Friday, March 25, 2011

Facts on breastfeeding that most nursing mothers unaware of

This is from notes that I extensively did the research and collected during my breastfeeding journey for my first born. I am a mother so basically I speak from my heart, from what I have gone through. Besides that, I had attended Lactation Course for Support Group so basically I am obliged to share knowledge acquired.

Out of passion and concern when I see mothers especially among people that I know or I close with does not breastfeed their baby, I hope beginning of this chat onwards, I would like to share on what I have experienced, what I can recommend & more. Please take note that I am not belittling these mothers who does not breastfeed, they are not bad mothers, in fact there is no such thing as bad mother. Perhaps by sharing, these is the least I can do & by all means if you have any concern or willing to seek my views on this topic, please do so. I'll be happy to assist in whenever possible.

I have collected these reliable informations from various sources namely; Baby Center, Kelly Mom, La Leche League, Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre Ltd & others as well.

Reversed nursing
Reversed nursing is when baby wakes to nurse more often at night. This usually happens to nursing mothers who are working, as they are not around during the day and direct breastmilk then is limited. It is very important to learn to nurse while lying down. This way both of you would not miss any sleep.

Breastfeeding is not only for nutrients but it’s also for comfort, security and the bonding that babies can’t get from bottled expressed breast milk (EBM) during the day. The night feeds are also important to ensure your milk supply adequate as it stimulates your breast to produce milk.

Nursing strike
A baby who refuses to breastfeed, and is not in the process of being weaned, is said to be on a ‘nursing strike’. A nursing strike is your baby’s way of telling you something is wrong. According to the La Leche League International, some of the most common reasons for a nursing strike include:

  • Mouth pain from teething, a cold sore, or an infection (such as ‘thrush’)
  • An ear infection, which causes pressure or pain while nursing.
  • A cold or stuffy nose, which makes breathing difficult while nursing.
  • Too many bottles or overuse of a pacifier, resulting in nipple confusion and / or reduced milk supply.
  • Regular distractions, noise, or interruption while nursing.
  • Repeatedly putting off your baby or letting her cry when she wants to nurse.
  • A major disruption in baby’s routine, such as moving or Mom’s returning to work.
  • An unusually long separation from you.
  • Food or breast milk sensitivity or allergy (most likely to occur in the early months)
  • A cream or perfumed product applied on or near your breasts
  • Change in the taste of your milk caused by a vitamin, a drug or certain foods.

A nursing strike usually lasts between two and five days or longer. While you continue to encourage your baby to nurse, you will need to express your milk by hand or pump every few hours. This will help prevent plugged ducts or engorgement, and provide your baby with the milk she needs.

Here are some recommended ways to overcome a nursing strike.

  • Try nursing when your baby is asleep or very sleepy.
  • Visit the paeditrician to rule out any medical causes such as ear infection
  • Vary nursing position
  • Nurse in motion. Some babies are more likely to nurse when you rock or walk them than when you’re sitting or standing still.
  • Nurse in an environment that is free from distractions.
  • Give your baby lots of skin-to-skin contact (try nursing without a shirt on or in a warm bath)

Aroused while nursing
There’s nothing to be embarrassed about as this is a normal physiological response to lactation hormones. Breastfeeding feels good! As your baby nurses, prolactin – known as the ‘mothering hormone’ stimulates the body to manufacture milk. This hormone gives you a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Oxytocin, another hormone secreted during breastfeeding, causes the alveoli to contract, releasing milk into the ducts, the milk sinuses, and your baby’s mouth. This hormone is responsible for the tingling sensation some mothers feel before a milk ejection reflex or letdown and the postpartum uterine cramping felt while breastfeeding.

Oxytocin also causes labour contractions during childbirth and the pleasure contractions during orgasm. Varying amounts of oxytocin are attributed to these different contractions. The arousal you describe while nursing may also be the result of the empowerment and satisfaction you feel knowing that you are meeting all of your daughter’s nutrition and emotional needs at the breast.

Don’t shake the milk
Shaking expressed mother’s milk (or boiling or freezing it) denatures the shaped molecules of the protective proteins leaving only the pieces – the amino acids – the parts. Lactoferrin, lysozyme and other protective components work their protection magic when they rae in their original shaped molecular structure. Some components remain intact even during freezing, shaking or heating. They not only protect the gut from many kinds of infection, but also prevent inflammation of the gut lining. Even broken up, the separate amino acids are still really good stuff and are digested by the baby as nutrients.

Imagine a set of pop-beads assembled into a necklace or bracelet. When the beads are acting as a bracelet or necklace, they are doing their job as protective elements. When you break apart the beads, you have in your hand many individual chunks of amino acids which are then digested.

Cellular components are also susceptible to damage by physical stress. After all they are living cells.

With mother’s milk, you get at least two functions for the price of one. With manufactured formula, you only get the individual beads, never the necklace or bracelet. And never the living cells.

So please handle human milk gently, respectfully and kindly. It’s far more than perfect food for babies – it’s a living tissue and protective shield too.

Appearance of stored milk
The appearance of stored milk can take on many forms. Most moms notice that after a while the fats in the milk begin to separate from the body of it. They may arise to the top or settle on the sides of the storage container, Before emptying the milk into our baby’s bottle bottle or cup and right before serving it to baby, be sure to gently swirl the milk so that the fats can be redeposited back into the rest of the milk.

Milk that has been expressed can look thin and some moms may think this appearance means that their milk is low in fat. Human milk does not look like cow’s milk in container. Cow’s milk has been homogenized giving it a more white appearance than cow’s milk that has not been homogenized or expressed human milk. At other times, the milk may take different tints of colour. This can be in relation to something mom has eaten or a medication she is taking. The colour of the milk is not harmful to the baby.

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