Child healthWomen and health


While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby- Amy Spangler

All these benefits and still a mother choose not to breast feed. Why?

  • Breasts are seen as sex objects and for these reason, some women will choose not to breastfeed so as to prevent their breasts from sagging.

I wonder if this is what Anne Quindlen implies in this quote.”When an actress takes off her clothes on screen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways we are as committed to the old Madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the Madonna stays at home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure”

  • Breast feeding is exhausting. Imagine having to be alert all the time, twenty four hours a day and seven day a week? Breast feeding is a tough job that cannot be performed by anyone else except the mother, and mothers happen to be humans who get tired, sleepy like all of us.
  • Partner

Some fathers seem to disagree with the fact that boobs are for breast feeding. They will do nothing to support the mother. Some will even make it worse by telling their wives not to breastfeed

  • Unfriendly working environment

Children need to be breast fed exclusively for 6 months. Very few employers will give their employees maternity leaves in excess of a day.

They don’t make matters better by allowing these women to have their babies around so they can breastfeed them on demand

Mothers are therefore left with one option, to wean their babies when they are barely two months old, and to limit the breast feeding sessions to before and after they leave for work. Sad


Baby fed at least eight times/ day

Baby is calm and satisfied after feeds

Baby sleeps for 2-4 hours after a feed

Normal motion, no constipation-semi formed stools, with fermentive order. One motion after every feed to one motion in 2—3 days

Normal amount of urine about five to six times per day

Weight gain of 150-210 grams per week


Slow weight gain, weight loss or no gain at all

Decreased amount of urine

Cries after emptying both breasts

Suckling of fists between feeds

Sleeplessness or short sleep

Constipation or hunger stools-frequent, small, green in color

While some people underfeed their infants, some overfeed or should I say over breast feed theirs. Here are the signs of overfeeding:

Frequent regurgitation, vomiting

Large bulky stools

Abdominal distension

Polyuria- (excessive urination)

Baby overweight

Overfeeding should be managed by feeding the baby four hourly.


Myth: “You can’t breast feed if you have small breasts”.

Reality: Breasts of all shapes and sizes can satisfy the hungry baby.

Myth: “Breast feeding is a lot of trouble”.

Reality: Breasts, as opposed to bottles, are ready when the baby is ready.

Myth: “Breast feeding ties you down”.

Reality: Breast milk can be stored if mother decides she wants to go out. When the mother goes out she always has the food supply for the baby no matter how long she plans to stay out.

Myth: “Breast feeding ruins your breasts”.

Reality: Breast-feeding does not change the shape or size of the breasts. There are other factors (i.e. – age, not wearing a bra, or excess weight) that can change the shape & size of breasts.

Myth: “The father is excluded during breast feeding”.

Reality: An involved father will take advantage of opportunity such as bathing, diapering, holding, & playing with the baby.


Why learn how to express milk?

To relieve painful breast engorgement between feeds

To help nutrition when suckling is reduced for example in premature children or those with cleft lip

To help feed the baby when the mother is away working for example

To keep milk production going when necessary to rest the nipples e.g. when sore

The best way to learn is from a midwife, and by watching a mother who is already successfully expressing milk. Pumps are available from any chemist. If not, wash hands, and dry on a clean towel, then, try to start flow by:

  • Briefly rolling the nipple: this may induce a let-down reflex, especially if the baby is nearby.
  • Stroke the breast gently towards the nipple.
  • With circular movements, massage the breast gently with the 3 middle fingers.
  • Then start expressing or milking into a clean wide-mouthed container

Expressed milk can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours.

Babies should be breast fed on demand i.e. whenever the baby or mother wants with no restrictions on length or frequency. Breast feeding on demand is important because;

  • It keeps the baby happy, and enhances milk production.
  • Fewer breast problems like breast engorgement arise
  • Less incidence of jaundice
  • Breast milk flow is established sooner
  • Earlier passage of meconium ( meconium is the greenish sticky stools that a baby first passes, before their stools become normal)


  • If you have active tuberculosis and are on anti-tuberculosis medication {some of the drugs are secreted in breast milk
  • If a mother has cancer and is on anti-cancer medication
  • A mother on anti-biotics- like tetracycline that are secreted in breast milk
  • HIV is not an absolute contra-indication to breastfeeding.
  • Pregnancy- is also not a contra-indication to breastfeeding

It is however prudent to stop breastfeeding at the fifth month- so as to maintain nutrients for the growing fetus


  1. Breast Engorgement

Treat by frequent breastfeeding, or manual expression

  1. Breast Abscess

Treated by antibiotics

  • Sore Nipple

This is corrected by ensuring that the baby is correctly attached on the breast

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ON BREAST FEEDING? DON’T HESITATE TO ASK! SEND AN EMAIL TO with your question and I will send you a reply!

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