Breastfeeding : FAQ

Q. When should breastfeeding be started?
Ans. Breastfeeding should be started immediately after the baby is born. The naked baby (after baby is mopped gently and made dry) should be held by the mother, close to her breasts for skin to skin contact.It stimulates smooth flow of milk and keeps the baby warm besides helping emotional bonding. After this start breastfeeding.
Q. Why breastfeeding should be started early?
Ans. Because
1 Baby is most active in first 30 to 60 minutes.
2 Sucking reflex is most active at that time.
3 Early start ensures success of exclusive breastfeeding. Colostrum, which is the first yellowish secretion from the breast, is full of substances which protect the baby from getting any infection and acts to prevent infection like a vaccine.
4 It prevents breast swelling and pain, reduces post delivery bleeding.
Q. After Caesarean- section delivery, can I breastfeed my baby successfully?
Ans. Yes. This operation does not affect your ability to successfully breastfeed your baby. You can start breastfeeding after 4 hrs. of operation or when you are out
of the effect of anaestheia. You can tilt your body to one side in the lying-down position and start feeding ,or you can put the baby on your abdomen and then feed the child. All mothers who have caesarean section deliveries are successful in breastfeeding their babies with assistance for the first few days.
Q. Can I feed my baby in lying down position?
Ans. Yes. You can feed your baby in any position comfortable to you and your baby. It may be lying down, sitting or reclining.
Q. I give gripe water and/ or ghutti to my baby- is it desirable or not?
Ans. No. Use of ghutti and gripe water is an unscientific practice.It is better not to use them. These preparations sometimes contain medications which are harmful and may induce sleep which is not natural.
Q. Does my baby needs vitamins?
Ans. Usually not. A baby who is exclusively breastfed for first six months does not need tonics or vitamins.If not exclusively breastfed, then yes.
Q. My milk looks thin and watery . Is it alright?
Ans.Yes. Milk at the start of breastfeed(foremilk)is thin and contains less fat. Hindmilk(near the end of feed) is thicker and full of fats. A baby needs both. Feed the baby in an unrestricted fashion to ensure that baby receives both foremilk and hind milk.
Q. Should I breastfeed from both the breasts each time I feed my baby?
Ans. One breast must be emptied out fully before the second is offered, so that the baby receives both foremilk and hind milk. When the baby releases one, breast other should be offered. If the baby is still
hungry he will feed from the other breast. Alternate breast should be offered at each feed.
Q. My baby is preterm. Can I breastfeed successfully?
Ans Yes. you can breastfeed a preterm baby successfully.
Q. How long can I continue to breastfeed?
Ans. You should breastfeed your baby exclusively for first 6 months and continue breastfeeding well upto 2 years or beyond.
Q. My milk leaks from breast after feeding the baby. What should I do?
Ans. It is a temporary problem and quite normal. If you notice the milk is leaking , press your elbows firmly against the outer margins of your breasts. This will slow down the flow.
Q. I don't have enough milk . What should I do?
Ans. Sign of getting adequate milk supply is the baby passing urine 6 times (or more) in 24 hours and baby gaining weight 500gms per month. The feeling of inadequate milk is usually apparent and not true as it comes from the mother believing that she is not producing enough breastmilk or if the baby asks for feeds more frequently or cries a lot. What you should do is put your child more often at your breast. Increased suckling frequently will increase "prolactin" production and in turn increase your milk supply. Also, avoid tension which inhibits the milk flow.
Q. I have pain in the nipples while feeding the baby.What should I do?
Ans. The cause of pain, probably is that your baby is suckling in an incorrect position. If the baby is suckling only at the nipple, it causes sore nipple, which is painful. The treatment is to feed your baby in the correct position. Once your baby starts suckling in the correct position, pain will immediately disappear. Applying any cream or lotion is not recommended. You can put few drops of your own breastmilk over the damaged area and allow it to dry.
Q. My baby is passing frequent loose stools.Do I need to worry?
Ans. An exclusively breastfed baby sometimes passes frequent loose stools. It is normal.
Q. I am sick, can I still breastfeed my baby?
Ans. Yes. You can continue breastfeeding even if you are sick. Most of the diseases do not affect the baby even typhoid, malaria, tuberculosis, jaundice or leprosy don't call for stopping breastfeeding.
Q. I am taking medicines.Can I continue breastfeeding my baby?
Ans. Yes. Most commonly used drugs don't cause any harm to babies For further advice consult your doctor.
Q. Should washing the breast before and after each feed be done ?
Ans. No. Daily bathing is all that is required. Avoid applying soap on your nipples. Frequent washing or cleaning of the breast is likely to remove the antibacterial lubricating oil produced by the special glands present in the areola.
Q. Some of my friends give fruit juices and soups during early months of life. My baby is 3 months old.Should I start giving these to my baby?
Ans. No. From birth till 6 months your child should be given only breastmilk. Any other food or drink given may be harmful for your child and also increases his chances of getting diarrhoea. Giving these would deprive your baby of adequate amount of breastmilk.
Q. I want to start bottlefeeding so that baby does not refuse to accept it later. What do you think?
Ans. There is no need to give bottlefeeding and it should be avoided. If necessary, child can take milk from a cup.Even atfer six months if needed your child should be fed with a cup and a spoon.Bottle feeding is not necessary.
Q. What is the harm of using one bottle-feed a day when I am boiling the bottles carefully?
Ans. Starting bottlefeed leads to three major problems
  1. Baby starts refusing the breast due to nipple confusion.
  2. It will reduce your own milk supply.
  3. The baby becomes more prone to infections because of bottle. Inspite of boiling the bottle the chances of infection are higher in the babies who are bottlefed than who are not given bottles.
Q. In case I need to give artificial milk, how should I give?
Ans. If the baby has to be given artificial milk it should be given with a cup or a spoon and not with a bottle. Any mistake in the process of preparing a bottle-feed can lead to infections.
Q. Does smoking affect my milk and my baby?
Ans. Yes. Smoking can reduce your milk supply. It may also make your child more prone to respiratory infections and asthma.


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