Category Archives: Breastfeeding

What will happen if I produce too much milk?

Some mothers are able to produce more milk than their children can tolerate or need. This is due to a strong flow of milk, which comes out quickly and with great force. This situation can be common during the first weeks of breastfeeding while your hormones are being regularized. However, some moms’ strong flow may extend beyond the first few weeks. This can be a bit irritating; however, the good news is that your body is producing a lot of food to be consumed by your little one. Now, if this happens, and you don’t see any improvement, it’s important to look for help to learn how to manage the output of milk and at the same time check your baby’s reaction to the intense milk flow.

How do I know if my milk flow is very strong?

Your baby will:

• Present nausea.

• Experience choking and coughing.

• Have colics.

• Move away from the chest.

• Press your nipple, trying to stop the milk flow, causing you pain.

• Cry or fuss during nursing time.

• Want to eat frequently.

• Present reflux.

• Have explosive and green feces.

In you:

• If your baby separates from your breast, milk will keep coming out quickly without control.

• Your breasts will be overfilled so you feel congestion all the time.

• Milk will come out without control when nursing.

• You will feel your chest milk ducts are obstructed.

What to do in order to contain the strong flow of milk?

• Before breastfeeding, extract some milk to reduce its output speed. Milk is extracted manually or with the help of a breast pump. Just try not to take out a great amount of milk so that further production is not stimulated.

• Milk is made up of two parts. The first part is dense in lactose; the remaining one contains a greater quantity of fat. Try to give your baby both parts because if he only drinks the first one, he may experience colic.

• Try not to extract milk between feedings, do it only if you feel discomfort. Just verify that you don’t have clogged milk ducts in order to prevent infections.

• Nurse from one single breast for a couple of feedings and then switch to the other. Don’t extract milk from the breast you are not using.

• Look for an alternate nursing position. Sit your baby facing you, lean back slightly and place his head somewhat high on your breast. Try different positions to stimulate the whole breast.

• Pause and burp your baby frequently.

Most likely, the over-production of milk will be managed as your baby grows. Also, your baby will learn to tolerate the flow of milk or get used to it. Now, if you notice that none of the above help, and you’ve given it some time, it is better to contact your specialist for evaluation. He or she will advise an appropriate treatment.

How to feed my premature baby?

If your baby was born before week 34, it is likely that his body has not finished developing the mechanism for sucking and swallowing. You don’t have to worry about it because babies have an inborn ability to learn how to do it, but it requires some time and help. For this reason, medical specialists may insert a gastric tube through your baby’s mouth to supply the necessary ounces of milk for his growth. There are special formulas for the premature, but according to experts, it is better to use breast milk as it contains all the nutrients your baby needs. Thanks to the wisdom of the body, the milk you produce when your baby is premature contains calories, vitamins, and proteins customized for his growth! It also contains antibodies, prebiotics, and nutrients that help build his immune system.

In order to feed your baby with breast milk, it is necessary to extract it manually or by means of a breast pump. To secure the continuous flow of milk, it must be extracted about 8 times a day. A good diet and rest are important to have a good milk production. When your baby no longer requires the use of the tube, you can use a device consisting of a plastic bag where the breast milk is inserted, and a thin tube to be attached on your breast. Once you have the chest tube attached, you will need to adjust it to your nipple and to insert it into the corner of your child’s mouth. This method is convenient during the time the baby learns how to suck milk. Another way to stimulate the suction is using a bottle containing your milk. Whatever technique is used, once the baby dominates the suction mechanism he or she will be able to suck from the nipple.

Using my frozen milk

One of the many benefits of breast milk is that it can be extracted and stored in the freezer until the moment it needs to be used. Now, you may be wondering about the appropriate way to use it after storage. Keep reading, we will talk about frozen breast milk.

The first step is defrosting, a process that can be done in different ways: one is by moving it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight; another one is by placing it in a container with warm water. In addition to thawing, you can heat the milk to a warm temperature using either of the following methods. Place the container with milk for a few minutes inside another container filled with hot water; place it under running hot water until the desired temperature is obtained; or place it in a baby bottle and use a milk warmer to heat the bottle. Whichever option you use, don’t forget to check the temperature of the milk by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist. If it feels warm, you can give it to your baby, but if it is hot, let it cool down. Once the milk reaches an appropriate temperature, mix it well; and shake it before giving it to your child. Lastly, remember not to use the microwave. It doesn’t heat the milk evenly, and the milk can be overheated and burn your baby.

Hot milk is not the only dilemma that you may face. There are cases where you do not have the opportunity to heat the milk to obtain a lukewarm temperature, for instance, when you are not at home. Don’t worry about it! There is no counter-indication to say that you should not give your baby mild-cold milk. However, many babies tend to reject it because they are not used to taking it at room temperature. If your baby tolerates milk at room temperature or even slightly cooler, that’s fine. However, if milk is not well accepted and you are not at home, you can choose to breastfeed or place pre-prepared bottles in an insulated bag inside your diaper bag to maintain the desired temperature. Whichever technique you use, just don’t forget to use thawed milk within 24 hours. Also, if you have not used it, don’t store it again in the freezer or save leftovers for further consumption.

Does my baby need vitamin supplements?

You may be wondering if your baby needs supplements during lactation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breast milk contains all the vitamins your baby needs with the exception of vitamin D. Therefore, it is necessary to give 400 IU of vitamin D daily with a pipette filled to 1 ml and leaning your baby back to give him the drops gradually. Don’t forget to contact your doctor or drugstore before giving it to your baby if you have any doubts about how to give it to him or which drops to buy.

In the case of premature babies, they may need iron supplementation in addition to vitamin D, mainly due to their limited capacity for storing this mineral before starting to consume solid food. If your little one only drinks breast milk, the doctor might recommend iron supplements. However, if your little one consumes formula on its own or as a supplement to breast milk, make sure that you are giving him iron fortified milk, since this meets the requirements the baby needs. Remember to ask your pediatrician if your baby needs additional supplements to meet his or her nutritional requirements.

Breastfeeding and working moms

Time has come when you are ready to return to your work, and you want to continue breastfeeding. Here are some things to look out for.

Get to know your rights at work. To allow breastfeeding, many workplaces allow mothers under lactation to arrive 30 minutes later and/or leave 30 minutes earlier. On the other hand, if work is near your home or daycare, great! You can breastfeed or extract milk during your breaks. If you can’t go to your baby during your breaks, maybe a family member can take him to your workplace for feeding. If this is also not possible, don’t worry!  You can extract your milk and store it.

What to do to extract milk at work?

• Bring a good breast bump. If you don’t have one, review our article “Tips for milk extraction”.

• Don’t forget to always carry clean containers to collect the milk.

• Have access to a refrigerator or a cooler to store your milk.

• Find out if there is a lactation room or exclusive place where you can have privacy.

• In order to avoid stains on your shirt, place cotton in your bra.

• Practice using your breast bump at home, if you have not used it yet; that way you won’t have any problems at work.

• It’s best to have milk stored at home, in case extraction is not possible.

• As milk production varies from time to time, try to extract milk at the same time every day, ideally every two or three hours.

• Have a balanced diet.

• Have a photo or video of your baby with you; this could instigate the production of breast milk.

• Finally, make an effort to be as relaxed as possible, since stress is the enemy of extracting milk.

Will my baby have an allergic reaction?

A breastfed baby may have an allergic reaction to the food consumed by his mom.  Now, these allergies are not very common, but they happen sometimes, so we will show you the signs that may indicate that an allergic reaction or intolerance has occurred:

• Frequent regurgitation or vomiting

• Apparent pain in the stomach (he passes gas frequently, has colic or is restless)

• Blood or mucus in feces

• Hard feces

• Skin rash and inflammation

• Diarrhea

What if I notice that my baby has an allergic reaction or intolerance?

Contact your pediatrician and avoid consuming the food that you think may have caused the reactions. If you notice that your baby struggles to breathe after one feeding, it may be an emergency. If this happens, call your emergency contact.

Breastfeeding 101

Breast milk is a great gift from nature and a universal aspect of motherhood. Not only does it provide adequate and personalized nutrition for your little one, but it’s also a great way to form emotional bonds. It has so many benefits that the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and many other organizations consistently recommended breastfeeding as the best choice for feeding infants, exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then continue at least until your baby is 24 months of age with complementary foods.

Giving your baby breast milk involves learning a new skill; and that requires patience and practice. You might even need to wait a few days before milk production is established. So don’t worry if your milk does not come out at first, once your ‘let down reflex’ kicks in your supply will increase.

What should I do to start?

Begin by taking in a deep breath and get your body as relaxed and comfortable possible. Try to let things emerge spontaneously, as that promotes relaxation and helps your baby feel calm too. Choose whichever position you desire to breastfeed. You can be sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down, as long as you and your baby are comfortable. Continue reading

8 things you should know before you start breastfeeding

Breast milk is one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby. It’s packed with nutrients and antibodies that boost your newborn’s immunity, aid digestion, and promote brain development! But as a new mom you probably have some questions and anxiety about it, so we have come up with 8 things you should know before breastfeeding your baby.

  1. Breastfeeding may hurt initially. We’re not going to lie. Those first days, you might feel what experts call extreme tenderness – and what some moms call pain. But once your baby is properly latched, discomfort should fade during each nursing session and go away completely with time. Your nipples need to adapt, push through the pain and within 2 -3 weeks your body will adjust.
  2. The best position for breastfeeding. Actually there’s no correct position for breastfeeding. But probably while you’re still learning, you may find it easier to use the same hand for both breasts. This means you will hold your baby across your lap to feed on one breast, and then to feed from the other breast, you’ll hold your baby under your arm. *If your baby is having reflux, it’s best to choose an upright position.
  3. Can I eat fish? You may hear that fish contains mercury, a common pollutant that’s a known neurotoxin, which affects your baby’s brain. But don’t worry, most of the time the health benefits outweigh the risk! The exceptions are shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. These fish contain the highest levels of mercury, so eliminate those foods from your diet completely.
  4. How about alcohol? You would probably like to have an occasional beer or a glass of wine, after all you haven’t for nine months! It’s okay to have a glass, but if you have a bit too much wait until the alcohol has cleared your body before breastfeeding.
  5. Can I drink coffee? Caffeine is okay too, in moderate doses. So go ahead and enjoy your morning coffee, an afternoon tea or even the occasional soda. As long as you limit your caffeine intake to no more than two or three cups of a caffeinated beverage a day, you and baby will be just fine!
  6. A nursing pillow is essential. Once your baby is latched onto your breast and nursing you won’t want stop because your back hurts or your arms are tired. A nursing pillow may save you from the pain! It will help you position your baby correctly and stay comfy.
  7. How long do I have to breastfeed? The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends 6 months of breastfeeding only. But ultimately you’ll have the last say. It’ll all depend on how you feel emotionally, as well as your personal circumstances. Most moms breastfeed between three months to a year. Discuss with your doctor and partner how long you want to breastfeed for.
  8. Perfect for bonding time! Breastfeeding will not only provide your baby with good nutrition, it will also give you a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a bonding moment with him or her. Try talking, singing or even reading a book. Even when your baby is just a newborn, he or she will still be absorbing language skills every time you speak or sing.

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