Monday, July 13, 2009

Milk Supply II

Remember it IS possible to make enough milk. I went over the latch part hoping everyone learned the importance of it. Where I work, the latch part is not so much the issue.

First you have a good latch.

Now the first week of breastfeeding a newborn is the tricky part that all moms seem to be worried about (Is my baby getting enough). They cant see the milk and they freak out. The first fluid that your breast makes is called Colostrom. This is so important that the baby gets this. Moms think this is not enough for the baby which is one reason they start giving formula. Well, this is a lie and not truth. Colostrom is the BEST to give your baby during the first days of the babies life and this is all the baby needs. Babies DO NOT need formula. (Please keep in mind I am talking about Normal Healthy Babies with no medical conditions)

A newborns baby is very small and does not need a large amount to fill the baby. It is about the size of the marble and does not really stretch until the baby is about 7days old to the size of a ping pong and by then your milk has come in.

Colostrum is packed full of benefits for the baby. Such as Antibodies that protect baby's mucous membranes (throat, lungs, and intestines), which are the places most likely to come under attack from germs in the fragile newborn infant, White cells that can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses, Vitamin K to help protect baby against bleeding, Vitamin A is required for vision and is at it's highest the first week following birth, and protein that helps maintain baby's blood sugar, esp. for those who are at risk for low blood sugar.

Each baby is different and no experience is the same, but there are some general guidelines to follow to help establish a good milk supply

1. Nurse your baby at least eight times a day starting from day one and up to twelve times. This is the best way to stimulated milk production.
2. Make sure the baby feeds well on one side. This can take 15-30 minutes. Don’t stop a feeding. Let the baby decide he/she is finished. And always offer the second breast
3. It is better to feed more frequently than less often
4. At the beginning do not wait 3.5-4 hours to Breastfeed. Breastfeeding should be every 1.5-2 hours
5. In the first two to three days, a baby will “cluster” his nursing sessions by nursing very often for several hours in the day and then sleeping for a long time. This is normal. However, nurse at least eight times a day in order to stimulate milk production. By the third to fourth day after your milk has come in, nursing will fall into a pattern. Although all babies don’t follow the same pattern, a common one would be the baby who nurses eight to 12 times per day for about 30-40 minute sessions. Nurse your baby until he seems to be full and relaxed.

Milk is made by supply and demand. The more you empty your breast the more milk you produce. That is why it is important to breastfeed often and not wait so long between feedings. I will continue on tomorrow.

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