10 BREAST­FEED­ING QUES­TIONS an­swered!

BREAST­FEED­ING Ex­pert ad­vice on the most com­mon ques­tions lactation con­sul­tants get asked

Your Baby & Toddler - - BREASTFEEDING - BY LINDA BRITZ, LACTATION SPE­CIAL­IST, NURS­ING SIS­TER AND MID­WIFE

WHY ARE MY NIP­PLES CRACKED AND BLEED­ING?

Sore, cracked and bleed­ing nip­ples are most com­monly due to an in­cor­rect latch. Pay care­ful at­ten­tion to po­si­tion­ing your baby com­fort­ably close up against you, and be sure that your baby is open­ing his mouth very wide and tak­ing a large por­tion of breast tis­sue into his mouth. It is not meant to hurt. Other rea­sons for sore­ness may be that your baby’s in­abil­ity to suck cor­rectly is due to a tongue tie (short frenu­lum) or even birth in­jury (due to an as­sisted birth, such as a for­ceps or vacuum ex­trac­tion), which may have caused dis­com­fort or stiff­ness, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for your baby to suckle ef­fec­tively.

Con­tact a breast­feed­ing sup­port group or a lactation con­sul­tant who can ob­serve and as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and pro­vide the cor­rect in­for­ma­tion to fix the prob­lem.

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Full, heav­ier breasts are nor­mal in the first week after birth. Mas­sage your breasts and do your breast care as of­ten as nec­es­sary.

Keep a head of cab­bage in the fridge just after birth. Cold cab­bage leaves are rec­om­mended as a home rem­edy to help re­lieve full swollen breasts and al­le­vi­ate pain. It re­ally works!

It is es­pe­cially im­por­tant to feed your baby fre­quently, as re­mov­ing milk from the breast re­lieves con­ges­tion and the dis­com­fort it brings.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, there is no food (be­sides al­co­hol) that should be ex­cluded from your diet while The con­tra­cep­tive pill that con­tains a com­bi­na­tion of hor­mones, in­clud­ing oe­stro­gen, should not be taken while breast­feed­ing. Oe­stro­gen in­ter­feres with the nor­mal bal­ance of the milk mak­ing hor­mones, and is known to de­crease your milk sup­ply.

The “mini-pill” is of­ten pre­scribed for new moth­ers who are breast­feed­ing, as it only con­tains pro­gestin. This is con­sid­ered safer and less likely to in­ter­fere with your sup­ply. Moth­ers of­ten com­ment that Ex­ces­sive al­co­hol or caf­feine in cof­fee can de­lay or in­hibit the let-down of milk from the breast, which may also cause the baby to be wake­ful and fussy at the breast.

Al­co­hol is not rec­om­mended dur­ing lactation. If you choose to con­sume al­co­hol or caf­feine drinks, then do so in small amounts, with a meal, and not right be­fore a feed.

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