What could be easier and more natural than breastfeeding? This is how our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers fed their children. It is thanks to this physiological feature of women that mankind has not died of hunger, but continues to exist and develop. The more interesting, in this situation, is the phenomenon that around breastfeeding there are a huge number of myths, legends, stereotypes, and mistakes, which give rise to more and more new disputes, new questions: breastfeeding or artificial nutrition? If breastfeeding, is it on demand or by the hour? How to avoid stagnant milk? How to stimulate lactation? How to reduce lactation? Till what age to continue breastfeeding? How to finish breastfeeding correctly? This is just a part of the questions that every young mother faces.
Breastfeeding is the norm. There is nothing sacrificial or heroic in this process. That’s the way nature intended it. A healthy mother who has given birth to a child can nurse her baby. How much, how long, how often – these are other questions. A woman’s body is constantly changing since birth. How long and how much a woman will feed each particular child depends on many factors: hormonal background, psychological state, state of health, genetic disposition. Here, one thing is important to understand – if a woman can breastfeed – it’s the best investment in the physical and psychological health of the baby.
How to prepare for breastfeeding
Do you need to specially prepare for breastfeeding your baby? As we have already said, breastfeeding is as natural a process as possible. However, in order not to be confused at the crucial moment, you should start preparing your breasts for breastfeeding in the last months of pregnancy. By preparing, we mean, simple daily procedures, namely: taking air baths for 20-30 minutes, wet wipe, stiff towel, with a gradual decrease in water temperature from 24 to 20 degrees, light stroking massage on the chest with stretching the nipples, especially if they are retracted. We also recommend that you choose underwear made of 100% natural fabrics.
The beginning of lactation: on-demand or by the hour? So you’ve had your baby, on which we congratulate you! Probably it is impossible to be 100% prepared for this moment since it is such an important and exciting event in the life of any family. To begin with, a new mother needs to change her way of life and adjust such seemingly normal processes as taking care of herself, a baby, sleep, food, and, of course, feeding on demand. The first and most significant milk product in a baby’s life is colostrum. It can start to be secreted from a woman’s breasts before the birth, on the first day, or during the 3-5 days afterward. This is why it is necessary to offer the breast to the baby to take colostrum constantly, because, again, it is an incredibly useful product for the baby. Unfortunately, this is often not given enough importance.
The Transition Moment in Baby Feeding
On the fifth day after delivery, the colostrum usually ends, and transitional milk appears, which becomes more by the hour. If the breast has not become too stiff, it means that the outflow is sufficient. If a woman feels that the breast is hardened – this is a signal that it is necessary to seek help from the maternity hospital staff. After all, with stagnant milk, the baby will not be able to drink it freely, will be nervous, and, consequently, lose weight. Needless to say, the physical and psychological state of the mother also can not be positive in this situation. But do not worry, the way out of this situation is simple: find a comfortable position for feeding, attach alternately to one and second breast as often as possible, observe that the breast did not start to get too hard, and if necessary, seek medical attention immediately.
On the 4th day after childbirth, lactation crises sometimes occur. The treatment, in this case, is one – put the baby to the breast as frequently as possible, and your body is sure to cope with this problem. What you should really pay attention to:
- Learn how to properly attach the baby to the breast;
- Develop an individual, comfortable for mom and baby feeding tactics: when, how much, where?
By 10-14 days after birth, normal milk begins to be produced. With the right attitude towards lactation, usually, all difficulties go away. So we wish you patience and careful attention to yourself and your baby. For emergencies, it is important to maintain contact with the medical staff, and if there are any issues be sure to contact the doctor.
Lack of lactation – you have to be mentally and physically prepared for that, too
If an unfortunate situation occurs and lactation does not occur, or milk is allocated in minimal quantities, it may be due to the physiological characteristics of the mother, or operations performed on the breast. Of course, this is not a disaster. Today there is a huge range of artificial milk formulas. Just parents need to understand some indicators: composition, the origin of ingredients, age standards, and manufacturers. Many accessible, interesting, and reliable information about milk formulas you can find at organicsbestshop.com. Here you can find products for the most demanding small gourmets. The brands that offer their products go through a very strict framework of control and certification. Highly adapted formula is as close as possible to breast milk and is made from organic products.
How long to continue breastfeeding
Until what age do I breastfeed my baby? This decision is up to the mother based on her life circumstances. The Ministry of Health recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2.5 years. I think that it is necessary and possible to continue breastfeeding as long as it is comfortable for the mother and as long as the baby needs it. In any case, even if the mother has to go to work before the end of maternity leave, you can not stop breastfeeding, and establish a regime of feeding, which will suit the mother and the baby to grow up.
In conclusion, I want to wish moms good health and patience. After all, if something you really want – it will happen. For example: the history of known cases where an elderly woman breastfed her infant grandson in wartime. There are also described cases of breast milk appearing in the glands of women who breastfed “alien” children. Today, this is commonly referred to as induced lactation, when breastfeeding is observed in women who have not previously breastfed or even been pregnant before. We are talking about women who have decided to take a baby from an orphanage. This shows the complexity of the breastfeeding process and the psychosomatic abilities of our brains. To understand how you can regain lost lactation or start it from scratch, it is important to know that the trigger mechanism lies in a woman’s great desire to feed her baby. Lactation processes begin to function both at the physiological level (during pregnancy the mechanisms of breastfeeding are triggered), and at the psychological, emotional level. Therefore, a nursing mother’s desire for her motivation is very significant for the restoration of breastfeeding.