HaveHav lac­ta­tion or breast­feed­ing con­cerns? Ask Ef­fath

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Ef­fath Yas­min an­swers all your breast­feed­ing and lac­ta­tion queries

My baby is six months old and is ex­clu­sively breast­fed. Lately, I have no­ticed that he has been sweat­ing pro­fusely when he is be­ing nursed. Ini­tially, I thought that it could be be­cause sum­mer is set­ting in, but his breath­ing has be­come re­ally rapid and he gasps a lot while nurs­ing. He seems tired and often falls asleep in the mid­dle of his feed. This is in­ter­rupt­ing in the amount of milk he should be drink­ing. I am wor­ried. Please ad­vice. SAGARIKA TAMBE, PUNE Dear Sagarika, Con­grat­u­la­tions for ex­clu­sively breast­feed­ing your baby. It must be a joy to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence this re­la­tion­ship. With re­gard to your son’s sweat­ing, the first step would be to fig­ure out if this has been a re­cent de­vel­op­ment. While sweat­ing dur­ing cli­mate changes is ex­pected, when breast­feed­ing, you and your baby are in close con­tact and this can some­times make your baby feel warmer than usual. If this the case then to help your baby reg­u­late his tem­per­a­ture, keep his and your cloth­ing light and ob­serve if that makes a dif­fer­ence. How­ever, in case you have al­ready taken this pre­cau­tion but have no­ticed lit­tle to no change, ob­serve if your baby has had to work harder than nor­mal to trans­fer milk. This can be due to: Con­gen­i­tal con­di­tion called Anky­loglos­sia or Tongue Tie. This is a tis­sue un­der the tongue that can make it tight and cause dif­fi­culty in us­ing this mus­cle to co­or­di­nate suck, swal­low and breath­ing. This can make the baby sweat as he will tire out dur­ing his feed. Heart pump­ing more to al­low body to func­tion bet­ter. Pul­monary atre­sia is a con­gen­i­tal heart con­di­tion which does not al­low the valve in the heart to func­tion bet­ter, lead­ing to lack of oxy­gen in the lungs. Also some­times it is a sign of hy­per­thy­roidism. It is also im­por­tant to know that sweat­ing isn’t the only sign of these con­di­tions. Some of the other symp­toms might be: Rapid and dif­fi­cult breath­ing. This is seen as baby pop­ping on and off the breast dur­ing feeds to switch be­tween breath­ing and suck­ling. Your baby may fall asleep dur­ing feed­ing due to tired­ness. If this is the case, he will show signs of in­suf­fi­cient weight gain or need to feed less in a 24-hour pe­riod. How­ever, keep­ing a check on your laun­dry list may put your con­cerns to rest: Use light cloth­ing for you and your baby. Fur­ther­more, en­sure you main­tain a cool and breath­able en­vi­ron­ment in the room you choose to nurse. Open­ing a win­dow can help a great deal. The use of a cap, mit­tens or socks can make your baby’s body warmer. We don’t re­alise that harm­less things like this can some­times make a baby un­com­fort­able. If you are us­ing a baby carrier or a nurs­ing cape, en­sure it is made of breath­able cloth and won’t af­fect your baby’s body tem­per­a­ture in any way. Do get your baby eval­u­ated by a knowl­edge­able In­ter­na­tional Board cer­ti­fied Lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant or a pe­di­a­tri­cian, in case you have tried most of what can usu­ally help. This will help rule out any other con­di­tions.

Ef­fath Yas­min is In­dia’s lead­ing In­ter­na­tional Board Cer­ti­fied lac­ta­tion Con­sul­tant (IBCLC), Bio­dy­namic Cran­ioSacral Ther­a­pist, in­ter­na­tion­ally cer­ti­fied lac­ta­tion ed­u­ca­tor and the founder di­rec­tor of Nour­ish & Nur­ture Lac­ta­tion Care & Par­ent­ing Ed­u­ca­tion, an out­reach clinic for moth­ers and fam­i­lies seek­ing pro­fes­sional clin­i­cal lac­ta­tion man­age­ment and par­ent­ing coun­selling. Yas­min sits on the board of di­rec­tors and Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Board of Birth In­dia, an NGO striv­ing for safe and sup­ported birth in In­dia and an ac­tive gov­ern­ing coun­cil mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Tongue-Tie pro­fes­sion­als (IATP).

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