Our health visitor tackles your queries and questions on breastfeeding
A: Leaking milk shows lactation is going well. Some mums leak a lot while others never do. Either way, it’s not a direct indication of too much milk and is due to the hormone oxytocin, present when the letdown reflex stimulates milk release. Leaking generally settles down in the first few months, though not always. Allowing your baby frequent, unrestricted feeds might help. You could also apply firm pressure to the breast if you feel the tingle of the letdown reflex. You can do this discretely in public if you cross your arms across your chest and hug yourself or press your forearms against your chest.
If you’re at home, collect excess milk to freeze and use later. Use breast pads and choose tops with busy prints to provide camouflage.
A: It’s unusual for a mum to be unable to breastfeed due to insufficient milk production. But perceived insufficiency is one of the most common reasons for giving up. At least your first experience has made you aware of the potential pitfalls.
Breastfeeding works on simple supply and demand. The more your baby goes to the breast, the more you’ll produce. Little ones have growth spurts, leading to a few days of constant feeding. This means your milk supply will be boosted, and isn’t a sign that you’re not producing enough.
Talk to your midwife and a breastfeeding counsellor before you give birth. This is a different baby and you’re a more experienced mum now. There’s an excellent chance of success.
A: After 5 weeks of successful breastfeeding, you’re the expert on what your baby needs. Feeding on demand ensures a good supply of milk, as demonstrated by her healthy weight gain. In the early days it’s normal for babies to have 8 to 12 breastfeeds in a 24 hours period. Keep it up for now, and she’ll continue to bloom.
A: It’s worrying when babies vomit, as it can be the first sign that they’re unwell. But for some little ones, ‘regurgitating’ or ‘posseting’ small amounts of milk is just their way.
Babies have very small tummies, which act as a reservoir for milk. If your newborn keeps feeding once his tummy’ full, the extra milk has no where to go other than up! As long as he’s growing well, and being sick doesn’t go hand in hand with any other symptoms, it’s nothing to worry about.
A: Breastfeeding mums often envy those who bottlefeed and know exactly how much milk a baby has or should have. But, as you know, babies rarely follow recommendations! You know your little one best – offer him more milk if you feel he needs it. Monitor his weight at the baby clinic, and just enjoy watching him thrive.
A: Thinking you could have insufficient milk is a common reason for becoming disheartened with breastfeeding. However, only a tiny number of women don’t have enough milk for their babies, and most women can breastfeed for as long as they want.
Far from your first time having a negative influence on feeding again, this time you’ll be better prepared. It can take 2 to 4 weeks to master breastfeeding. The following will make successful breastfeeding more likely:
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