Breast­feed­ing ba­sics for baby’s chang­ing needs

Townsville Bulletin - - About a Baby -

six-week-old baby was nurs­ing about ev­ery three hours and seemed to be thriv­ing. Now, sud­denly he wants to nurse ev­ery hour. Could some­thing have hap­pened to my milk sup­ply? Mum of two, Bush­land Beach

preg­nancy your breasts will have changed and de­vel­oped to be ready to pro­vide milk for your baby. It usu­ally comes in ( that is, the amount in­creases greatly) a few days af­ter birth. The first milk in the breasts fol­low­ing de­liv­ery and of­ten be­fore it, is called colostrum. It is thicker, yel­low­ish milk which is more con­cen­trated than ma­ture milk. It is also rich in pro­tein and in an­ti­bod­ies that help to pro­tect your baby from disease. The amount of colostrum in your your blood­stream. One of the hor­mones ( pro­lactin) ac­ti­vates the milk-mak­ing tis­sues. The other hor­mone ( oxy­tocin) causes the breast to push out or let down the milk.

How do I know if my baby is get­ting enough breast­milk?

If your baby shows two or more of the signs be­low then it is prob­a­ble that you do have enough milk.

At least six to eight very wet cloth nap­pies in 24 hours pro­vided no other flu­ids or solids are be­ing given. A very young baby will usu­ally have two or more soft bowel move­ments a day for sev­eral weeks. An older baby is likely to have fewer than this. Small quan­ti­ties of strong, dark urine or formed bowel mo­tions sug­gest the baby is in need of more breast­milk.

Good skin colour and mus­cle tone.

Your baby is alert and rea­son­ably con­tented and is not con­stantly want­ing to feed.

Some weight gain and growth in length and head cir­cum­fer­ence.

How to make more milk: De­mand = Sup­ply. To build your sup­ply, the fol­low­ing sug­ges­tions may help.

Pro­vided that your baby is cor­rectly po­si­tioned you will find that the quick­est and most suc­cess­ful way to boost your sup­ply is to breast­feed more fre­quently. You may want to of­fer a breast­feed ev­ery two or three hours dur­ing the day, for a few days, or at least in­crease the num­ber of feeds by of­fer­ing the breast in be­tween your baby’s usual breast­feeds.

Here is an easy way of do­ing this. If your baby does not set­tle af­ter a feed, wait 20 or 30 min­utes and then of­fer an­other quick lit­tle top­ping up breast­feed. Those few min­utes of ex­tra nurs­ing and cud­dling may be all that is needed to soothe and sat­isfy. Email your ques­tions to aboutababy@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au. Donna Gan­dini is a gen­eral and neona­tal pae­di­a­tri­cian and breast­feed­ing ad­viser. Con­tact her at 4778 4581, at Health and Well­be­ing North Ward or at the Fair­field Waters Med­i­cal Cen­tre.

When­ever prac­ti­ca­ble, let your baby fin­ish the first breast be­fore switch­ing to the sec­ond breast. Let your baby de­cide the length of the breast­feed. Some ba­bies may take up to 20 min­utes or longer to drain a breast and ob­tain all the kilo­joule-rich milk.

Al­ter­na­tively you may find it helps to change sides sev­eral times dur­ing a feed when­ever your baby’s suck­ing seems to be­come less vig­or­ous.

You will find that through­out lac­ta­tion baby will have days when more breast­feeds are needed. This is Na­ture’s way of pro­duc­ing more milk for your baby’s grow­ing needs.

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