All your paediatric questions answered
All the information in this section has been provided by:
Dr Sanjay J Rao [Consultant Paediatrician]
Child Care Clinic
2013 100Ft Rd Indiranagar Bangalore 560008 Tel: 91 80 5767 8757/2526 7085
HELPFUL HINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING
By Dr. Sanjay Rao
· Nursing should begin as early as possible, preferably within an hour after delivery, when your baby is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even before the mother starts producing milk, her breasts contain colostrum, a yellowish liquid that is rich in antibodies and good for your baby.
· While feeding, always sit with your back well supported.
· You may feel thirsty when feeding, so keep something to drink handy
· Try to relax when feeding as your baby can sense it and will settle for a feed easily.
· The babyís mouth should be wide open with the nipple in the mouth as far inside as possible. This will minimize soreness of the motherís nipple. A nurse or any other experienced person can help her find a comfortable nursing position.
· Always bring your baby to the breast and not the breast to the baby.
· Offer the nipple to your baby. Donít stuff it in your babyís mouth.
· Feed your baby on demand and not on any strict time schedule. Remember, if your baby is hungry, he will surely let you know.
· Breast fed babies generally take feeds more often. This is because breast milk is digested more easily. The more your baby suckles the breast, the more milk you will produce.
· Never pull the nipple away from the babyís mouth to break the suction. Slip a finger between the jaws for the purpose.
· Alternate the breasts for feeds so that both the breasts are stimulated equally.
· Breast fed babies do not need formula supplements or water. These can decrease their appetite and consequently decrease your milk supply.
· If your breasts are engorged, hard and uncomfortable you can keep a warm towel on your breasts for 10 minutes before feeding.
· Air-dry your nipples after breastfeeding your baby. It will prevent the nipples from cracking, which can lead to infection.
· Symptoms of an infection in the breast include fever and painful lumps and redness in the breast. If this happens, see your doctor.
· If expressing milk, it is best to do so in between feeds so that there is enough milk in your breasts for your babyís regular feeds.
· Many mothers feel thirsty when feeding their baby so keep a glass of water handy.
· When your baby is feeding from one breast, it is common for the other breast to start leaking. Keep a clean hand towel ready.
· Nursing mothers need a balanced diet that includes at least an extra 500 calories a day along with 7 to 8 glasses of fluids. Make sure you eat right and plenty so that you can produce plenty of good milk.