FAQ's of Breast Feeding
should I Breast Feed?
|As a new mother you may wonder if
breastfeeding will " tie me down" with the total responsibility of feeding my
Breast milk is the ideal food for your baby .
The baby till 4-5 months of age requires no other food. You may have heard of women who
didnt seem to have enough milk or who had other serious problems in nursing. This
mostly happens because the mothers dont really understand breastfeeding. This is not
surprising since most of us dont have a chance to learn about breastfeeding. Indian
mothers secrete 450-600 ml of milk daily with 1.2gm protein content. The energy value is
70cals per 100ml.
- Safe, hygienic, cheap and available to infant at correct
- Fully meets the nutritional requirements of the infant in
the first few months of life.
- Contains antimicrobial factors such as macrophages,
lymphocytes, secretory IgA, anti-streptococcal factor, lysozyme and lactoferrin that
provide protection against diarrhoeal diseases, necrotising enterocolitis respiratory
infections in first months of life.
- Easily digested and utilized by both normal and premature
- Promotes bonding between mother and infant.
- Helps development of jaws and teeth of baby due to suckling.
- Protects babies from tendency to obesity.
- Prevents malnutrition and reduces infant deaths.
Natural family planning by prolonging period of infertility
breastfeeding work? In other words how can I keep producing enough milk for my baby?
|Any woman will continue to make plenty of
milk as long as she nurses frequently enough. The hormone Prolactin (pro-lactation) that
is responsible for milk production responds directly to the amount of nipple stimulation,
in other words to the amount of nursing. Short frequent nursings are the normal pattern at
first. The more you nurse the more milk you will have. Drinking more liquids or eating
special foods may make you feel better, but will not increase your milk supply without the
all important stimulation of nursing.
heard of women drying up? Do you know why?
|They didnt understand the supply and
demand principle of milk production. They were trying to breastfeed by copying what they
had learned about bottle feeding- four-hour schedule, solid food to fill up babys
tummy, clockwatching. Any woman will keep making milk as long as her breasts are
How can I tell my baby's getting enough?
You cant tell by
offering a bottle. Newborns have such strong sucking needs, they will take a bottle (or
pacifier or thumb). So thats no test. If your baby has 6 wet diapers a day and
youre not giving extra water, he is getting enough. If youre nursing as
needed, 7-11 times in 24 hours, your baby is getting enough. There is plenty of milk in
your breasts after 1 ½ -2 hours- you just cant see it or feel it. After a week or
two, your breasts wont feel so full any more. They are supposed to seem flatter
because the swelling (not the milk) has gone away. Babies need to nurse often in order to
make good weight gains and sleep longer at night.
You should be prepared for the fact all
babies have growth spurts or days when they are hungrier and need more milk, often around
10-14 days, then around 4-6 weeks, at approximately 3 months, and again at 5-6 months.
When youre breastfeeding, you cant tell your breasts to produce more ounces.
But if you go along with your babys need to nurse very often for about 48 hours,
your milk supply will be built up.
baby need food supplements?
These can be used after
nursing is established (3-6 wks) but as suckling at the breast decreases so does milk
production. Only if breast milk seems inadequate, supplements should be given after
nursing to assure suckling stimulus to continued milk production.
should I start weaning my baby? What foods should I give?
This is a gradual process
starting around 4-5 months as mothers milk alone is not sufficient to sustain
Iron fortified cereals should be begun
first, followed by fruits and vegetables in a blenderized form, soft cooked rice and dal.
An interval of 2-4 days should separate the
introduction of each new food to mark the occurrence of specific food intolerance or
By the age of one year the child should
receive diet consisting of cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
heard that any drug I take will affect my breast fed baby? Is this true?
|Most drugs and medicines pass into the milk
of mothers who are breastfeeding to some extent. The amount passing into the milk and
whether it will affect the baby varies from medicine to medicine, and also depends on such
things as the dose taken, the health of the mother and baby and the amount of milk taken
by the baby. Also, some medicines may reduce the milk supply. When breastfeeding, always
check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine.
- Dont smoke or drink alcohol.
- Only take medicines that are really necessary.
- If you have to take a medicine while breastfeeding, have the
baby checked regularly for any adverse effects that may occur.
- Take any medicines right after the baby has fed to ensure
the lowest level of medicine in the milk at the next feeding.
- Dont worry if you must take a medicine your
continued good health is important for successful breastfeeding.
Drugs contraindicated during
suppression, unknown effect on growth, or association with carcinogenesis,
cyclophosphamide and methotrexate may cause neutropenia
Ergotamine for migraine
Lithium for depression
½ therapeutic blood concentration in infants.
vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, restlessness, decreased milk production