POSITIVE REASONS TO BREASTFEED
There are so many we don’t have the room to name all but here are some advantages of breastfeeding:
Breast-fed babies are healthier. Mom’s breast milk provides baby with immunity factors and antibodies not available in artificial baby milk. Your baby will be sick less and not as prone to have allergy problems if you breast feed!
Breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby.
Breast fed babies have better cognitive development than bottle fed babies.
Breast milk is made especially for human babies and therefore is easily digested. Your baby will spit up less!
Breast milk is cheap, always available, always the right temperature and sanitary for your baby!
Breastfeeding Moms enjoy quicker weight loss after pregnancy and reduces their risk of breast cancer The longer a woman breast feeds the more protection she receives against breast cancer.
Babies love the taste of their mother’s milk. It is made especially for them!
CONCERNS ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
Breastfeeding is a precious gift most mothers can give to their babies easily, but sometimes problems can arise, These are common problems that have simple solutions.
- Sore tender nipples – usually caused from poor positioning at the breast. Repositioning the baby and making sure he latches correctly helps solve the problem. Tenderness upon initial latch in the first few weeks of breast-feeding is common and goes away. If pain continues throughout the feeding the baby needs to be repositioned. Soaking nipples in warm water, using lanolin on the nipples, and letting nipples air-dry after feedings help to heal sore nipples.
- Engorgement – usually occurs in the first three or four days after birth just before the milk “come in”. Breast can feel swollen, hard and painful. Warm compresses, massage and hot showers help to soften the breast and milk to flow out. It is important to breast feed baby frequently and to empty the breast to prevent engorgement. As Mom and baby become in tune with each other overtime, engorgement will be less of a problem. It is important to note that engorgement can last up to 6 weeks but afterwards the mother’s breasts will return to normal and they should no longer experience engorgement unless skipping feedings.
- Leaking – occurs during the early weeks of postpartum. Your baby is making milk to keep up the demands of the hungry infant. After you and baby are on a routine the leaking will diminish. Wear breathable breast pads and change them often. Wear light and multicolored clothing so leaks don’t show as much. Fold your arms tightly across your chest. Always breast feed baby before making love or going to bed.
- Plugged Duct – ducts that carry the milk into the nipple can become blocked and then plug up with milk. You can often see a white looking lump on the nipple. Frequent breastfeeding will prevent this problem. If you see a lump don’t be afraid to let baby suckle. Usually the baby will draw out the lump. It will not hurt baby to swallow this.
- Thrush – a yeast infection that can be in your nipple and/or in your baby’s mouth. You will feel sharp pain deep into the breast; your nipple will look fiery red. Your baby will often get white patches inside the checks, along the gum lines and on the tongue. It will be painful for baby to nurse. You and baby should both get treatment immediately. Call your doctor if you or your baby has this infection. With treatment it goes away quickly.
- Mastitis – is a breast infection. You will have flu-like symptoms. Your breast will often have red strikes, feel hot and be very painful. You need to get to bed and rest. You may need antibiotic so call your doctor if you are feeling like this. It is important that you continue to breast feed your baby during this time. The infection will not harm your infant and breastfeeding will help you get well quicker.
|WHERE TO GET HELP WITH BREASTFEEDING
|The KRMC OB Dept. – Jill Steiner & Tracy Wills
|The NVH OB Dept. – Sandy Beale and Deb Foss
|Flathead City-County Health Department
- Deb Spaulding (WIC)
- Ashley Peters
| WIC also offers breastfeeding classes every month:
- Odd Months are the 2nd Thursday from 11am – 1230pm
- Even Months are the 3rd Wednesday from 3pm-430pm
The WIC office has a loaner breast pump program available for breastfeeding mothers. We have hospital-grade, multi-user breast pumps which are used when the mother and infant are separated, such as an infant in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Single-user electric breast pumps are available to mothers who return to work or school and are separated from their infants for long periods of the day. Manual breast pumps are available to mothers who are occasionally separated from their infants for part of the day. Contact WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor to discuss your options.
HELPFUL ITEMS FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS
No Special equipment is needed for breastfeeding. All you need is a Mom with lactating breasts and a hungry baby! However, helpful items are available to Moms in the breastfeeding business! These items might include breast pads, special bras and blouses, pillow, and pumps. These items can be ordered through the hospitals or persons listed above. If they don’t sell the item they can tell you how to get it. Many of these items are now carried in department stores like WalMart or K-Mart. It is important you check with your lactation consultant before purchasing any kind of pump. Many of the pumps sold in stores are not good quality. The kind of pump you need – manual, battery or electric will depend on how long you plan to use it and what for. If you just need to pump occasionally when you go out to a restaurant, for the evening or movie, etc. a manual pump would be sufficient. However, a mom returning to work or school may need a battery/electric breast pump to maintain their milk supply. Your health care provider or lactation consultant can help you with these decisions.
WHEN TO CALL FOR HELP
Call your lactation consultant or health care provider if:
- Your baby has fewer than 6 wet diapers each day (from the 4th day on)
- Your baby has fewer that 3-4 yellow stools each day ( by the 4th day and through four weeks)
- Your milk is “in”, but you do not hear gulping or swallowing when the baby breast feeds.
- Your nipples are painful throughout the feeding.
- The baby seems to be breastfeeding all the time. You don’t feel as though your milk has “come in” by the fifth day.
- Your baby is gaining lass than 1/2 oz/day overall or hasn’t regained birth weight by 10 days to two weeks.
Remember! If you go home from the hospital in less than 48 hours, your baby needs to be seen by the physician two to three days after discharge and again around ten days to two weeks for a physical assessment and weight check. It is your responsibility to contact the doctor to schedule office visits and let them and certified lactation consultant know if you feel the breastfeeding isn’t going well.
Here are some helpful web sites:
Baby Milk Action http://www.babymilkaction.org/
Defining Professional Excellence in Lactation Management http://www.ilca.org/