Are you going to have a baby soon? Have you decided to exclusively breastfeed your little one? Are you ready for this new adventure? If yes, then here we go!
Breastfeeding reminds us of the universal truth that the more we give out, the more we are filled up. The amount of nourishment we give to our little ones through breastfeeding is very great, however, not every mother is given the gift of abundance to provide breastmilk for their baby, no matter how much they want it. So if you are a breastfeeding mom, let’s discuss the common questions asked by breastfeeding mommies to ensure the best breastfeeding adventure you could share with your little one.
•Is it normal to have uneven supply of milk in your breast?
Breastfeeding moms commonly experience uneven supply of milk in breasts. It could even make their breasts uneven in size too. It is not something to be scared or to be concerned of anyhow, so as long as you and your baby are comfortable and feeding well, then that’s okay.
•Is it true that cabbage could soothe a sore breast?
Yes, it is true that the use of chilled or cold cabbage leaves could soothe the swollen breasts and engorgement. You just need to was the whole unripped cabbage leaves, chill them inside the fridge and wrap them in your breasts. While its true that cabbage are remedies for sore breasts, avoid leaving them there for too long as it might decrease your milk supply too.
•What should I do if my baby doesn’t want or know how to latch?
Most babies know how to latch by themselves even when they are just newly born, but if your baby is needing some help, then try to do the following; move to a more quiet and peaceful place, try carrying and swaddling your baby to calm him, if he is crying and fussy, try your best to make relax first, make him comfortable before you offer your breasts. Try squeezing a little milk out from your nipples before you bring them to the baby’s mouth. The taste and smell of milk might help the baby to make him try and latch to get some more of it. If your baby just won’t cooperate or you tried but still to no avail, try seeing a lactation consultant to get some help.
•How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
If your baby comes off from latching on his own without a fuss and just settled, if your breasts are tender and feels less full after feeding, if your baby feeds 8 to 12 times in a day, if your baby has 5 or more fully wet nappies through out the entire day, if your baby is latching properly and swallowing clearly as the milk comes in, and if there is a relevant increase in your baby’s weight, then that means that your baby is well fed and is getting enough milk from you.
•Is it normal not to have menstrual cycle while breastfeeding?
While some momies get their periods back after 1-2 months from giving birth, it is normal not to have it back even for more than a year if you are into breastfeeding. Many breastfeeding moms get their periods back once they start feeding solids to their baby or when they start weaning. There is no specific time though that you can guarantee for your period to get back. Every mom’s body is different from one another so you can never really tell.
•How often should I feed my baby?
They say a well-fed baby is fed about 8-12 times a day, yet for some mommies, they offer their breast anytime, whenever the baby asks for it. Breastfeeding doesn’t only supply food for the baby but it could sometimes give them comfort and can make babies relax. So whenever the baby asks for it, give it a go. You can never overfed a breastfeeding baby anyway.
•What should I do about blocked milk ducts?
Blocked or clogged milk ducts occur when there is blockage in the ducts and the milk would have poor insufficient drainage. This could cause a tender swollen lump in the breast which could be painful. What you can do is hot compress the swollen or lumpy part of the breast. Gently massage the swollen part. Consistently breastfeed your baby on both breasts to avoid storage of milk in breasts for too long. Clogged milk ducts can be cured and normally gets better after 2 days. If your breasts are too painful, or you are running a fever and the swelling area becomes redish already, consult your doctor to avoid further problems such as infection.
•How do I treat nipple sores?
You can try to vary positions while breastfeeding. If you change your position, your baby’s mouth will change position while latching as well so it will lessen the pain. Putting some milk into your sore nipples after feeding are believed to be helpful too because of breastmilk’s antibacterial properties. Gel pads can promote healing and ease soreness also. And lastly, you can try using nipple shield to lessen the direct contact to your sore nipples. Ask your consultant to help you with how to effectively use nipple shields if you think you need one.
•When can I use nipple shields?
Nipple shields are temporary solutions to breastfeeding problems. With the guidance of lactating professional, mothers are assisted to properly use nipple shields. This product can be used only if your baby is having latching issues and problems including having tongue tie, if the mother’s nipple is sore, cracked and too much painful to latch on. If your baby is a preemie, suction could be challenging for them. If you are a mom who is having a flat or inverted nipples, nipple shield could be a big help for you to successfully win in your breastfeeding journey. Be sure to ask for guidance in using nipple shield though because improper usage of nipple shield might affect the mother’s supply of milk and the breastfeeding journey as a whole.
•Is it normal that I only have little amount of milk after birth?
Colostrum or the protein-rich milk that comes out of the mother’s breast after giving birth is normally just little. Some mothers only have a couple drops of it. Don’t lose hope though as breastmilk supply doubles up during the first 24 hours after giving birth. Just continue to let your baby latch on. Breastmilk production is based on supply and demand, so the more you nurse your baby, the more milk will be produced in your body.
•When do I stop breastfeeding?
If you wish to exclusively breastfeed your baby, do not give him any other food for the first 6 months of his life other than your own milk. As you introduce other solid food (puree of vegetables and fruits), continue giving him your milk for it is still his main source of food and energy. As advised by World Health Organization, breastmilk is best for babies up to 2 years of age. However, there are also mothers who are still a bit hesitant to fully wean their babies by then and there are also babies who just can’t let go of breastfeeding that easily. It is okay to do extended breastfeeding as you wish, but eventually, you may start training your baby to fully wean when they are about to start schooling.
Breastfeeding is such a wonderful adventure to be shared by a mother and her child. No amount of playtime could ever replace the bond that is built through breastfeeding. There would be so much challenges you could encounter as you go through it, there yould be times you would want to consider putting it into a stop, and using formula milk instead. But whenever you breastfeed your baby and you get to have that little time when you both stare at eachother, look into those eyes full of love and affection for you, will you be able to experience that when you decide to stop? And also, just think of the nutrients, enery and strength you could give to your baby, not to mention the antibodies you are passing on to him so his little body could fight the bacteria which may try to harm him.
Breastfeeding may be a very challenging phase. But if you look at it, it is very much beneficial more than you could ever imagine. Not just for your baby, but it has wonder works for your body too. It is said that you are much more likely to go back to your shape after birth if you are breastfeeding. It can lower the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. It also saves you time, money and effort since you won’t have to buy formula milk for the baby, you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night and make milk for the baby, you will have more time to relax too since you won’t have to worry about washing the feeding bottles, sterilizing everything to ensure cleanliness. All you have to do is offer your breast and feed the baby. It my be hard and challenging at first, but as soon as you and your baby gets more comfortable of it, as soon as you find the best position and the tricks you both would love, then you can finally say that breastfeeding is hard, but it sure is worth it.