Human milk provides nutrition, digestive enzymes, and immunologic factors of many types, growth factors, hormones, and other factors.
New components are found in it regularly. The colostrums in the breast milk prevents baby from many infections. Cow's milk does not provide half the nutrients that you get from mother's milk. It helps you loose weight and is there a cheaper way to do so. There are some questions that play on a person's mind about breastfeeding.
Let's look at them one by one.
Food intake during breastfeeding.
It is generally believed that you need to consume around 500 calories extra everyday when you are breastfeeding. There are no particular foods that you need to avoid during breastfeeding. But it is a good idea to have caffeine and alcohol in limited quantity. Although it is not a good idea to take alcohol while you are feeding if you really need to do so take it after you have feed your baby so that by the time your baby gets the next feed there will not be much alcohol content in your blood. Always make it a point to drink water or fluids after breastfeeding. Watch out if you have a family history of any allergies and try and avoid those foods.
Checking if your baby is getting enough milk
If your baby has latched on to your breast correcting his sucking will stimulate the hormones to produce enough quantity of milk. The baby generally needs to suck on each breast for about 10 minutes. But if you feel that he is sucking on it for very long hours and is not satisfied that means your supply is less. A child peeing and doing potty often is also a good indication that the baby is getting enough. Generally one sitting of breastfeeding should keep the baby full for about 2 hours. If the baby is crying before 2 hours that means he is not getting enough. Remember the more the baby sucks the more milk supply will increase. But after persistent trying you still feel you have not succeeded top it up with formula.
Get your baby to latch on correctly while breastfeeding
First sit in a comfortable position and then start feeding your baby. A breastfeeding pillow works like magic. It keeps you as well as the baby comfortable. Clean your nipples well before feeding the baby and then see to it that your baby's mouth covers the whole areola and not just the nipples. You could stimulate milk supply by pinching your nipples now and then. This is a very good exercise. Always breast feed in a quiet place as children are believed to breastfeed less in noisy places. Keep the lights low and switch on some light soothing music.
Using top feed
Though most people will not recommend it I personally feel top feed is a good idea once a day. Cow milk is not suitable before 1 year and formula can be given once a day. See you should remember that while if you need to go out you can pump your milk in a bottle and go, but there may be situations where you fall ill and cannot breastfeed. We need to make the child accustomed to outside milk.
Taking care of nipples
Cracked and sore nipples are a common problem in breastfeeding. To avoid such a situation see to it that you feed your baby in a correct way. Sitting down cross legged on the bed with the baby on some support is the best position for breastfeeding. Sometimes babies have a problem called tongue-tie where the baby is not able to suck on the nipple properly. But never ignore a cracked nipple as it could soon start bleeding and you definitely don't want your baby to drink that milk. You should consult your doctor or apply some cream on the nipple.
Breastfeeding twins can be very demanding and difficult for a mother. The mother has to be make a choice between feeding both the babies together or at other times she could feed the more demanding baby first and the other baby later.
Breastfeeding pillows can be of a great help to a mother of twins. This mother has to see to it that she follows a healthy diet. She has to eat for two babies. Instead of taking few large meals it is better to take small meals at regular intervals, as there will be regular calorie intake. Try and drink a lot of fluids when you are breastfeeding.
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