BREAST FEEDING

Breastfeeding

7 mejores para bebés post a new article about some BREAST FEEDING tips or issues.

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.

Here are some of the most common reasons for low milk supply and some strategies that may help.

1. Insufficient glandular tissue

Some women’s breasts don’t develop normally (for various reasons) and may not have enough “milk-making” ducts to meet their baby’s needs.

Ducts do grow during each pregnancy and breastfeeding stimulates the growth of more ducts and tissue, so this may be less of a problem with a second or third baby.

There are certainly steps you can take to maximize your milk production (these might include pumping and taking a prescription medication–talk to your doctor and a breastfeeding expert) but you may also need to supplement a low milk supply with formula.

It’s worth the effort to continuing breastfeeding, though, as even a small amount of your milk will help support your baby’s immune system, brain development and nutritional needs.

2. Hormonal or endocrine problems

Perhaps you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a low or high thyroid, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) or hormonal problems that made it difficult for you to conceive.

Any of these issues may also contribute to low milk supply because making milk relies on the hormonal signals being sent to the breasts. What can you do?.

In some cases, treatment of your health problem will help you to boost milk production, although supplementation may be needed. A visit to a breastfeeding clinic or lactation consultant can help you find an approach that will work with your specific condition.

3. Previous breast surgery

Breast surgeries can be done for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Breast reductions or enhancements, for example, are increasingly common.

Nipple piercings can also be considered a kind of breast surgery and may damage milk ducts in the nipple.

How much these surgeries affect breastfeeding varies widely, depending on how the procedure was done, how much time has passed between the surgery and the birth of the baby and whether there were any complications that might have caused scarring or damage to the breasts.

Some women, especially those with breast enhancements rather than reductions, may be able to exclusively breastfeed without any difficulty. Others will need extra help and may have to supplement.

4. Using hormonal birth control

Many mothers who breastfeed and take birth control pills find their milk production doesn’t change, but for some, any form of hormonal birth control (the pill, patch or injections) can cause a significant drop in their milk.

This is more likely to happen if you start using these contraceptives before your baby is four months old, but it can happen later as well. The first step to increasing your milk supply again is to stop the medication, but talk to your doctor before you do and be prepared to change birth control methods.

Some mothers also need extra help (such as a prescription medication, herbal supplements and/or pumping) to boost milk production.

5. Taking certain medications or herbs

Pseudoephredine (the active ingredient in Sudafed and similar cold medications), methergine, bromocriptine or large amounts of sage, parsley or peppermint can affect your milk.

If you find your milk supply has dropped and realize you have taken one of the medications listed here, ask your doctor about an alternative treatment for your cold or health ailment.

Increased breastfeeding and possibly pumping will help you build up your milk production again.

6. Sucking difficulties or anatomical issues

The problem may not even be low milk supply, but lie with your little one; it may be difficult for him to get the milk from your breasts. He may, for example, have a tongue-tie.

That means the thin membrane of tissue at the bottom of his mouth is holding the baby’s tongue too tightly, so that he’s not able to use it properly to extract the milk. (A baby doesn’t really suck the milk out of your breast, he uses his tongue to help compress the breast and push the milk into his mouth) .

In many cases this is fairly easy to see, but for some babies the restricting membrane is at the back of the tongue and harder to identify.

Check to see if your baby is able to stick his tongue out (over his bottom lip) and that he touches it to the roof of his mouth when crying. If your baby is tongue-tied, the membrane can be clipped by a doctor and the baby’s ability to breastfeed will improve quickly.

Other problems can also cause sucking difficulties (such as cleft lip and cleft palate), so if you suspect your baby isn’t feeding well, check with an expert or your doctor.

7. Not feeding at night

There are many books and programs that offer sleep-training methods to get babies to sleep longer at night without waking for feedings.

While these techniques can work for some families, the loss of those night feedings can mean problems with weight gain for some babies. Why?

Mothers vary a lot in how much milk they are able to store in their breasts between feedings. With no feedings overnight, their milk supply starts to drop.

The level of prolactin (the hormone that signals the breasts to make milk) is also higher during night feedings, so the lowered overall prolactin can also contribute to a drop in milk.

It’s hard to resist the lure of more sleep, but for many mothers, those nightly feedings are essential to avoid low milk supply.

If you have started sleep training and find your milk supply going down, consider reintroducing one or two night feedings.

8. Scheduling feedings and/or using a pacifier between feedings

Your breasts make milk continuously, but the rate at which milk is made depends on how empty they are.

You’ll make more milk when your breasts are close to empty and less milk when they are already filled up.

When your baby is feeding infrequently, because you have put him on a three- or four-hour schedule for example, or because you are giving him a pacifier to stretch out the time between feedings, your breasts are fuller for longer periods of time.

That means milk production slows down. When babies are breastfed in response to their cues, they tend to have shorter, frequent feedings and this means the breasts are emptier most of the time and so they continue to produce plenty of milk.

9. Birth medications or jaundice

Mothers don’t always realize that medications used in labour, such as epidural anaesthetic or Demerol, can affect the baby’s ability to latch on and breastfeed effectively.

Some studies show these effects last as long as a month, depending on the medication used in the epidural and the length of time the mother received it. 

Jaundice, a common condition in newborns, can also make your baby sleepier than usual, so that he doesn’t wake up to nurse as often as he would otherwise.

In both cases, you may need to pump your milk to build up a good supply. Once your baby has cleared the medications from his system and the jaundice has been treated, he will probably begin nursing well and you’ll be able to reduce and eventually stop pumping.

10. Supplementation

Especially in the first couple of weeks, supplementing with formula tricks your breasts into producing less milk.

“In the early weeks, the breasts’ capacity for milk production is calibrated in response to the amount of milk that is removed,” says lactation consultant Diana West.

“If less milk is removed, the breasts assume that less milk is needed, so the capacity is set at a lower point.” When your baby is given formula supplements, she naturally eats less at the breast, and the breasts respond by making less milk.

If supplementation is necessary, pumping as well as breastfeeding can help to promote a higher volume of milk production.

When you need to supplement breast milk

If you do experience low milk supply, you’ll need to give your baby some formula as well.

Usually this is temporary, until your own milk supply increases or until your baby starts enough solid foods that the supplement isn’t needed.

But too many mothers find that once they start giving formula they’ve take the first step on a path that leads to decreasing milk production and an early end to breastfeeding.

But there are ways to successfully supplement and still keep breastfeeding. Try these approaches:

Consider supplementing at the breast with a feeding tube that has one end in a container of formula and the other slipped into the baby’s mouth as he breastfeeds.

Some mothers will tape the tube to their breasts, while others slide it into the corner of the baby’s mouth as he nurses.

This method ensures that the baby gets both formula and breast milk at the same time and he’s encouraged to keep breastfeeding.

If you are supplementing with a bottle, give the bottle first and breastfeed second. Put a bit less formula in the bottle than you expect the baby to take.

By giving the bottle first, the baby isn’t frantically hungry when he comes to the breast and may be more willing to work at learning to breastfeed well.

He also gets to experience having a full tummy while he’s at the breast, which gives him positive feelings about breastfeeding. Let him nurse as long as he wants.

When you give a bottle to supplement breastfeeding, take your time. Hold the baby in a semi-upright position (not lying on his back) and keep the bottle horizontal so that he has to work to suck the milk out.

If he pauses or stops sucking, you can take the nipple out of his mouth to give him a little rest. This keeps the baby from expecting milk to just pour into his mouth (as it can with a fast-flowing bottle nipple when the bottle is held in a more vertical position), so he’s more willing to work at breastfeeding.

Encourage plenty of breastfeeding times that aren’t about food. If your baby gets fussy an hour or two after formula and nursing, offer the breast again.

She might only nurse for a short time, but these brief but frequent feedings actually do a lot to encourage milk production and continued breastfeeding.

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.

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 changes.

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.

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 problems.

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 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 work.

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.

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 possible.

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.

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 over200 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.

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