nobody can guarantee you (more than the word of the private seller) that has been preserved at all times in an appropriate manner.
- How will breast milk reach the recipient? Can anyone guarantee its conservation during transportation? These are questions you should ask the seller.
Who buy and sell breast milk in the network
Breast milk has many benefits. Provides essential nutrients, proteins, antibodies (immune factors) … Who can want to consume this milk? From bodybuilders who use breast milk as a dietary supplement to people with atopic dermatitis problems. Also, cancer patients who use this milk to try to strengthen their immune system and alleviate the effects of chemotherapy.
The milk comes from nursing mothers, who in most cases, have a ‘super production’ and decide to donate or sell that surplus of breast milk.
A free business, an unregulated business, which implies dangers, risks, for the health of who buys the milk. Risks that all the people who decide to buy it, disregard.
How to know if my baby needs water
With the arrival of the baby, there are many new situations that we face, some of them are situations that do not recur frequently, such as diseases, although they seem more frequent than desired, but others, such as their diet, are repeated daily so many times that we quickly become experts. However, suddenly temperatures rise and everything changes, is it normal to demand food more often? Does my baby need water?
Does my baby need water?
With the arrival of high temperatures, babies need more water. However, even if it seems to contradict this, breastfeeding babies do not need us to offer them water if they are exclusively breastfeeding, let’s see the reasons.
Breast milk is a live food that evolves with the baby, with its age, throughout each day and even within the same intake. At the beginning of the intake, the milk has a more watery appearance and is usually richer in water and lactose, to quench the thirst of the baby, while the milk at the end of the intake is characterized by being denser and having more of fat to satiate your appetite.
Hence the importance of breastfeeding on demand, because it is the only way to ensure that the infant gets all the nutrients, including fat, that you will only get if you leave enough time in the breast.
Offering water to our baby we are occupying part of your small stomach with a food that provides nothing but hydration, and we jeopardize the ability of our baby to get all the nutrients it needs for proper growth and development.
Often infants fed breast milk take shorter and more frequent shots on the hottest days, to ensure that your body gets all the water it needs to maintain its proper hydration. This does not mean that the baby goes hungry or that he needs bottles or introduce complementary feeding early.
The formula milk has a constant supply of nutrients, and in the case of infants fed formula milk exclusively, will be the bottle that ensures their water supply , so you need to make less milk more frequently for quench your thirst We should never alter the composition of artificial milk and should always respect the amount of water and dust recommended by the manufacturer.
It is true that all babies, especially if they are newborns, have difficulty controlling their body temperature, so as far as possible we must ensure that they are in the coolest possible environment these days, but we should only offer them water from 6 months, whether they are fed with breastfeeding or with artificial lactation.
Solutions to maintain breastfeeding when returning to work
Maintaining breastfeeding when returning to work is a complicated challenge in most cases. It is not a simple process and requires some planning, but it is definitely worth it.
The World Health Organization recommences exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life and, thereafter, continue breastfeeding, along with the gradual introduction of other foods, until two years of age. But to achieve this, we must look for solutions to maintain breastfeeding when returning to work. Here you have some
Some solutions to maintain breastfeeding when returning to work
The vast majority of women workers, however, find it practically impossible to prolong breastfeeding until two years. To achieve this, it is essential to start preserving breast milk in the freezer a couple of weeks before returning to work. This small store will serve us so that the person in the care of our baby can give him the bottle with our milk during the long days of work.
Once we start the work routine, we can get used to extract milk in the morning, the ideal time to do it, since we have enough – after all the night – and all the workday ahead to be able to generate more. The milk – in a closed container – is stored well in the refrigerator for two days. It is best to use the milk from the previous day and keep a frozen reserve in case one day it is not possible to remove it.
Breast milk can be frozen in closed jars or freezer bags and remains unchanged for three to four months, which gives us great peace of mind for emergencies. Get used to labeling the milk with the date of extraction to avoid that it stays longer than the desired time in the freezer.
On the other hand, the ideal is that the shots of your baby are organized in a way that sucks to coincide with your reunion after work. In this way, in addition to being able to maintain breastfeeding while we work, we can ensure that the baby can continue to breastfeed on demand during weekends, holidays, etc.
During the first days of work, milk rises may occur. Given this situation, depending on working conditions, we can choose to express the milk with a breast pump and even store it in an isothermal bag to take with us home or, on the contrary, stop the rise by crossing the arms and pressing them against the breasts notice the rise. In this way, the body will progressively decrease the generation of milk.
My baby sleeps to the chest, have you eaten enough?
Does your baby fall asleep while breastfeeding? Are you worried that you are not eating enough to fall asleep? The truth is that in most babies falling asleep during the shot is completely normal, and there is nothing to worry about.
Babies are physiologically prepared to fall asleep to the breast. We know this due to the composition of breast milk and the hormonal response of babies when breastfeeding: it produces a great relaxation and induces them to sleep.
What to do if my baby falls asleep while breastfeeding?
Although it should not be worrying that the baby falls asleep to the breast, it is true that there are certain circumstances to which we must pay more attention:
- In newborns, especially during the first days of life, the ideal is a skin-to-skin contact with the mother, so that the baby can be breastfed without almost waking up. It is important to be alert to signs of hunger and crying is a belated signal, because before crying the baby usually tells us that he wants to breastfeed by moving his head to the sides, sticking out his tongue, or looking for the nipple almost without opening the eyes If you are not going to be close to your baby to be able to observe these early signs, it should be every 3-4 hours if you put him near you so he can smell you, smell your breast and nurse if you need it without waking up and crying.
- There are no “lazy” babies who do not suck, the survival instinct is prime in any baby, and yes or yes they will try to suck and feed. What do exist are babies that do not suck adequately, either because of a physical problem or because of a posture problem. In these cases, it costs them a lot more work than they should be able to extract the milk they need, and it is true that they can exhaust themselves and fall asleep without having enough milk. If so, in addition to observing that the baby falls asleep in all the shots we will also see other problems: pain in the nipples, obstructions or mastitis, low weight in the baby.
Most babies also close their eyes and stop sucking for a few minutes, which does not mean that they have finished breastfeeding. You can leave the baby hooked in your chest even if it seems to be asleep, there is nothing wrong with that, and you will probably notice that it sucks again from time to time.
Each baby is unique, and the general guidelines do not work for everyone. Follow your instinct.
The use of antibiotics during breastfeeding
Often mothers who breastfeed and who for some reason have to take an antibiotic wonder: Can I still give my baby breast milk if I am taking antibiotics? The answer will almost certainly be yes.
It is not uncommon for breastfeeding to be discontinued on more than one occasion as a result of an antibiotic received by the mother; most of the time this indication is done incorrectly since there are only a few antibiotics that warrant suspension of breastfeeding. We explain what you should know about the use of antibiotics during breastfeeding.
Everything you need to know about the use of antibiotics during breastfeeding
- Can I take antibiotics and continue breastfeeding the baby? Sometimes the decision to abandon breastfeeding before the consumption of some medications is made by the mother, but in many cases, it is the doctors who make this indication wrongly.Speaking of antibiotics, even those that are contraindicated in children (for example tetracyclines) do not contraindicate breastfeeding when the mother consumes them. It is true that these will pass through breast milk, but the amount that is excreted in the milk is minimal and some medications, when mixed with the calcium in the milk, makes the antibiotic cannot be absorbed by the baby’s intestine, so Breastfeeding is still compatible.
- What risks and what are the benefits of using antibiotics during breastfeeding? All medication can have adverse effects; there is no antibiotic that lacks them (without necessarily having to be presented). The risk implied by the presence of these antibiotics in breast milk will never exceed the benefits of breastfeeding.Most of the antibiotics that are used in adults are the same ones that we use in children, even in newborns (when they deserve it), therefore if we can administer them directly in children, there would be no reason to suspend the milk maternal, where the amount that is excreted is minimal compared to the dose that would be received if administered directly.
- What degree of risk should we assess?To assess the compatibility of medications with breastfeeding can be classified into:
- Very low risk Compatible
- Probable low risk. Pretty sure
- High probable risk. Little sure
- Very high risk. ContraindicatedMost commonly used antibiotics have very low risk or low risk, so it is safe to continue breastfeeding. Antibiotics that have a high probable risk (for example, chloramphenicol) are counted, in which case although they do not contraindicate breastfeeding, it is preferable to look for a safer option. Virtually no antibiotics fall into the category of very high risk (contraindicated).Is there a risk in self-medication? Currently, there are a variety of antibiotics, and you can always find the best option to continue breastfeeding, self-medication is never advisable. The medication must always be supervised by a health professional, who must verify the compatibility of breastfeeding or, if appropriate, propose the most appropriate alternative.
Benefits of BreastFeeding:
Prolonging breastfeeding prevents asthma in children.
The breast milk protects infants against lung diseases, favoring the correct development of the respiratory system. This is one of the conclusions reached in a study by the University of Manitoba (Canada).
In this study, it has been shown that babies fed exclusively with breast milk have up to 33% fewer cases of wheezing or wheezing during the first year of life.
We explain why prolonging breastfeeding prevents asthma.
The reason why breastfeeding prevents asthma in babies
It is surprising to know that in the case of children with asthmatic mothers, the prevention of breast milk is even more effective: wheezing is reduced by up to 62% in babies who have been exclusively fed with human milk during the first six months, wheezing is an important risk factor in the development of incurable respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months increases protection
Wheezing is one of the main causes of hospitalization during childhood. These are episodes in which babies have difficulty breathing for at least 15 minutes, producing a whistle in their chest at each inspiration. According to the conclusions of the study, which involved children between 0 and five years, between 20% and 50% of newborns experience at least one episode of gasping until one year.
Babies whose mothers have asthma benefit most from the exclusive breastfeeding properties of preventing respiratory diseases, especially the genetic component of this disease.
In contrast, the study data reveal that babies who leave breastfeeding previously or combine it with another type of diet, such as formula milk, experience twice as many episodes of wheezing and greater breathing difficulties. Up to the first year, maintaining breastfeeding as solid foods are introduced into the diet of small children continues to favor the development of their lungs.
These scientific evidences demonstrate the importance of raising awareness about the role of breast milk as a prevention tool against chronic and incurable respiratory diseases such as asthma that, according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), affects about 2.5 millions of children and adults in Spain. Breast milk reduces the risk of respiratory infections, promotes the proper development of the lungs and promotes the maturation of the immune system.
Therefore, the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) to maintain exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months, although in the case of babies whose mothers have asthma, the benefit provided by exclusive breastfeeding I would advise prolonging breastfeeding as much as possible.
Advice on feeding the nursing mother
Are there prohibited foods during breastfeeding? Should the nursing mother take special care? Maybe some food that improves milk production?
We know that mothers have many doubts about their nutrition during breastfeeding. We give you the best advice on feeding the nursing mother. Here you will find an answer to all your doubts.
Some myths about feeding the nursing mother
We could say that mothers can eat everything since it is not necessary to have a special diet. Yes, it should be similar to the diet that is followed during pregnancy, which as you know, is simply based on taking care that it is balanced. Nothing to eat ‘for two.’ You must banish that myth.
There are also many other myths about the feeding of the nursing mother. For example, these:
- You should not eat cabbage or asparagus because it can make your baby reject milk.
- Drink more water, and you will produce more milk. This is not like this. Not drinking more water will produce more milk.
It is true that some foods change the taste of breast milk. If you eat asparagus, the milk your baby drinks will taste like asparagus. But it is also true that milk always has a different flavor, depending on what your mother has eaten. In this way, when complementary feeding begins, the baby will already know these flavors and will eat everything without problems from the beginning.
The five best tips on feeding the nursing mother
The advice on feeding the nursing mother has to do with common sense:
- Make sure your diet is balanced and do not abuse high-fat foods
- Take care of your hydration, but it’s not about drinking more if you do not need it. The body will ask for water as needed. Learn to listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty.
- Do not remove foods with strong flavors for fear that your baby rejects milk. Try to offer these new flavors and thus help in the future to your child accept the flavors of complementary food without any problems. They will not be new flavors for him anymore.
- In addition to water, you can drink natural juices. Vitamins are good for you and your baby.
- No nutritional supplement is necessary unless you have a deficiency (as in the case of anemia) and your doctor recommends a specific supplement. You do not need more calcium or more vitamins if you do not have deficiencies.
When breastfeeding hurts the baby
Establishing a correct breastfeeding avoids many problems and pains. Sometimes, when breastfeeding hurts, the nursing mom and her baby may feel frustrated. And it is that there are some pains in the nipple that are very disconcerting, since they can be accompanied or not by cracks, with erythema (red) and edema (inflamed) or with nipples that, at first glance, are healthy. In addition, they do not improve with an optimal position of the baby’s mouth with respect to the breast.
We explain why sometimes breastfeeding causes pain and what to do when breastfeeding hurts.
Why sometimes breastfeeding the baby hurts
Usually coincides with the ejection reflex (exit of breast milk), and we can notice how our baby does not breast to taste, is more irritable and sucks with some uneasiness. Even the baby can get to reject the most affected breast, since many infections alter the taste of the milk, making it more salty.
This can frustrate mothers, and many professionals can give contradictory advice. It is important to make a good anamnesis: description of the pain, factors that make it worse or better, if you have taken some oral or topical treatment for other problems, or to try to alleviate the pain.
In the milk of the woman there are multiple bacteria in harmony, however, in certain situations, one of them can multiply excessively, altering the existing flora. If this happens, it is an infection.
The manifestations of the infection in the maternal breast are diverse: one, it is like a burning sensation, intense pain, and stitches when breastfeeding (it seems as if we stick nails into the chest), and the other, can generate a sharp picture, with very high fever and a red, hot and painful area in one of the quadrants of the chest. Both situations are different manifestations of mastitis, but the first is the one that creates the most confusion.
Until now, a diagnosis of candida (fungi) was usually made, when the mother went to the consultation of the midwife or gynecologist and topical antifungals were prescribed to the mother and baby, and in cases resistant to oral antifungal to the mother. However, recent studies have shown that this empirical treatment is not correct since the mother’s milk is not a good medium for the growth of this fungus; and in very few cases we will isolate it.
A milk culture is necessary to determine which is the best treatment. This way of acting is not widespread in Spain, although in some communities, such as Catalonia and Asturias, work is being done to implement an adequate protocol from public health.
Tips to relieve pain in breastfeeding
- Use aerating discs. If an antibiotic ointment is used, try to keep it on the skin of the nipple longer. This will also prevent rubbing and tearing of crusts when removing the absorbent discs. There are also hydrogen protective discs for damaged nipples that can be useful in these cases.
- Technique of breast compression. In this way, we get the baby to drink more milk in less time.
- Delayed (temporary) breastfeeding. If the pain is so important that you can not consent to the suction of the child, preferably with a method other than the bottle to prevent grip difficulties due to a teat-nipple confusion syndrome.
- A teat shield of adequate size can help some mothers with a flat or short nipple whose children have ankyloglossia or retrognathia, because the nipple and rubbing are lengthened at point S (where the hard palate meets the soft palate), thus favoring a more effective suction.
- If there is infection avoid applying the milk itself to cure the teats because in the presence of infection can be counterproductive. Wash your hands very well before and after breastfeeding. Change the soaking discs often. T omar fermented foods such as sauerkraut (German sauerkraut), cured cheeses (parmesan andlike), kefir and pickles (gherkins, pickles, etc.). The vitamin C can help strengthen the defenses of tissues and mucous membranes.
Once the result is obtained, the doctor will indicate the appropriate treatment and the time and manner of application. The mastittis is usually treated with antibiotics, and it is not necessary to abandon breastfeeding in any case. The administration to the mother of probiotics such as lactobacilli in the case of mild and moderate infections works (albeit more slowly), taken three times a day. The effects are noticed after one or two weeks of administration.
It is also possible to treat these conditions with grapefruit seed extract in capsules, for sale in pharmacies and herbalists. But this treatment has certain limitations: there is no published scientific evidence on its effectiveness, it only seems to work in mild or moderate infections and in the long term, when it has been more than two weeks of treatment.
Until when should the baby be breastfed?
Many mothers ask themselves this question when starting with breastfeeding: How long should the baby be breastfed? What is the minimum that guarantees that all the needs of the baby will be covered? And how old can breastfeeding provide a positive and enriching diet?
The official recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) speak of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of the baby’s life, and breastfeeding accompanied by complementary feeding from 6 to 24 months of life of our child. But there are many other opinions about it. Here you have the position of the Alba Padró Breastfeeding Expert. Answer our question How long should I breastfeed the baby?
We answer your question: How long should I breastfeed the baby?
At the level of health, the recommendations are very clear: the best thing for the baby is to maintain exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life and continue with it as complementary feeding until our baby’s two years of age. However, the reality of each mother is different, and this WHO recommendation that seems so idyllic is complicated to carry out for many mothers. The issue of work-life balance is not easy for a mother, and many women are forced to give up breastfeeding when they return to work.
However, many times this abandonment of breastfeeding when the mother returns to work is mainly due to ignorance about the possibilities that exist to continue breastfeeding partially. You can work and breastfeed your baby, but you have to inform mothers well how they can do it.
Tips to get back to work and continue breastfeeding the baby
Indeed, returning to work after having a baby, implies for many mothers the abandonment of breastfeeding. However, there is the possibility of continuing to breastfeed the baby and reconcile with the return to the working world.
You can choose partial breastfeeding. How?
- Partial night breastfeeding: even if you have a job that you have to leave all day of your home, you can always choose to keep breastfeeding in a shot at night.
- Alternative breastfeeding with bottle feeding: Another option for the baby to continue feeding on your milk is to extract milk, keep it properly and ask someone else to offer it through a bottle. To accustom the baby to this new situation, it is recommended that about 15 days before returning to work, begin to substitute some of the shots for a bottle with your own milk. In this way, your child will get used to the bottle nipple.
Remember that everything you can breastfeed your child will be a gift for him. It is important, however, that you value your personal and family situation and consider how long you want to breast-feed your child. If you are well and happy, no matter how many pressures you receive from abroad, there is no reason to stop breastfeeding. Although it can always be the baby, who decides that he no longer wants to continue breastfeeding, although it is very rare for a baby to want to wean in the first year of life.
Common Misconceptions about breastfeeding
There are many myths about breastfeeding: about feeding the mother, about milk production … If you have any doubts about breastfeeding, it is best to look for reliable information, because there are many mistaken beliefs about breastfeeding. They can even endanger the success of this one.
Here you will find the five most mistaken beliefs about breastfeeding, the most deeply rooted and against which we have to keep fighting. We solve here some of your doubts about breastfeeding.
The five most popular misconceptions about breastfeeding
There are many myths about breastfeeding. In fact, each country has its own. Here you will find the main misconceptions about breastfeeding most common at a general level:
- Breastfeeding hurts. This is perhaps the most widespread error. Breastfeeding does not have to hurt. If it causes pain, it is that it is not being done correctly. It can be uncomfortable at first until the baby and the mother adjust, but from there, breastfeeding the baby should not be painful for the mother. Remember that pain is a sign of the body that warns us that something is not being done correctly and that it always has a solution.
- My milk does not have enough quality. All the maternal milk are of quality. Breast milk is the only food that modifies its composition as the baby grows. It is a food that adapts to the needs of the baby. And this is true of all women. It is true that some women produce more milk than others, but never that some mothers have milk of more quality than others.
- The milk can be cut. Breast milk is not cut. This is a very old myth but still continues to be heard today.
- Babies have to wait 3 hours to eat. Breastfeeding is on demand. Babies should feed whenever they want. There is no need to wait for a certain time for the chest to fill up. The chest is constantly producing milk. If the baby needs to feed every two hours, do not be afraid to breastfeed. Your breast will again produce more milk.
- If the baby is less than half an hour to the breast, it does not feed well. We should not mark a specific time for the baby. Some babies suck more quickly, and others need more time because they feed less anxiously and more quietly. The baby will decide when to stop when he does not need more milk. Do not fear that the baby will be removed from the chest within 15 minutes of starting. He is, better than anyone, who knows when he was satisfied. Do not force him to continue sucking if he has already retired.
Breastfeeding and tattoos: is there any risk to the baby?
Can I get a tattoo if I am breastfeeding?
It is a recurring question among moms who are breastfeeding and also like to wear the tattooed body.
Currently, few pediatric associations have expressed about the compatibility of tattoos during breastfeeding. Since today tattoos are so widespread, in Helios7.com, we respond to this common question in many moms.
Are Tattoos and Breastfeeding Compatible?
Things you have to know
- Taking the necessary hygiene precautions to avoid the spread of an infectious disease the answer is YES; you can get a tattoo even if you are breastfeeding your child.
- The tattoo ink stays on the skin, does not pass into the blood, so in no case will it pass into the milk either. Your baby is safe.
- What you should avoid is to tattoo your nipple or areola, because in that case, the baby could ingest any of the toxic products that are used in tattoos.
- Of course, you should look for a place that meets the hygienic and sanitary requirements that ensure the necessary sterility of the instruments used, in order to avoid contagion of diseases.
- The anesthetic spray based on lidocaine that is used for some tattoos is also compatible with breastfeeding.
- Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen that can be taken to mitigate subsequent pain are also compatible with breastfeeding.
- You should know that some milk banks do not accept donations if you have recently had a tattoo. You have to wait between 4 and 12 months after the preparation of the same to be able to donate breast milk.
- You must be careful, however, if what you want is to remove a tattoo. And is that the laser that is used disperses the pigments of the tattoo, which pass to the blood and could reach milk.
Concluding: take the necessary measures to avoid catching diseases or infections, just as you would if you were not breastfeeding. Otherwise, you can rest easy and get the tattoo whenever you want.
When to start breastfeeding on demand with the baby
We have heard a lot about the advantages of breastfeeding on demand. However, many moms have some doubts about it. Even many pediatricians and midwives continue to advise that during the first few days the baby is accustomed to a series of specific shots. So, when do you start breastfeeding on demand?
The expert and advisor on Breastfeeding explains when to start breastfeeding on demand with our baby and what exactly it consists of.
But, when do we start breastfeeding with our baby?
Surely you’ve heard about the benefits of breastfeeding on demand. In the end, it is the baby and her mother who decide how many shots and at what time of the day. But nevertheless, breastfeeding on demand is not recommended from the start.
Actually, breastfeeding on demand means that the baby can eat and feed when he needs it, both day and night. There will be babies who need more shots and others who need less. However, it is not advisable to start from the first moment with breastfeeding on demand. During the first 15 days or until the baby does not recover its birth weight, it is best to respect a series of daily doses. The mother must offer food to the baby even if he does not ask for it.
We explain why:
- At first, the baby may be very asleep and not be able to wake up even though he feels he needs to feed.
- The baby may have lost a lot of weight in the first hours after birth.
- The ideal is that the newborn does between 8 and 12 days in the 24 hours. Some babies are not able to ask for that number of shots themselves in the first days of birth.
- Sleeping does not feed. In this case, if a newborn is sleeping all day, he will have a lack of food if he does not have a breast. In the case of more sleepy babies, it is convenient to wake them up so they can eat during the first days after birth.
- In the case of premature babies, with some disease or babies who do not manage to gain weight, keep breastfeeding on offer for longer, at least the first weeks, and if they are not able to breast, use milk extraction from the mother.
- If the baby spends the first days sleeping and does not get used to breastfeeding, it can jeopardize the success of breastfeeding.
The way to organize the shots to offer depends on the activity of the baby: some newborns prefer to make more shots during the day and others, however, are more active at night.
Once the baby regains his birth weight, he will be able to order the food he needs on demand for himself. It is time to start breastfeeding on demand. But not only at the request of the baby, but also at the request of the nursing mother. In some cases, the mother has a surplus of milk that could cause breast problems. In this case, it can also be she who offers the breast to the baby to empty the breast.
Breastfeeding of twins and twins
Currently, due to the increase in the age of motherhood and the increase in the use of assisted reproduction techniques, the number of multiple births has increased.
When we consider breastfeeding in multiple births, we not only have the difficulty of being two babies to feed. The twin births have a high incidence of prematurity and income in neonatology, hindering the success of it.
How to feed two babies at the same time
The technique of lactation is practically the same as if we breastfeed a single baby. The only difference, are the positions to adopt if you breastfeed both at the same time, which is very practical but it is not essential, everything depends on your comfort and that of the babies. The positions in double basket (babies to the flanks of the mother) or in parallel will be very useful.
Four tips for breastfeeding twins or twins
- Good milk production is needed. It is essential that there is an adequate stimulus to generate it: try to put babies to the breast as soon as possible after birth, often. If it is not possible to place them to the chest, keep them skin to skin with you, at least the first hour of life.
- Try to have the babies sleep with you in the room and thus facilitate the nightly shots. It is known that the prolactin peaks, a fundamental hormone in lactation, are produced in greater way at night, these intakes will help the correct production.
- The more it helps, the better: if a baby’s care takes up most of the mother’s time, two more babies. The more rested and less stressed you are the better, so the housework and so on should be done by other people.
- Surround yourself with mothers who have had a satisfactory breastfeeding so that they can support you in yours, and turn to specialized breastfeeding professionals, especially in special situations such as hospital admissions, reintroducing breastfeeding etc. You can consult your midwife, to solve your doubts about it.
It is very often well-intentioned most of the time, but lacking evidence, there are people who recommend you about breastfeeding based on what they have heard or their own experiences, especially if it is a breastfeeding with twins may look with some skepticism your decision to breastfeed them. Having the support of mothers who have breast-fed and of professionals who are aware of breastfeeding will help you.