Some mothers are able to produce more milk than their children can tolerate or need. A strong flow of milk 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:
Experience choking and coughing
Move away from the chest
Press your nipple, trying to stop the milk flow, causing you pain
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 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 will be able to suck from the nipple.
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, and another is by placing it in a container with warm water. In addition to thawing, you can heat the milk to a warm temperature using one of the following methods. 1) Place for a few minutes the container with milk inside another container filled with hot water, 2) place it under running hot water until the desired temperature is obtained, or 3) 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, so it 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 that 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.
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 lean your baby back to give him the drops gradually. If you have any doubts about how to give it to him or which drops to buy, don’t forget to contact your doctor or drugstore before giving it to your baby.
In the case of premature babies, they may need iron supplements 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 he needs. Remember to ask your pediatrician if your baby needs additional supplements to meet his nutritional requirements.
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 promote 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.
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.
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 colics, or is restless)
Blood or mucus in feces
Skin rash and inflammation
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.
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, the World Health Organization, the 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 until 24 months of age along 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.
There are many different ways you can hold your baby, such as: the cradle hold (sit down comfortably, hold your baby’s head in the crook of your arm and have her whole body face you), the cross-cradle hold (hold your with the arm opposite to the breast with which you will feed her and place her in front of you), football hold (carry your baby as if you were carrying a football, tuck her under your arm and support her head with your hand), or lying sideways (lie down and use your upper or lower arm to cradle your baby’s head to your breast). Whatever position you choose just make sure that your baby’s whole body is facing yours.
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.
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 in 2-3 weeks your body will adjust.
The best position for breastfeeding. 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 from one breast, and then, to feed him 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.
Can I eat fish? You may hear that fish contains mercury, a common pollutant that’s a known neurotoxin that 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.
How about alcohol? You will probably like to have an occasional beer or a glass of wine; after all you haven’t had one for nine months! It’s okay to have a glass, but if you have a bit too much wait until the alcohol has cleared from your body before breastfeeding.
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!
A nursing pillow is essential. Once your baby is latched onto your breast and nursing, you won’t want to 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.
How long do I have to breastfeed? The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. But, ultimately, you’ll have the last say. It’ll all depend on how you feel emotionally, as well as your personal circumstances. Discuss with your doctor and partner how long you want to breastfeed for.
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 your little one. Try talking, singing or even reading a book. Even when your baby is just a newborn, he will still be absorbing language skills every time you speak or sing.