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FAQs on Breastfeeding

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Now you have your bundle of joy in your hands and are busy with nurturing your baby with love and good nutrition. You have mastered the technique of breast feeding and are comfortable feeding your baby.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

However, here are some questions that may still come to your mind.

How often do I need to breast-feed?

Well, in the initial days you might have to feed your newborn every 2-3 hours which means that you need to feed your baby at least 8-12 times every day. However, some children may want more or less. Look out for signs of hunger in your baby. You will also notice that as your child grows older, the interval between the feeds will also be longer.

How long should each session last?

If you can’t figure out which breast was offered for the last feed, switch your finger ring or bangle to remember which breast to offer for the next session.

It depends on your child. Most newborns may feed for 10-15 minutes on each breast. However, some may feed for a longer time say for 30 minutes or so.
Just make sure that you have enough milk.

Do I need to feed my child both the breasts?

Again it depends on your child. After you child finishes one breast, burp him or her and then offer the second breast. If your child does not want to nurse from the
second breast, then do not force. Just remember to start the next feeding from the other breast.

How do I know when my child is full?

When your baby’s tummy is full, he or she will fall asleep or will unlatch from your breast.

How do I know if my child is getting enough milk?

You can be assured that your child is receiving enough milk if your child puts on weight and if he or she makes 6 to 8 wet diapers a day from the time he or she is a week old.

For how long can I store breast milk in refrigerator? Do I need to warm it before giving to my baby?

Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a period of 5 days and in the refrigerator freezer for up to 2 weeks. Yes, you need to warm it before giving it to your baby by running warm water over it to bring it to room temperature. Never refreeze it.

Should I wash my breast before and after feeding my baby?

No, you don’t have to do that. Your breast has natural protective oils which cleanses, lubricates and keep your breast germ free. Instead apply few drops of milk over your nipple after each feed as it acts as a barrier against infection.

Does smoking affect my milk?

Yes, smoking cigarette during breastfeeding can affect your milk supply and may thus upset your baby’s stomach. It is also linked to low milk production. Giving up smoking is the best thing you can do to protect both you and your baby’s health.

How can I prevent breast infections?

Breast infection can be prevented by feeding frequently and positioning your baby properly on the breast while feeding. Wash hands properly before touching your breasts after a nappy change.

My Milk looks thin and watery is it ok?

At the beginning of feeding your milk might look thin and watery which is normal and not a cause of concern.

How long I can continue breast feeding?

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for all babies for six months and then breastfeeding along with complimentary feeding for two years or beyond.

My breast leaks even after breastfeeding, what can be done?

Don’t worry, it will reduce over time. Meanwhile when leaking occurs, pressing your hand firmly on your nipple area works. Wear nursing pads inside your bra to absorb leaked milk.

Sometimes my baby bites during breastfeeding. What should I do?

To stop your baby from biting while breastfeeding you break the suction by putting your finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth and take him or her off your breast with a firm "No."

Is it ok for my baby to spit up after feeding?

As long as your baby is growing and gaining weight spiting up after feeding is perfectly normal. Babies usually spit up due to overfeeding or burping because of their immature digestive system.

To make my 1 month old baby habituated of other feeding options, should I give him or her water once a day?

If your baby is on breastfeed then it’s not required to feed any water until your baby has started eating solid food. However, if you baby is not on breast milk than he or she might require some extra water especially during hot weather.

Is it ok to breastfeed my baby for comfort or to make him or her to sleep, if his or her tummy is full?

Over feeding your baby might result in spitting up and it will make your baby to cry more. So, it is not ok to feed your baby for comfort or to make him or her to sleep if his or her tummy is full.

When should I start giving top milk to my baby?

World health Organisation and UNICEF recommend breast milk for the first 2 years. It is the best milk for your baby. Once your baby is two years old, talk with your doctor to know about various available options of feeding your baby. Giving cow’s milk can cause nutritional deficiencies in your baby as cow’s milk has low content of iron, vitamin C, zinc, niacin, etc.

Moreover, early introduction to cow’s milk increases your baby’s risk of developing allergy to milk proteins. It has been observed that Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is a common allergic disorder in young children. Such children are allergic to cow’s milk protein (b-lactoglobulin). Recurrent diarrhoea, vomiting, and recurrent bronchitis etc are some of the common manifestations of bovine milk allergy.

It’s best to consult your doctor before starting any milk.

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