Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ's)
General FAQ's of Breast Feeding
Why should I Breast Feed?
As a new mother you may wonder if breastfeeding will ” tie me down” with the total responsibility of feeding my baby.
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 didn’t seem to have enough milk or who had other serious problems in nursing. This mostly happens because the mothers don’t really understand breastfeeding. This is not surprising since most of us don’t 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 temperature.
- 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 babies.
- 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
How does 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.
Have you heard of women drying up? Do you know why?
They didn’t 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 baby’s tummy, clockwatching. Any woman will keep making milk as long as her breasts are stimulated frequently.
How can I tell my baby's getting enough?
You can’t tell by offering a bottle. Newborns have such strong sucking needs, they will take a bottle (or pacifier or thumb). So that’s no test. If your baby has 6 wet diapers a day and you’re not giving extra water, he is getting enough. If you’re nursing as needed, 7-11 times in 24 hours, your baby is getting enough. There is plenty of milk in your breasts after 1 ï¿½ -2 hours- you just can’t see it or feel it. After a week or two, your breasts won’t 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 you’re breastfeeding, you can’t tell your breasts to produce more ounces. But if you go along with your baby’s need to nurse very often for about 48 hours, your milk supply will be built up.
Does my 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.
When should I start weaning my baby? What foods should I give?
This is a gradual process starting around 4-5 months as mother’s milk alone is not sufficient to sustain baby’s growth.
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 allergy.
By the age of one year the child should receive diet consisting of cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
I have 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.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t worry if you must take a medicine – your continued good health is important for successful breastfeeding.
Drugs contraindicated during breastfeeding:
|Possible immune suppression, unknown effect on growth, or association with carcinogenesis, cyclophosphamide and methotrexate may cause neutropenia
Ergotamine for migraine
|Vomiting, diarrhoea, convulsions
Lithium for depression
|1/3rd – ï¿½ therapeutic blood concentration in infants.
|Shock, vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, restlessness, decreased milk production