HAPPY BREASTFEEDING WEEK! (Pt 3)

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

MY BABY IS ADEQUATELY BREASTFED IF;

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

YOUR BABY IS UNDERFEEDING IF,

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.

BREAST FEEDING MYTHS

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.

HOW TO EXPRESS BREAST MILK

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)

WHEN NOT TO BREASTFEED

  • 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

BREASTFEEDING PROBLEMS

  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 oyunged@gmail.com with your question and I will send you a reply!

IT IS THE WORLD BREAST FEEDING WEEK! (Pt 2)

There are three reasons for breast feeding; the milk is always at the right temperature, it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can’t get it- Irena Chaimers.

Exclusive breastfeeding is defined as “an infant’s consumption of human milk with no supplementation of any type (no water, no juice, no nonhuman milk, and no foods) except for vitamins, minerals, and medications.

Infants should be fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives.

The benefits of breast milk to the child and the mother are numerous;

  • Breastfeeding helps mother and child to bond

You already love your child when they are born, when you breast feed them, you love them more and they love you back.

“Mother and child mutually gazing into each other’s eyes, telling each other secrets with just their eyes”

It is often said that a child knows the smell of its mother, and that a mother’s breast will produce milk on its own when the child cries, no matter how far apart mother and child are.

  • Breast fed children have a higher IQ than their counterparts who were never breast fed

See, breast feeding your child makes them wiser and brighter.

Breast milk contains galactose for brain development

  • Breast milk is cheap, clean and gives babies an attractive smell

I do not need to overemphasize the fact that breast milk is cheap, and readily available. Any mother who has tried formula feeds will tell you how much pocket damaging they can be.

Then apart from the issue of cost, there is the other problem of water, your feeds are as clean and safe as the water you use for mixing them and the containers you use

  • Breast milk protects against allergies

Compared to their bottle-fed counter- parts, breast fed infants have a low incidence of allergies such as atopic dermatitis.

  • Colostrum has endorphins good for birth associated stress

Colostrums is the first milk that is normally yellowish in color because it contains a high fat content

  • It reduces the risk of juvenile onset diabetes mellitus , rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease

These diseases are commoner in children who were not breast fed for some reason or another

  • It reduces infant mortality- otitis media, pneumonia and diarrhea are less in breast fed infants

This is because breast milk contains anti-bodies which protect the baby from infections

  • Breastfeeding helps mothers lose weight

Pregnancy is a weight gaining experience (he he) some mothers also gain a lot of weight during the period after giving birth. (What with everyone musing about the way they should eat so that they can breast feed their younglings?)

Breast feeding helps lose some of that undesirable weight

  • Suckling promotes uterine involution and this prevents post- partum hemorrhage

After the baby is born, the uterus contracts and this helps to prevent bleeding

Breast feeding helps in further contraction of the uterus hence reducing the chances of post partum bleeding

  • It is a contraceptive although it is not 100 percent effective

Some women will not start getting their periods until six months after giving birth. This phenomenon is known as lactational amenorrhea.

It is more pronounced in women who breast feed their children exclusively.

During this period, such women will not get pregnant

Note; this is not very effective and it is therefore important to use a contraceptive. If you do not want to be that woman who finds themselves pregnant when her baby is barely five months old

  • Breast feeding helps reduce breast and ovarian cancers

HAPPY WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK!

( BABIES, INDULGE………)

The world breast feeding week officially starts today. It is August first, a time to celebrate, encourage and teach all mothers (and fathers)how, why and when to breast feed their babies!

It is popular belief that breastfeeding is a skill that is inherent in all women. Attaching a baby on the breast is however not an ability with which a mother is born. Breast feeding is a skill that must be learned by observation and experience. Learning to breastfeed is as hard as learning to drive and as anxiety provoking. Mothers must therefore be apprenticed ante-natally, and even after their babies are born.

New mothers should start breastfeeding their babies as soon as they are born. A midwife should be present to help guide the mother through. Note that, she will find it tough at first. The first feeds will be problematic. But re-assure them that it doesn’t mean that they can’t do it, and most importantly, their babies will not starve. Therefore, there is no reason to be fast in giving those formula feeds.

How to breast feed

Successful breast feeding starts with the belief that you can do it. Don’t be uncertain or anxious.

-Mother and child should breastfeed in a relaxed environment.

-The mother should be helped into a comfortable position- lying by her side or seated in a comfortable chair.

-The infant should be cradled next to the breast with their head propped up by the mother’s hand.

-The infant should be placed with the their stomach flat against the mother’s upper abdomen (stomach to stomach).

-When the mouth is open the nipple and lower part of the areola is pushed well back into the infant’s mouth against the palate. This way, the hard palate compresses and massages the milk sinuses that lie beneath the areola

Your baby is well attached to the breast if;

  • The mouth is wide open
  • Baby’s chin touches the breast
  • Baby’s lower lip is curled outward
  • Usually the lower portion of the areola is not visible( areola is the black of the breast that normally surrounds the nipple)
  • Their nose is not buried into the breast as this might interfere with nasal breathing

Once the baby is properly attached to the breast, then you should;

Continue feeding until the baby releases the breast

Then hold the baby vertically and gently (note to fathers) tap their back two to three times to drive out swallowed air (burping the baby).

Place the baby in bed either lying on their side or prone (lying on their back).