When breastfeeding is not yet well established, the recent mom may encounter some small difficulties. Here are some errors that can interfere with the success of the shots.
During the first days of breastfeeding, it is very easy for the new mom to fall into a series of errors that could interfere with the normal start-up of breastfeeding. Next, we list them and we remind you how to act in each case.
Look at the clock
Years ago, it was the norm: between takes, the mother was suggested to take a break of two and a half hours or three. Actually, the discourse of the schedules is suitable for feeding with artificial milk, but not when the baby is breast-fed. The breastfeeding mother does not need the watch: it is her son who indicates when to breastfeed!
The mother can be sure that she feeds her child the right way, if she watches him carefully and fulfills his request. Breast milk is perfectly digestible, so that the child assimilates it quickly, and its composition changes constantly, even during a day or during the same feeding. It may happen that in the last feeding the baby has taken lactose-rich milk, which is lighter, and that is why he has assimilated it more quickly and half an hour later he has digested it. If the mother, instead of offering the breast when she wishes, waits for a predetermined time, the baby will go hungry for a long time. Only the baby knows when he is hungry and his stomach needs to be filled: the mother will have to trust him without worrying about the schedules, schemes, or number of meals.
In any case we must follow the opposite suggestion: while the baby is small and breastfeeding is in the “shooting” phase, it is better not to let much time pass between shots. If during the day the baby naps very long, of more than four hours in a row, at least at the beginning, it is better to wake him up and offer him the breast.
We must also remember that the baby can look for the breast because it is thirsty, or even because it needs comfort, and not just because it is hungry.
Devote a fixed time to breastfeed
In the same way that you do not have to look at the clock to know when you need to eat, it is also not recommended to set a time to breastfeed, because, as we have said, the composition of breast milk changes during the feeding. Initially, the child receives a milk richer in lactose, which removes thirst, but has less nutrients. During the second part of the shot, he receives the food that will make him grow. Stopping the take after a pre-established time, involves running the risk of denying the milk that contains more nutrients.
On the other hand, not all children are the same: there are babies who suck voraciously and, in a few minutes, leave the breast, and others who take longer to receive the amount of milk appropriate to their needs. Once again, the advice is to trust your child and forget about the clock. When the baby is full, it will spontaneously separate from the breast and will sleep satisfied in the arms of the mother.
Weigh you after each take
Weighing the baby before and after the feeding to find out how much he eats is a totally inadvisable practice for non-premature and healthy babies. As we have already said, since the composition of the milk is different during the intake, it may happen that the baby does not eat much, but that this milk has been very fat and nutritious. In this case, the response of the scale would be discouraging, when in fact the baby has just made a good meal. Other times, however, the baby may have taken a hundred grams, but a lighter milk … It is clear, therefore, that the information obtained by the two heavy is not really important to know if the baby is well nourished.
On the other hand, it is often very uncomfortable to weigh the baby after a feeding, since in many cases the babies fall asleep in the chest and it is a pity to wake them up to weigh them.
But, then, how can we know if the baby receives enough milk? Control the diapers that are dirty every day: a comfortable and immediate method. The baby has to urinate, at least, 6-8 times a day and has to do cakes regularly (approximately, they should be 2-4 every 24 hours, but this figure is very variable). In addition, the mother will weigh her baby once a week to assess the weight gain that, according to the new tables of the World Health Organization, in the first months, should be 180 to 200 grams a week.
Ignore chest pain
Cracks are one of the main causes of early abandonment of breastfeeding. The pain caused by lesions and / or cracks in the skin of the nipple is very intense and can transform breastfeeding into a moment of great discomfort for the mother. For this reason, it is important not to underestimate the pain, thinking that, if you resist, it will happen. Breastfeeding should not be painful and cracking is a sign that something is wrong and needs to be corrected.
In many cases, the cause of the problem is that the baby does not latch on to the breast, which only grasps the nipple and not a large part of the areola. Changing the position of the baby, little by little, also the cracks heal. But what to do in the meantime to calm the discomfort and facilitate healing? It is best not to resort to topical products and disinfectants, as they can dry and / or irritate the skin even more, and they must also be removed carefully before each take. The mother may, instead, spread a few drops of her milk through the nipple for a few days, which has antibacterial and healing properties.
It is also useful to change the position when breastfeeding, for example, by testing the shot under the arm or the “rugby” position, so that the pressure of the baby’s tongue affects a different area of the nipple.
In extreme cases, the mother can temporarily use nipple shields or avoid breastfeeding that hurts the most for a few days. To empty it, in the latter case, you can use a breast pump or manual extraction. Be careful, however, when the discomfort is very intense: you should contact a lactation expert to obtain specific information and advice.
Offer a supplement
“Will I have enough milk?” It is a common fear when breastfeeding is running and the recent mom still does not feel very confident about her potential to feed her child. In many cases, it is the constant demand of the baby that creates a bit of anxiety, but it is a false alarm, since the frequent takes (about 8-12 per 24 hours) are not only normal, but are essential to ensure a good milk production. In other cases, what overwhelms recent parents and makes them resort to supplements is the agitation of the baby at night or a sudden increase in demand, which can occur in the first and third months. It can also happen that the mother uses a breast pump to check the amount of milk that can be taken (another error, because there is no correspondence between the milk that the baby takes and the one that is extracted with a breast pump) and, after verifying that it is small amount, decide to offer the baby a supplement.
However, it interferes with the physiological mechanism of demand and supply, which regulates milk production. The more the baby sucks, that is, the more empty the breast, the more milk the mother’s body will produce to meet the needs of the child. If a complement is introduced, this balance is broken. It triggers a vicious circle that can, in the long run, lead to a premature conclusion of breastfeeding. Unless there is no clear medical indication, it is preferable not to give the child a supplement. If the mother has the impression that the child is less satisfied, it will be enough to breastfeed more frequently and, in a few days, the production will adapt to the new needs of the growing child. Because the body is a perfect machine!