Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Your Nursing Area

Once you've reached the third trimester, you'll
probably start stocking up on nursing bras, breast
pads, and loose button down shirts for the coming
months ahead.  While getting ready to breast feed,
you can also create your personal area, a custom
designed breast feeding area for yourself.
Your nursing area should reflect your personality.
If you like a loud, yet friendly surrounding, you
should consider setting in a corner of the living
room or family room.  Keep an extra chair or two
near you so family members or even friends can keep
you company.
If you prefer peace and quiet, a cozy study or
empty guest room would be ideal.  You can close
the door, dim the lights down, then take a few
deep, calming breaths while you breast feed.
Your own chair
No matter if it's a glider, overstuffed recliner,
or desk chair with wheels, you should make sure
your nursing chair is very comfortable.  You'll
be sitting in the chair for hours each day, so
you'll want it to be very comfortable.  You should
always look for one that offers back and shoulder
support, along with arm rests.
Support underfoot
You can use a footstool, low coffee table or a
stack of pillows to elevate your feet as you breast
feed.  If you raise your legs and feet to bring
your baby to your breast, you'll avoid possible
Pillows and more pillows
Your neck, arms, feet, and back will need as
much support as you can give, so don't hesitate
to surround your body with pillows.  If you lay
a pillow across your lap for your baby to lay on,
he'll be very comfortable and that much closer to
your nipple.  For extra comfort, you can even
purchase a specially made nursing pillow that
will encircle your waist.
Table for one
You should always keep a small table or stand
within arm's length of your breast feeding chair.
What you use should be big enough to hold a
coaster and glass of liquid.  Some women prefer
to drink through a straw, while others prefer to
drink from the glass. 
You'll also want to keep healthy snacks on hand
as well, such as fresh fruit, nuts, or crackers
and peanut butter to help you replace the
energy you use while you breast feed.
If your baby is a slow eater or has a really big
appetite, you may want to keep yourself busy
while he feeds.  You can fill the shelves of a
nearby cupboard or bookcase with your favorite
books or crossword puzzles to occupy yourself
until your baby is full.  You should also keep
a phone nearby as well so that you can talk to
family or friends to pass the time.

Weaning From Breast Feeding

When your baby has stopped breast feeding and gets
all of his nutrition from other sources than the
breast, he's actually considered weaned.  Even
though babies are also weaned from the bottle as
well, the term weaning often refers to when a
baby is stopped from breast feeding.
When weaning is a mother's idea, it normally
requires a lot of patience and can take time,
depending on the age of your baby or toddler,
and also how well your child adjusts.  The
overall experience is different for everyone.
Weaning is a long goodbye, sometimes emotional
and sometimes painful.  It doesn't however, signal
fo the end to the intimacy you and your child
have developed during the nursing stage.  What it
means, is that you have to replace breast feeding
with other types of nourishment. 
Starting weaning
Your the best judge as to when it's the right
time to wean, and you don't really have a
deadline unless you and your child are actually
ready to wean.  The recommended time for weaning
is one year.  No matter what relatives, friends,
or even complete strangers tell you, there is
no right or wrong time for weaning.
How to wean
You should proceed slowly, regardless of what
the age of your child may be.  Experts say
that you shouldn't abruptly withhold your breast,
as they results can be traumatic.  You should
however, try these methods instead:
 1.  Skip a feeding - Skip a feeding and
see what happens, offering a cup of milk to your
baby instead.  As a substitue, you can use a
bottle of your own pumped milk, formula, or a
cow's milk.  If you reduce feedings one at a
time, your child will eventually adjust to the
 2.  Shorten feeding time - You can start
by cutting the length of time your child is
actually at the breast.  If the normal feeding
time is 5 minuts, try 3.  Depending on the age,
follow the feeding with a healthy snack.  Bed
time feedings are usually the hardest to wean,
as they are normally the last to go.
 3.  Postpone and distract - You can
postpone feedings if you are only feeding a couple
of times per day.  This method works great if
you have an older child you can actually reason
with.  If your child wants the breast, say that
you'll feed later then distract him. 
If you've tried everything and weaning doesn't
seem to be working at all, maybe the time just
isn't right.  You can wait just a bit longer
to see what happens, as your child and you have
to determine the right time to wean together.

The First Six Weeks

Breast milk is the best food you can give to your
baby.  Breast milk is a complete food source,
containing all the nutrients your baby need - at
least 400 of them to be exact, including hormones
and disease fighting compounds that aren't found
in formula.
The nutritional makeup in breast milk will adjust
to your baby's needs as he or she grows and
develops.  Aside from the brain building, infection
fighting benefits of breast milk, which no formula
can match, nursing will also help to build a special
bond between you and your baby.  When nursing,
your child thrives on the contact, cuddling, and
holding - which you will as well.
Since breast feedings can take up to 40 minutes or
more, you should pick a cozy spot for nursing.  The
atmosphere is very important, even more so in the
early days of breast feeding when you're still
trying to get the hang of it.  If you get easily
distracted by noise, go somewhere quiet.
You should always hold your baby in a position
that won't leave your arms or back sore.  It works
the best to support the back of your baby's head
with your hand, although which position you choose
depends on what's more comfortable to you.
When supporting your baby, a nursing pillow can
sometimes be a big help.  You should never feed
until both you and your baby are comfortable.  Pay
attention to how your breasts feel when your baby
latches on, as his mouth should cover most of the
areola below the nipple, and the nipple should be
far back into your baby's mouth.
While some women adjust to breast feeding easily,
other moms find it hard to learn.  If you feel
discouraged, always know that you aren't the only
one.  Everyone feels different when starting, it
all depends on the mother and the situation.
Breast feeding will take practice.  Therefore, you
should give yourself as much time as you need to
get it down to second nature.  Always take it one
feeding at a time.  If you are having a bad day,
tell yourself that it'll get better.  Keep in mind
that any problems are temporary, as you'll be
nursing like a pro by your six week postpartum
The first six weeks will be both an adventure and
training.  You can't expect to know everything when
you begin, which is where training and practice will
really help you excel.  The more you breast feed,
the more you'll learn.  You'll also build a bond
with your baby - which is something you'll always
have for the rest of your lives.

Starting Solid Foods

Breast milk is all your baby will need until at
least 4 months of age.  There does come a time,
when breast milk will no longer supply all of your
baby's nutrition needs.  Full term babies will
start to require iron from other sources by 6 - 9
months of age. 
Some babies that aren't started on solid foods by
the age of 9 - 12 months may have a great level of
difficulty accepting solid foods.  It's actually
a developmental milestone when your child starts
solid foods - as he is now growing up.
When to start
The ideal time to begin solid foods is when the
baby shows interest in starting.  Some babies
will show interest in solid food when it's on
their parents' plates, as early as 4 months of
age.  By 5 - 6 months, most babies will reach out
and try to grab the food.  When the baby starts to
reach for food, it's normally the time to go
ahead and give him some.
Sometimes, it may be a better idea to start food
earlier.  When a baby seems to get hungry or once
weight gain isn't continuing at the desired rate,
it may be good to start solid foods as early as
3 months.  It may be possible however, to continue
breast feeding alone and have the baby less
hungry or growing more rapidly.
Breast fed babies will digest solid foods better
and earlier than artificially fed babies because
the breast milk will contain enzymes which help
to digest fats, proteins, and starch.  Breast
fed babies will also have had a variety of
different tastes in their life, since the flavors
of many foods the mother eats will pass into her
Introducing solid foods
When the baby begins to take solid foods at the
age of 5 - 6 months, there is very little difference
what he starts will or what order it is introduced.
You should however, avoid spicy foods or highly
allergenic foods at first, although if your
baby reaches for the potato on your plate, you
should let him have it if it isn't too hot.
Offer your baby the foods that he seems to be
interested in.  Allow your baby to enjoy the food
and don't worry too much about how much he takes
at first, as much of it may end up on the floor
or in his hair anyhow.
The easiest way to get iron for your baby at 5 -
6 months of age is by giving him meat. Cereal for
infants has iron, although it is poorly absorbed
and may cause your baby to get constipated.

Returning To Work

Once you return to work, you can continue to breast
feed.  If you live close to work or have an on site
daycare, you may be able to breast feed during
your breaks.  If that isn't possible, you have 2
 1.  Keep your milk supply by using a high
quality automatic electric breast pump to express
milk during the day.  Save your milk that you
collect for your baby sitter. 
 2.  If you don't want to or can't pump at
work, you can gradually replace daytime feedings
with formula while your at home but still continue
to nurse at night and in the morning.  The milk
your body produces may not be enough to keep your
baby satisfied, even if you only need enough for
2 feedings.
Advantages of pumping at work
Pumping at work will help stimulate your production
of milk, so you'll have plenty available when it
comes time to feed.  You can also collect the
milk you pump, so your baby will have the health
and nutritional benefits of breast milk even
when you aren't there.  To make things better,
pumping can be an ideal way to feel a connection
to your baby during the work day.
Although it can seem like a hassle, many mothers
find that the benefits of breast pumping far
outweight the inconvenience.
To manage pumping at work, you'll need to have
the following:
 1.  Breast pump, preferably a fully
automatic electric pump with a double collection
kit so you can pump both breasts simultaneously.
 2.  Bottles or bags for collecting and
storing the milk.
 3.  Access to a refrigerator or cooler
to keep the milk cold until you return home.
 4.  Breast pads to help protect your
clothes if you start to leak.
Make sure that you get used to pumping before
you return to work, so you'll know what to expect
and how it feels.  You'll be much more confident
with pumping at work if you already know that
you can produce enough milk. 
At work, you'll want to have somewhere that's
away from everyone else when you pump, such as
an empty office or empty room.  This way, you'll
be away from everyone else and you can have the
quiet tranquility you need to pump.  In most
offices, this shouldn't be a problem.
For the time frame, you'll want to pump every
2 - 3 hours if possible.  If you can't, every
4 hours or so will have to suffice.  After you
have finished pumping, store the milk in the
bags or bottles, clean yourself up, then go
back to work.  When you return home, you can
feed the milk to your growing baby.

Refusal To Breast Feed

Sometimes, a baby that is breast fed may suddenly
decide to refuse breast feeding.  The baby will
pull away from the breast, then toss his head from
side to side.  This can happen at anytime, so there
really is no way to predict it happening.
Reasons why
Refusal to feed from the breast could occur when the
baby is in pain. Normally, this can be due to an
ear infection, sore head from vacuum delivery,
thrush in the baby's mouth, or teething.
The use of dummies, teats or nipple shields may also
contribute to refusal.  Some babies actually find
it difficult to feed from the breast and bottle as
the sucking action is very different.  Some become
confused, therefore it's always best to avoid using
any type of teats or dummies.
Sometimes, the milk just takes bitter.  This can
be due to antibiotics, if you starting or in the
middle of your period, or nipple creams.  If the
milk tastes bitter, your baby will normally not
want to feed. 
Solving the problems
First, you should always try to identify what may
have caused the breast refusal then begin to treat
the cause.  Always remain patient and gentle with
your baby.  Be sure to hold your baby next to you,
skin to skin, so that he can take the breast when
he wants to, so that he begins to realize that
breast feeding is both enjoyable and comfortable.
Older babies may suddenly take shorter and fewer
breast feeds, although this can be normal with
some babies.  Therefore, it's always best not to
try and make the baby feed longer, but instead let
the baby decide how often and also how long each
individual feeding will last.

Reasons To Breast Feed

For many years, scientists have been playing out
the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect
food for babies.  They've discovered to day over
200 close compounds to fight infection, help the
immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support
brain growth - nature made properties that science
simply cannot copy.
The important long term benefits of breast feeding
include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity,
and some forms of childhood cancer.  The more that
scientists continue to learn, the better breast
milk looks. 
In addition to making your baby healthier, breast
feeding may also make him smarter.  Many studies
have proved that breast fed babies tend to be
more smarter than babies who were fed with formula
or other methods.  Breast feeding does help with
nutrients and the support of brain growth, which
is something every mother should think about.
The benefits for the nursing mom are just as
good as they are for the baby.  The hormones that
are released during breast feeding will curb
blood loss post delivery and help to shrink the
uterus back to it's normal size. 
Long term, the breast feeding mom will have a
lower risk for premenopausal breast cancer,
which is the kind that strikes before the age
of 50.  The benefits will begin to show with
three to six months of breast feeding and increase
the longer that breast feeding continues.
By now, you should realize that breast milk is
one power packed liquid.  It offers more for your
baby than formula, or any other scientific
creation for that matter.  As you begin to plan
for the future of your baby, make a commitment
to breast feeding him for as long as you possibly
can - as it will do both your bodies good.

Poor Milk Supply

Almost all women don't have a problem with producing
enough milk to breast feed.  The ideal way to make
sure that your baby is getting enough milk is to be
sure that he's well positioned, attached to the
breast, and feed him as often as he gets hungry.
Some mom's that are breast feeding will stop before
they want to, simply because they don't think they
have enough breast milk. 
There are signs that might make you believe your baby
isn't getting enough milk.  If your baby seems hungry
or unsettled after feeding, or if he wants to feed
often with short pauses between feedings, you may
think he isn't getting enough milk - which are often
times not the case.
There are however, two reliable signs that let you
know your baby isn't getting enough milk.  If your
baby has poor or really slow weight gain, or is
passing small amounts of concentrated urine, he's
not getting enough milk.
All babies will lose weight within the first few
days after birth.  Babies are born with supplies of
fat and fluids, which will help them keep going for
the first several days. 
Once your baby regains birth weight, he should begin
putting on around 200g for the first four months or
so.  To get back to their birth weight, it normally
takes a few weeks.
If the weight gain for your baby seems to be slow,
don't hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse to observe
you breast feeding.  This way, they can make sure
that your technique is right and if they think your
baby is breast feeding often enough.
To help you with your breast feeding, here are some
ways that you can increase your supply of milk:
 1.  Be sure that your baby is positioned
correctly and attached to your breast.
 2.  Let your baby feed for as long and often
as he wants.
 3.  If you feel that your baby isn't breast
feeding enough, offer him more breast feeds.
 4.  During each breast feed, make sure you
feed from both breasts.
 5.  If your baby has been using a dummy,
make sure you stop him.
 6.  Some babies may be sleepy and reluctant
to feed, which may be the cause of problems with
milk supply.
By following the above tips, you'll do your part in
making sure you have enough milk when it comes time
to breast feed.  If you are uncertain or have other
questions, be sure to ask your doctor, as he can
answer any type of question you may have.

Other Foods While Breast Feeding

Breast milk is actually the only food your baby
will need until 4 months of age, although most
babies do well on breast milk alone for 6 months
or better.  There is really no advantage to
adding other foods or milks before 4 - 6 months,
except under unusual circumstances.
Breast milk is over 90% water.  Even in the
hottest days of summer, a baby won't require any
extra water.  If a baby isn't feeding well, they
still don't require any extra water - although
they will need the breast feeding problems to
be fixed.
Vitamin D
Although breast milk doesn't contain much vitamin
D, it does have a little.  The baby will store up
vitamin D during pregnancy, and remain healthy
without any vitamin D supplementation, unless you
yourself had a problem with vitamin D deficiency
when pregnant.
Exposure to the outside will give your baby
vitamin D, even in winter and when the sky is
covered.  An hour or more exposure during the
week will give your baby more than enough vitamin
Breast milk contains less iron than formulas do,
especially those that are iron enriched.  Iron
will give the baby added protection against
infections, as many bacteria need iron in order
to multiply.
The iron found in breast milk is utilized well
by the baby, while not being available to
bacteria.  The introduction of iron should
never be delayed beyond the age of 6 months.
Breast milk is the best that your can feed
your baby, as it provides everything he will
need for probably the first 6 months.  After
the first 6 months, you can introduce solid
foods to your baby if he is taking an interest
to them.

Low Supply Of Breast Milk

Almost all mothers who breast feed go through a
period of questioning whether or not their supply
of milk is adequate.  Some mothers simply aren't
able to produce enough milk to meet the needs of
her baby.  According to many experts, true
insufficiencies of milk are very rare.
A lot of women think their milk supply is low when
it actually isn't.  Thinking this can happen if
you lose the feeling of fullness in your breasts
or if the milk stops leaking from your nipples.
Babies that go through growth spurts may want
more milk than usual, and these more frequent
feedings may leave your breasts less than full.
Causes of it
A mother's milk supply may diminish for a brief
period of time if she isn't feeding her baby
often enough due to nipple pain, or a poor latch
on technique.  Illnesses or estrogen containing
birth control pills may also affect the production
of milk. 
What you should do
The best way to handle a low supply of breast
milk is through a doctor's care.  You should
make sure that your baby gets frequent feedings
and that nothing is wrong with your nipples or
your milk ducts.  Doctors are the best ones to
ask, as they can run tests to see if everything
is fine within your body.
A low supply of breast milk can affect your
baby, although it's more of a mental condition
than anything else.  If your baby isn't gaining
any weight or if he is losing weight, you
should call a doctor immediately.  Improved
techniques for breast feeding will normally
help, although in some cases weight gain or
weight loss will indicate a serious concern.
In most cases, you can still nurse with a
temporary decrease in milk supply, although
frequent breast feeding is the key to boosting
your production of milk.

How To Use A Breast Pump

Just like breast feeding, pumping is a skill that you
learn.  When first trying a breast pump, most mothers
are only able to express a few drops of milk.  With
the proper practice and knowledge, the mother will
be more efficient at pumping.
Preparing the breast pump
 1.  Read all the instructions in the kit
very carefully.
 2.  Every part of the breast pump will need
to be sterilized before you begin using it.
 3.  After use, all the parts of the pump will
need to be washed in warm, soapy water, then rinsed
with hot water and drained on a clean towel.  The
plastic tubing doesn't need to be cleaned unless
you get milk into it.  If you do wash it, it should
be hung to allow time to dry and drain thoroughly.
 4.  If your doctor feels the need, the
entire kit can be sterilized every day.
 5.  When you first start with an electric
pump, the suction level should be on the lowest
possible setting. 
Getting started
 -  Warm compresses, gentle massages of the
breast and gentle nipple stimulation will help to
stimulate a quick let down.
 -  You should always relax while doing
breast massages during pumping.  Some mothers prefer
to close their eyes then think about nursing the
baby, imagining the baby in their arms. The more
relaxed a mother is, the better let down she'll
have and the more milk will be dispensed.
 -  Your first attempts at pumping should be
considered practice sessions with learning to use
the breast pump as the goal, not how much milk is
actually dispensed. 
 -  When you use a hand pump, quick, short
pumps at the start is stimulating and will imitate
more closely the way a baby breast feeds.  Once
the let down occurs and milk starts to flow freely,
long, steadier strokes are more effective and
less tiring.
 -   When you learn to pump, you should
practice for 5 minutes on a side at least once or
twice a day.  Always pick the least stressful part
of your day for pumping. 
Relaxing and realizing that the pump is your
friend is the single most important thing that a
mother can do.  There are several things that a
mother can do to help herself relax, such as
putting a picture of the baby on the pump, playing
cards or a game with friends, watching television,
read books, or talk on the phone.  Simply watching
the collection bottle is not helpful and will
probably put more stress on you than you actually

How To Choose A Breast Pump

The milk production in the breasts, much like so many
other things, work on the shear principal of supply
and demand.  The more breast milk your baby consumes,
the more your body will need to make. 
Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued
production of breast milk when you cannot feed your
baby - whether you are back to work, traveling, taking
medication, or just out of town. 
Basic types of pumps
Breast pumps can either be battery operated, hand
operated, semi automatic electric, or even self cycling
Hand pumps
Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength
of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at
a time.  You can also get pumps that will use the leg
and foot muscles for pumping both breasts at one
time.  Mothers that with carpal tunnel syndrome may
want to consider using a pump designed for the arm
or leg muscles or even an automatic model.
Battery operated pumps
Pumps with battery operation are the best for women
who have an established supply of milk and want to
pump once or even twice a day.  These pumps use
batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of
muscle fatigue.  Most battery type pumps are designed
for pumping one breast at a time and are recommended
for occasional usage.
Electric pumps
Even though electric pumps are more efficient than
hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend
to be more expensive.  You can however, rent them if
you need to.  Electric pumps can normally plug
directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping
both breasts at a time and even frequent use.  Hospital
grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and
maintaining milk supply, and are available for rent
or purchase.

How Breast Milk Is Made

If you've every been pregnant or if you are pregnant
now, you've probably noticed a metamorphisis in your
bra cups.  The physical changes (tender, swollen
breasts) may be one of the earliest clues that you
have conceived.  Many experts believe that the color
change in the areola may also be helpful when it
comes to breast feeding.
What's going on
Perhaps what's even more remarkable than visible
changes is the extensive changes that are taking
place inside of your breasts.  The developing
placenta stimulates the release of estrogen and
progesterone, which will in turn stimulate the
complex biological system that helps to make lactation
Before you get pregnant, a combination of supportive
tissue, milk glands, and fat make up the larger
portions of your breats.  The fact is, your newly
swollen breasts have been preparing for your
pregnancy since you were in your mother's womb!
When you were born, your main milk ducts had already
formed.  Your mammary glands stayed quiet until
you reached puberty, when a flood of the female
hormone estrogen caused them to grow and also to
swell.  During pregnancy, those glands will kick
into high gear.
Before your baby arrives, glandular tissue has
replaced a majority of the fat cells and accounts
for your bigger than before breasts.  Each breast
may actually get as much as 1 1/2 pounds heavier
than before!
Nestled among the fatty cells and glandular tissue
is an intricate network of channels or canals known
as the milk ducts.  The pregnancy hormones will
cause these ducts to increase in both number and
size, with the ducts branching off into smaller
canals near the chest wall known as ductules.
At the end of each duct is a cluster of smaller
sacs known as alveoli.  The cluster of alveoli is
known as a lobule, while a cluster of lobule is
known as a lobe.  Each breast will contain around
15 - 20 lobes, with one milk duct for every lobe.
The milk is produced inside of the alveoli, which
is surrounded by tiny muscles that squeeze the
glands and help to push the milk out into the
ductules.  Those ductules will lead to a bigger
duct that widens into a milk pool directly below
the areola.
The milk pools will act as resevoirs that hold the
milk until your baby sucks it through the tiny
openings in your nipples. 
Mother Nature is so smart that your milk duct
system will become fully developed around the time
of your second trimester, so you can properly
breast feed your baby even if he or she arrives
earlier than you are anticipating.

Health And Diet

The nutritional requirements for the baby will rely
soley on the breast milk, and therefore the mother will
need to maintain a healthy diet.  If the baby is
large and grows fast, the fat stores gained by the
mother during pregnancy can be depleted quickly,
meaning that she may have trouble eating good enough
to maintain and develop sufficient amounts of milk.
This type of diet normally involves a high calorie,
high nutrition diet which follows on from that in
pregnancy.  Even though mothers in famine conditions
can produce milk with nutritional content, a mother
that is malnourished may produce milk with lacking
levels of vitamins A, D, B6, and B12.
If they smoke, breast feeding mothers must use
extreme caution.  More than 20 cigarettes a day has
been shown to reduce the milk supply and cause vomiting,
diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in
the infants.  SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is
more common in babies that are exposed to smoke.
Heavy drinking is also known to harm the imfant, as
well as yourself.  If you are breast feeding, you
should avoid alcohol or consume very small amounts at
a time. 
The excessive consumption of alcohol by the mother can
result in irritability, sleeplessness, and increased
feeding in the infant.  Moderate use, normally 1 - 2
cups a day normally produces no effect.  Therefore,
mothers that are breast feeding are advised to avoid
caffeine or restrict intake of it.
By following a healthy diet and limiting your intake
of the above, you'll ensure that your baby gets the
right nutrients during your time of breast feeding. 
This stage of life is very important - as you don't
want anything to happen to your baby.

Getting Started With Breast Feeding

When you hold your baby for the first time in the
delivery room, you should put his lips to your
breast.  Although your mature milk hasn't developed
yet, your breasts are still producing a substance
known as colostrum that helps to protect your baby
from infections.
If your baby has trouble finding or staying on
your nipple, you shouldn't panic.  Breast feeding is
an art that will require a lot of patience and a
lot of practice.  No one expects you to be an
expert when you first start, so you shouldn't
hesitate to ask for advice or have a nurse show you
what you need to do.
Once you start, keep in mind that nursing shouldn't
be painful.  When your baby latches on, pay attention
to how your breasts feel.  If the latching on
hurts, break the suction then try again.
You should nurse quite frequently, as the more
you nurse the more quickly your mature milk will
come in and the more milk you'll produce.  Breast
feeding for 10 - 15 minutes per breast 8 - 10 times
every 24 hours is an ideal target.  Crying is a
sign of hunger, which means you should actually
feed your baby before he starts crying.
During the first few days, you may have to wake
your baby to begin breast feeding, and he may end
up falling asleep during feeding.  To ensure that
your baby is eating often enough, you should wake
him up if it has been four hours since the last
time he has been fed.
Getting comfortable
Feedings can take 40 minutes or longer, therefore
you'll want a cozy spot.  You don't want to be
sitting somewhere where you will be bothered, as it
can make the process very hard.

Engorged Breasts

Within the first two to three days after you have
given birth, you may discover that your breasts
feel swollen, tender, throbbing, lumpy, and
overly full.  Sometimes, the swelling will extend
all the way to your armpit, and you may run a
low fever as well. 
The causes
Within 72 hours of giving birth, an abundance
of milk will come in or become available to your
baby.  As this happens, more blood will flow
to your breasts and some of the surrounding tissue
will swell.  The result is full, swollen, engorged
Not every postpartum mom experienced true
engorgement. Some women's breasts become only
slightly full, while others find their breasts
have become amazingly hard.  Some women will hardly
notice the pain, as they are involved in other
things during the first few days.
Treating it
Keep in mind, engorgement is a positive sign
that you are producing milk to feed to your
baby.  Until you produce the right amount:
 1.  Wear a supportive nursing bra, even
at night - making sure it isn't too tight.
 2.  Breast feed often, every 2 - 3 hours
if you can.  Try to get the first side of your
breasts as soft as possible.  If your baby seems
satisfied with just one breast, you can offer
the other at the next feeding.
 3.  Avoid letting your baby latch on and
suck when the areola is very firm.  To reduce
the possibility of nipple damage, you can use
a pump until your areola softens up. 
 4.  Avoid pumping milk except when you
need to soften the areola or when your baby
is unable to latch on.  Excessive pumping can
lead to the over production of milk and prolonged
 5.  To help soothe the pain and relieve
swelling, apply cold packs to your breasts for
a short amount of time after you nurse.  Crushed
ice in a plastic bag will also work.
 6.  Look ahead.  You'll get past this
engorgement in no time and soon be able to
enjoy your breast feeding relationship with your
new baby.
Engorgement will pass very quickly.  You can
expect it to diminish within 24 - 48 hours, as
nursing your baby will only help the problem.  If
you aren't breast feeding, it will normally
get worse before it gets better.  Once the
engorgement has passed, your breasts will be
softer and still full of milk. 
During this time, you can and should continue to
nurse.  Unrelieved engorgement can cause a drop
in your production of milk, so it's important
to breast feed right from the start.  Keep an
eye for signs of hunger and feed him when he
needs to be fed.

Breast Feeding Toddlers

Because more and more women are choosing to breast
feed their babies, more and more are also finding
that they enjoy it enough to continue longer than
the first few months they planned on.  Breast
feeding to 3 - 4 years of age is common in much
of the world recently, and is still common in
many societies for toddlers to be breast fed.
Because mothers and babies often enjoy to breast
feed, you shouldn't stop it.  After six months,
many think that breast milk loses it's value -
which isn't true.  Even after six months, it
still contains protein, fat, and other important
nutrients which babies and children need.
The fact is, immune factors in breast milk will
protect the baby against infections.  Breast
milk also contains factors that will help the
immune system mature, and other organs to develop
and mature as well.
It's been shown and proven in the past that
children in daycare who are still breast feeding
have far less severe infections than the
children that aren't breast feeding.  The mother
will lose less work time if she chooses to
continue nursing her baby once she is back to
If you have thought about breast feeding your
baby once he gets passed 6 months of age, you
have made a wise decision.  Although many feel
that it isn't necessary, breast milk will always
help babies and toddlers.  Breast milk is the
best milk you can give to your baby.
No matter what others may tell you, breast feeding
only needs to be stopped when you and the baby
agree on it.  You don't have to stop when someone
else wants you to - you should only stop when
you feel that it's the right time.

Breast Feeding In Public

Babies that are breast fed are very portable and
easy to comfort no matter where your schedule has
you going.  Many women however, worry about
breast feeding in public.  The worry of nursing
in a public place is normally worse than the
actual experience and often times the only people
who notice you feeding are the other mothers who
are doing the same thing.
Many women find ways to breast feed discreetly. 
You can ask your partner or even a friend to
stand in front of you while you lift your shirt
from the waist.  When you breast feed, the baby's
body will cover most of your upper body and you
can pull your shirt down to her face to cover
the tops of your breast.  Some mothers prefer to
put a light blanket over their shoulders as a
type of cover.
When you are visiting someone else's home, you
may feel more comfortable either leaving the
room or turning away from people when you first
put the baby to your breast.  If you would like
more privacy, breast feed in an empty room, car,
or public restroom.
A lot of restrooms are becoming more baby
friendly and they even have a seperate are with
a changing table and a chair.  Several shopping
malls now offer special mother's rooms where
the mom can breast feed her baby in privacy,
which will help sensitive babies who are too
distracted by feeding to nurse well in public.
It won't take long at all though, before your
baby will learn to breast feed without any fuss
at all.
An alternative way is expressing or pumping
your milk at home and then offer it in a bottle
while in public.  Keep in mind, offering
bottles with artificial nipples in the first
few weeks can and probably will interfere with
breast feeding.
When breast feeding in public, you should always
use what works best for you.  During the first
few weeks, it will take some getting used to,
as it will be as new for you as it is for the
baby.  With some time, you'll have no problems
at all.
If you don't feel comfortable breast feeding in
a certain location, then you shouldn't.  You
should feel a certain level of comfort when you
feed, as the baby can tell when you aren't
comfortable doing something.  If you show your
baby that you aren't nervous - you and your
baby will be just fine.

Breast Feeding Complications

Sore nipples
A lot of mothers complain about tender nipples that
make breast feeding painful and frustrating.  There
is good news though, as most mothers don't suffer
that long.  The nipples will toughen up quickly
and render breast feeding virtually painless.
Improperly positioned babies or babies that suck
really hard can make the breasts extremely sore.
Below, are some ways to ease your discomfort:
 1.  Make sure your baby is in the correct
position, since a baby that isn't positioned correctly
is the number one cause of sore nipples.
 2.  Once you have finished feeding, expose
your breasts to the air and try to protect them from
clothing and other irritations. 
 3.  After breast feeding, apply some ultra
purified, medical grade lanolin, making sure to avoid
petroleum jelly and other products with oil.
 4.  Make sure to wash your nipples with water
and not with soap.
 5.  Many women find teabags ran under cold
water to provide some relief when placed on the
 6.  Make sure you vary your position each time
with feeding to ensure that a different area of the
nipple is being compressed each time.
Clogged milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts can be identified as small, red tender
lumps on the tissue of the breast.  Clogged ducts can
cause the milk to back up and lead to infection.  The
best way to unclog these ducts is to ensure that you've
emptied as completely as possible.  You should offer
the clogged breast first at feeding time, then let
your baby empty it as much as possible.
If milk remains after the feeding, the remaining amount
should be removed by hand or with a pump.  You should
also keep pressure off the duct by making sure your
bra is not too tight.
Breast infection
Also known as mastititis, breast infection is normally
due to empty breasts completely out of milk, germs
gaining entrance to the milk ducts through cracks or
fissures in the nipple, and decreased immunity in the
mother due to stress or inadequate nutrition.
The symptoms of breast infection include severe pain
or soreness, hardness of the breast, redness of the
breast, heat coming from the area, swelling, or even
The treatment of breast infection includes bed rest,
antibiotics, pain relievers, increased fluid intake,
and applying heat.  Many women will stop breast feeding
during an infection, although it's actually the wrong
thing to do.  By emptying the breasts, you'll
actually help to prevent clogged milk ducts.
If the pain is so bad you can't feed, try using a
pump while laying in a tub of warm water with your
breasts floating comfortably in the water.  You should
also make sure that the pump isn't electric if you
plan to use it in the bath tub.
You should always make sure that breast infections
are treated promptly and completely or you may
risk the chance of abscess.  An abscess is very
painful, involving throbbing and swelling.  You'll
also experience swelling, tenderness, and heat in
the area of the abscess.  If the infection progresses
this far, your doctor may prescribe medicine and
even surgery.

Breast Feeding And Positioning

For some people, the process of breast feeding
seems to come natural, although there's a level
of skill required for successful feeding and a
correct technique to use.  Incorrect positioning
is one of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful
feeding and it can even injure the nipple or
breast quite easily.
By stroking the baby's cheek with the nipple, the
baby will open its mouth towards the nipple, which
should then be pushed in so that the baby will
get a mouthful of nipple and areola.  This
position is known as latching on.  A lot of women
prefer to wear a nursing bra to allow easier access
to the breast than other normal bras.
The length of feeding time will vary.  Regardless
of the duration of feeding time, it's important
for mothers to be comfortable. The following are
positions you can use:
 1.  Upright - The sitting position where
the back is straight.
 2.  Mobile - Mobile is where the mother
carries her baby in a sling or carrier while breast
feeding.  Doing this allows the mother to breast
feed in the work of everyday life.
 3.  Lying down - This is good for night feeds
or for those who have had a caesarean section.
 4.  On her back - The mother is sitting
slightly upright, also a useful position for tandem
breast feeding.
 5.  On her side - The mother and baby both
lie on their sides.
 6.  Hands and knees - In this feeding position
the mother is on all fours with the baby underneath
her.  Keep in mind, this position isn't normally
Anytime you don't feel comfortable with a feeding
position, always stop and switch to a different
position.  Each position is different, while some
mothers prefer one position, other's may like a
totally different position.  All you need to do is
experiment and see which position is best for you.

Breast Feeding And Jaundice

Jaundice is a result of buildup in the blood of the
bilirubin, a yellow pigment that comes from the
breakdown of older red blood cells.  It's normal
for the red blood cells to break down, although
the bilirubin formed doesn't normally cause jaundice
because the liver will metabolize it and then get
rid of it in the gut.
However, the newborn baby will often become
jaundiced during the first few days due to the
liver enzyme that metabolizes the bilirubin becoming
relatively immature.  Therefore, newborn babies
will have more red blood cells than adults, and
thus more will break down at any given time.
Breast milk jaundice
There is a condition that's commonly referred to
as breast milk jaundice, although no one knows
what actually causes it.  In order to diagnose it,
the baby should be at least a week old.  The baby
should also be gaining well with breast feeding
alone, having lots of bowel movements with the
passing of clean urine.
In this type of setting, the baby has what is
referred to as breast milk jaundice.  On occasion,
infections of the urine or an under functioning
of the baby's thyroid gland, as well as other
rare illnesses that may cause the same types of
Breast milk jaundice will peak at 10 - 21 days,
although it can last for 2 - 3 months.  Contrary
to what you may think, breast milk jaundice is
normal.  Rarely, if at all ever, does breast
feeding need to be stopped for even a brief
period of time.
If the baby is doing well on breast milk, there
is no reason at all to stop or supplement with
a lactation aid. 

Breast Feeding Adopted Babies

Not only is breast feeding an adopted baby easy,
the chances are that you will produce a large
amount of milk.  It isn't complicated to do,
although it is different than breast feeding a
baby you have been pregnant with for 9 months.
Breast feeding and milk
There are two objectives that are involved in
breast feeding an adopted baby.  The first is
getting your baby to breast feed, and the other
is producing enough breast milk. 
There is more to breast feeding than just milk,
which is why many mothers are happy to feed
without expecting to produce milk in the way
the baby needs.  It's the closeness and the
bond breast feeding provides that many mothers
look for.
Taking the breast
Even though many feel the early introduction of
bottles may interfere with breast feeding, the
early introduction of artificial nipples can
interfere a great deal.  The sooner you can get
the baby to the breast after birth, the better
things will be.
Babies will however, require the flow from the
breast in order to stay attached and continue
to suck, especially if they are used to getting
flow from a bottle or other method of feeding.
Producing breast milk
As soon as you have an adopted baby in sight,
contact a lactation clinic and start getting
your milk supply ready.  Keep in mind, you
may never produce a full milk supply for your
baby, although it may happen.  You should
never feel discouraged by what you may be
pumping before the baby, as a pump is never
quite as good at extracting milk as a baby
who is well latched and sucking.

Breast Compression

The sole purpose of breast compression is to continue
the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer
drinks on his own.  Compression will also stimulate
a let down reflex and often causes a natural let
down reflex to occur.  This technique may also be
useful for the following:
 1.  Poor weight gain in the baby.
 2.  Colic in the breast fed baby.
 3.  Frequent feedings or long feedings.
 4.  Sore nipples for the mother.
 5.  Recurrent blocked ducts
 6.  Feeding the baby who falls asleep quick.
If everything is going well, breast compression may
not be necessary.  When all is well, the mother should
allow the baby to finish feeding on the first side,
then if the baby wants more - offer the other side.
How to use breast compression
 1.  Hold the baby with one arm.
 2.  Hold the breast with the other arm, thumb
on one side of your breast, your finger on the other
far back from the nipple
 3.  Keep an eye out for the baby's drinking,
although there is no need to be obsessive about
catching every suck.  The baby will get more milk when
drinking with an open pause type of suck.
 4.  When the baby is nibbling or no longer
drinking, compress the breast, not so hard that it
hurts though.  With the breast compression, the baby
should begin drinking again.
 5.  Keep up the pressure until the baby no
longer drinks with the compression, then release the
pressure.  If the baby doesn't stop sucking with the
release of compression, wait a bit before compressing
 6.  The reason for releasing pressure is to
allow your hand to rest, and allow the milk to begin
flowing to the baby again.  If the baby stops sucking
when you release the pressure, he'll start again
once he tastes milk.
 7.  When the baby starts to suck again, he
may drink.  If not, simply compress again.
 8.  Continue feeding on the first side until
the baby no longer drinks with compression.  You
should allow him time to stay on that side until he
starts drinking again, on his own.
 9.  If the baby is no longer drinking, allow
to come off the breast or take him off.
 10.  If the baby still wants more, offer the
other side and repeat the process as above.
 11.  Unless you have sore nipples, you may
want to switch sides like this several times.
 12.  Always work to improve the baby's latch.

Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Once you've given birth, breast feeding is the single
most important thing you can do to protect your baby
and help to promote good health.  Best of all, breast
feeding is free.
Along with saving you money on HMR (Human Milk
Replacement), breast feeding can also help you to
keep your medical bills down.  Babies that are fed
with formula get sicker more often and more seriously
than babies that are breast fed  They also have more
ear infections, respiratory infections, and other
This can be even more true if your family has had a
history of allergies.  When a baby is breast fed, the
antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby,
helping to protect against illness and allergies.  As
the baby's system matures, his body will begin to
make it's own antibodies, and he'll be more equipped
to handle sensitivities of food.
Sucking on the breast will also help with the
development or jaw alignment and the development of
the cheekbone.  For this very reason, there is less
of the need for costly orthodontic work when the
child gets older.
Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always
available, convenient, and always the right temperature
for feeding.  Plus, it contains all of the vitamins
and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a 
lot of money. 
Breast feeding also offers many benefits for the mom
as well.  The baby sucking at the breast will cause
contractions right after birth, leading to less
bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to it's
shape before pregnancy much faster. 
Breast feeding will also burn calories, so a mom can
lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with
a bottle.  Breast feeding will also create a special
bond with the mother and the baby - which is one
thing formula simpy cannot do.
(word count 307)

Avoiding Foods While Breast Feeding

Many women find that they can eat whatever they may
like during breast feeding.  Even though it's true
that some stongly favored foods can change the
taste of your milk, many babies seem to enjoy the
varieties of breast milk flavors.  Occasionally,
your baby may get cranky at the breast after you
eat certain foods.  If you notice this happening,
simply avoid that particular food.
The most common offenders duing breast feeding
include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, garlic,
chili, lime, gassy vegetables, and fruits with
laxative type effects, such as prunes and cherries.
You can have a cup or two of coffee a day, although
too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's
sleep and even make him or her cranky.  Keep in
mind, caffeine is found in many soda's, tea, and
even over the counter type medicine as well.
It's okay to have an alcoholic beverage every now
and the, although having more than one drink can
increase your blood alcohol level, putting the
alcohol into your breast milk. 
If you are planning to have more than one drink
at a time, it's best to wait two hours or more
per drink before you resume any type of nursing
or breast feeding.  There is no need to pump
and dump unless your breasts are full and its
time to feed your baby.  While breast feeding,
any type of heavy drinking should be avoided.
Before you actually omit any foods from your
diet, you should talk to your doctor.  If you
avoid certain foods and it causes a nutritional
imbalance, you may need to see a nutritionist
for advice on taking other foods or getting
nutritional supplements.