During breastfeeding, you may experience a number of problems or have concerns about the safety of breastfeeding if you consume certain foods, smoke or have undergone breast surgery.
At the same time, you may be concerned about different aspects, especially in the first days of life of the newborn. It is normal to feel puzzled at first and not sure if the baby has grasped her breast well or has become saturated.
Remember that everything is learned over time, with patience and that you can always rely on family help or the advice of a breastfeeding counselor.
How do you realize your baby is sucking well?
It is the first question that comes to mind, especially if you are the first child and you were just born. As soon as you breastfeed, the newborn will begin to suck quickly, stimulating the reflex of milk release.
As the milk reaches its throat, it will slow down its sucking rhythm. He will suck once or twice before swallowing, then take a short break. When the baby sucks like this, several minutes at each breastfeeding, your breasts are stimulated to produce even more milk. You will be able to hear your child swallowing the milk, and this will bring relief to your soul.
There are also cases when you don't hear your baby swallowing, despite the fact that he gets enough milk. Ask your breastfeeding consultant to explain how you can tell your baby is actually drinking milk.
Signs that show the newborn is feeding well:
- In the first few days of breastfeeding, as long as the baby receives colostrum, which contains all your antibodies, providing him with strong immune protection, the baby will only wet one or two diapers a day;
- From the third or fourth day, once the lactation is started, the newborn should wet about seven diapers a day;
- If you receive enough milk, your baby will have at least two to five chairs every 24 hours in the first months of life.
- if the little one sleeps a lot instead of feeding for three hours and becomes lethargic, call the pediatrician immediately; the baby may not be properly hydrated.
Signs that the baby is receiving enough milk:
- the baby is fed frequently, 8 to 12 times within 24 hours;
- the baby sets his own feeding duration, varying between 10 and 20 minutes or even longer;
- the baby makes sounds when he swallows milk from the breast;
- the newborn begins to gain weight after the fourth day of life, the normal values varying between 120 and 210 grams per week;
- the baby is alert and active, has a good overall condition, firm skin and grows both in length and in the circumference of the head.
How do you know the baby has become saturated
Encourage your child to suck on a breast as long as he or she wants. After the breast has cleared, give it to the other. Your baby will tell you when it has become saturated.
There are no rules regarding the duration or frequency of breastfeeding. Remember that "true" milk is secreted later after birth, and that it is important in proper feeding of the baby and in the process of harmonious growth.
Feed your baby often at the breast, every two to three hours. On average, this results in 8-12 breastfeeding per day. If your baby is breastfeeding, don't worry. This may indicate that it needs a longer feeding time. As you practice breastfeeding, you will get to know your child and recognize their feeding needs.
Generally, your baby will let go of the breast alone in the mouth. This means that it has become saturated or needs to release air from the stomach. If you need to get the baby from the chest, you can stop the suction by placing your clean finger in the baby's mouth between the gums. Do not pull the baby from the breast, so as not to cause injury to your nipples.
After each feeding, you will see that on the nipples a small amount of milk remains. This is normal and there is no need to delete it. Allow the milk to dry on its own.
What to do after the baby has finished sucking
When you breastfeed your baby, it can swallow small amounts of air and you will not necessarily need to breathe, as opposed to baby breastfed babies. I can tell you if your little one feels the need to prick when he gets agitated and pulls his breast, then come to him again. You can have him prick before breastfeeding when you change his breast or at the end of the meal.
You can try one of the four positions below, to help your baby clear the air from your stomach:
1. Lie on your tummy, in your lap, with your head to one side. In this way, the nose is free and can breathe freely. Gently rub the back of the baby from the bottom up.
2. Sit on your knees and hold your head with one hand. With the other hand, rub it gently on the back.
3. Hold it in his arms so that his stomach presses your shoulder. Massage it gently on the middle of the back, with bottom-up movements.
4. Put the baby with the stomach lying on your arm bent, and the head, close to the elbow. Gently massage your back with your free hand.
What to do when the baby does not catch the breast
The third day after birth can be difficult for you. Most of the time, this day you get the "true" milk and the newborn may have difficulty getting full breast. Also, your nipples are the most sensitive to pain during this period.
If you feel that neither you nor your baby are ready to leave the maternity ward, extend the hospitalization and ask the medical staff to help you with advice.
Other causes associated with the baby's problem of breastfeeding include difficult labor, stress, insufficient milk and the reflex of releasing breast milk.
When milk is flowing from your full breast, your baby may have difficulty opening its mouth wide enough to catch the nipple. If the breasts are swollen or too full, it will be difficult for them to catch the breast and many times it slips out of their mouth or fails to reach the nipple.
In other cases, your baby may refuse to breastfeed because he does not know what to do. Do not force him to suck if he does not want this. Ask for the advice of a medical professional with experience in this regard. Do not lose your temper, the lactation consultant will help you, and your baby will be fed on another path, until he learns to properly grasp the breast.
Direct contact with your skin and holding the baby in your arms as long as the newborn helps a lot in this regard. You can also try to breast feed him from the position lying on his back.
Occasionally, you can use artificial nipples to help your baby suck. However, these silicone devices should only be used under the supervision of a specialized medical professional or lactation consultant. The newborn can get used to the artificial nipple, subsequently refusing the breast.
How to cope with the second night after birth
The stomach of the newborn at the age of three days is the size of a ping-pong ball. On the second or third night after giving birth, you may notice that your baby is sucking a little and sleeping.
If you try to take it from the chest, it will cry and cling to your breast. This behavior can take hours in a row. Your breasts still produce colostrum full of protein and nutrients, so it starts to turn into real milk.
Hold your baby by the chest, directly on the skin and offer her breast to soothe him. This will stimulate the secretion of breast milk and trigger lactation earlier. At the same time, your baby is protected from physiological jaundice and weight loss.
What to do when the baby is sleepy
The newborn becomes quiet and sleepy at one or two hours after birth. This is normal. He can sleep for six, seven hours, then wake up and want to breast. If the first meal is consistent, you will feel relieved to see that your baby is doing very well.
It may happen that your baby sleeps well within the first two weeks after birth. When he wakes up, he sucks for a bit and then goes back to sleep. This may mean that it does not feed enough. In this case, you need to make an effort to convince him to suck.
Take off his clothes and just leave him in his diaper. Put it in the bare skin directly on your skin. Massage his back, tummy, arms and legs to stimulate him to stay awake.
If your baby is falling asleep after your milk has arrived, try to sleep easily, without causing pain. Grab your breast with one hand, just behind the areola and press firmly. The milk will flow more into the baby's mouth, encouraging him to suck and swallow.
Continue to gently press on the breast until your baby stops swallowing, then let go of the breast and tighten again. Manual milking technique It may seem difficult at first, but it is learned quickly. It's all about knowing where to put your fingers. The maternity staff can help you with this.
Milk stimulates the release reflex of high-fat milk needed for the baby.
How to care for your breasts when breastfeeding
You do not need a special breast care ritual when breastfeeding. It is enough to take a daily shower. Avoid washing with soap on your chest, as it removes the fluid secreted by the Montgomery glands to protect the nipples from injury. In addition, the soap favors the appearance of cracks.
According to the latest research, the best way to keep your nipples healthy is to breastfeed your baby and make sure he or she is properly breastfeeding.
The use of oily creams is not necessary unless prescribed by your doctor.
After each breastfeeding, rest a little and let the milk flow to dry. If you are using special breastfeeding pads to prevent staining your clothes and clothes, change them often and choose the cotton ones.
What to do when you have injured nipples
If you have wounds or cracks in your nipples, this is due to the incorrect position of the baby during breastfeeding. To reduce the risk of developing wounds, you must breastfeed your baby frequently, correct his position, and alternate breast feeding techniques.
Wounds on the nipples also appear in the following situations:
Problem: Your skin is excessively dry, due to frequent washing with soap or applying creams, lotions or deodorants.
Solution: wash your breasts only once a day, only with hot water - this measure is more than enough for their hygiene.
Problem: you have the nipples flattened or twisted inside, and your baby is having difficulty grasping the nipple and areola properly.
Solution: rotate your nipples with your fingers before giving your child the breast.
Problem: the breasts are too full of milk, and the breast tissue has lost its elasticity.
Solution: squeeze a small amount of milk manually or with the aid of a milk pump before milking the baby; In this way, the breast will become more flexible.
You can heal the wounds on the nipples by squeezing a few drops of milk in the breast and gently massaging the irritated area and waiting for the milk to dry before covering your chest.
Ultimately, you can also apply a lanolin-based cream in the nipple area, but only after you have made sure that the lanolin is suitable for breastfeeding women.
If the pain persists and the wounds begin to bleed, call the specialist's advice.
What to do when you have your nipples flattened
In general, your baby will adapt and manage to feed, even if you have flattened nipples. If the little one cannot suck, however, rotate your nipples before you breastfeed, with your fingers, to help it form. You can also use a milking pump.
However, avoid using pacifiers or baby bottles.
The rage of milk or the sensation of too full breasts
Two to three days after giving birth, you may experience a feeling of full breasts, due to the increase in the amount of milk produced. Your chest becomes strong and swollen, and the nipples twist and lose their elasticity. Because of this, your baby will have difficulty feeding.
Continue to breastfeed your baby frequently, at intervals of two to three hours, and manually or with a pump, when the breasts become strong. Normally, the rage of milk goes away by itself, in maximum three days.
Here are some other methods you can apply during this period to release the pressure from the breasts:
1. Use a comfortable bra to support your bust properly.
2. Massage your breasts from the outside towards the nipple.
3. Apply compresses with hot water on the areola and nipple, with five minutes to feed your baby to the breast.
4. After breastfeeding, apply cabbage leaves or compresses with crushed ice for 15 minutes. Repeat the procedure three times a day.
5. Take Ibuprofen for pain relief.
Breast canal blockage
When the baby does not empty the milk breast, galactophore channels can become clogged. The blocking of the mammary channels is manifested by the formation of nodules, which are sensitive to touch. The area is swollen, hard and hot.
Channel clogging also occurs if you breastfeed your baby at irregular intervals or after more than 3-4 hours. To prevent this, breastfeed the regular baby at 2-3 hour intervals.
If you still have painful nodules, apply a warm compress to the affected area for 10-15 minutes before each breastfeeding. Hot showers, massage and manual breast pumping or pumping are also helpful. Feed the baby first to the breast where the lumps appeared and massage your breast during breastfeeding to facilitate the unlocking of the mammary ducts.
Mastia or infection of the mammary glands and glands
If you are just born, you should start breast feeding your baby at intervals of up to 3 hours, hydrate well and rest sufficiently. Breast hygiene and healthy eating are also very important. When these aspects are neglected, the mammary ducts can become infected.
Here are the most common causes of mastitis:
- the baby does not empty the breasts of milk;
- breastfeeding intervals are too large or irregular;
- the wounds on the nipples become infected;
- the mammary channels are blocked;
- you have a weakened immune system due to stress, lack of sleep or poor nutrition.
Symptoms of mastitis include:
- general tiredness;
- breasts are red and painful to the touch.
If you experience such problems, call your doctor immediately. It can prescribe antibiotics and painkillers for pain control. It is very important to drink enough fluids to remove toxins from the body. In no way should breastfeeding be interrupted. On the contrary, it will help release the mammary channels affected by mastitis.
No matter what problems you may encounter during breastfeeding, you should not be discouraged. Apply the presented solutions and consult with the lactation specialist, your doctor or your family. Remember that the World Health Organization recommends that all mothers continue breastfeeding until they are two years old, so that their babies grow healthy and grow normally.
Smoking during breastfeeding
If you are addicted to nicotine and have failed to quit smoking, here's what you need to know about smoking and its effects on breastfeeding:
1. Nicotine inhibits the secretion of prolactin, the hormone secreted by the pituitary gland to trigger milk production.
2. Nicotine causes the secretion of adrenaline, a fluid released by the adrenal glands during times of stress. Adrenaline has the role of inhibiting oxytocin, the hormone responsible for the release of milk from the mammary ducts.
Therefore, if you are a new mom and you smoke, milk production and the volume of breast milk will be reduced.
In terms of milk quality, you must know that nicotine is secreted in breast milk. Fortunately, the beneficial effects of breastfeeding are greater than the harmful impact of nicotine on the baby. This explains why nicotine is no longer listed on the contraindicated substances during breastfeeding.
Breast milk is rich in essential nutrients as well proteins, beneficial lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains a lot of other elements that strengthen the body's defense capabilities. These include:
- macrophage cells, with role in the destruction of foreign bodies or of dead or diseased cells;
- immunoglobulins (antibodies);
- lymphocytes (white cells secreted by the bone marrow);
- neutrophils (leukocytes with a major role in the primary anti-infectious defense of the body);
- antioxidants (complex of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that reduce the toxic effects of free radicals);
- hormones (insulin, erythropoietin, thyroxine).
All these components protect the baby from the effects of nicotine. But there is another risk you have to take into account: inhaled baby smoke and which contains substances far more dangerous than nicotine. Some of these, like carbon monoxide, causes the death of red cells responsible for oxygen transport.
Fortunately, the toxic compounds in cigarette smoke are absorbed by the mother and metabolized or diminished, never reaching milk.
Here are some tips to protect your child from the effects of passive smoking:
- Do not smoke near the baby, to protect it from the toxic effect of the substances present in cigarette smoke.
- Do not breast-feed your baby immediately after smoking. Expect nicotine to reach an acceptable level in milk.
- Limits the number of cigarettes to 5 per day. Otherwise, your child may become agitated.
Breastfeeding and alcohol
Normally, alcohol is contraindicated both during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. However, its negative effect depends on the amount of alcohol you consume.
The latest studies have shown that alcohol passing into breast milk has neither beneficial nor negative effects on the baby. Occasionally, you can enjoy a glass of wine, as long as you do not consume it before feeding the baby to the breast. And this is because it has been shown that the baby tends to consume much less milk, if you drink alcohol before breastfeeding.
Alcohol inhibits the secretion of oxytocin, the hormone secreted by the pituitary gland into the brain and which plays a role in the release of breast milk during breastfeeding. The more your baby is hungry, the more he sucks, and the level of oxytocin increases. When you drink alcohol, the level of this hormone drops, and the breast does not pump enough milk.
What is the limit of alcohol allowed during breastfeeding?
It has been shown that a small amount of alcohol has insignificant effects on the release of breast milk. Thus, if you drink a box of beer and weigh more than 60 kilograms, milk production will not be affected.
Alcohol is absorbed extremely rapidly in the blood, reaching the maximum concentration level in less than 15 minutes. In milk, this level is reached after only 30 minutes if you have consumed alcohol on an empty stomach.
When you associate alcohol with food, its transfer rate into breast milk decreases. Alcohol ingested during meal arrives in milk after an hour and a half.
Be careful, you will not purify the milk if you sooth. As long as you still have alcohol in your blood, it will continue to pass in milk. If you have consumed more alcohol, it is most prudent to wait until the alcohol is completely removed from the blood. This process varies depending on your weight and the amount of alcohol ingested.
Assuming your weight is 60 kilograms, here's how long you need to get rid of the blood stool:
- if you drink a beer in one hour, you need about 2 hours and 20 minutes for the blood alcohol level to return to zero;
- if you drink beer quickly, in less than 30 minutes, the time required to eliminate alcohol increases to 7 hours;
- 250 ml of wine drunk in one hour are completely eliminated in about 3 hours and 20 minutes
- a glass of wine drunk in half an hour is completely metabolized after about 6 hours.
Breastfeeding after cosmetic surgery
Many young people are calling for breast implants to increase her breasts. Others have big breasts and resort to bust reduction operations, to get rid of the back pain caused by them. In whatever category you fall into, breastfeeding is not restricted and not impossible.
Breastfeeding and breast reduction
When you have big or very big breasts, they press on your spine and cause back pain. Moreover, you may face aesthetic problems. The skin is left, and the fat tends to deposit excessively in the bust area.
Big breasts pose all kinds of problems during breastfeeding, from finding a comfortable position to back pain and feeling chest tight. Equally true is that breast reduction can decrease milk production.
Here's what it means for breast reduction through surgery:
- the breast is made up of connective tissue and fatty tissue and is covered with skin;
- by breast reduction, a part of the skin is removed, but also of the breast tissue;
- before the intervention, you are given general anesthesia, the operation lasting between 3 and 5 hours;
- the surgeon performs several cuts, removes excess skin and tissue, then sews the breast again;
- In certain interventions, the surgeon first removes the nipple and areola, extracting the surplus of skin and tissue around him;
- after the breast is remodeled, the nipple and areola are sewn together.
By removing the nipple in the breast reduction operation, it can lose some of its sensitivity. Doctors can not give exactly a percentage, because each patient reacted differently after the surgery.
Some young mothers had no problem breastfeeding their baby after breast reduction, others found that they had little milk. There is also the risk of not being able to breastfeed at all after such an intervention.
Specialists say that you can breastfeed for a longer period if you use natural lactation boosting products.
If you have breastfed and find that you do not have enough milk, try breastfeeding with a special feeding / breastfeeding device. The device was designed so that you can feed your baby breast while also providing a dietary supplement. Basically, the device mixes breast milk with powdered milk to meet the baby's feeding requirements.
To increase milk production, you can try to consume dietary supplements such as oatmeal or ground squash seeds mixed with honey. You can also use a milking pump to use at each breastfeeding.
Other methods that can help you stimulate milk production are:
- pumping breast milk as often as possible;
- putting the baby directly on your skin;
- warm compresses on the breasts;
- massage in the breast area.
If you have resorted to cosmetic surgery to enlarge your breasts and give them a more pleasant look, you should be able to breastfeed your baby normally.
The first thing you will notice will be the size of the breasts in volume, under the action of hormones. Since pregnancy, the mammary glands begin to secrete milk, which is then "shed" into the milk ducts (galactophore ducts). All these pipes are joined into a larger pipe, with the opening as close to the nipple as possible. The milk thus collected reaches the baby.
Silicone implants have no negative effects on the milk production process, some experts say. And that's because they get behind the breast tissue, without affecting the mammary glands. The only risk is that during the surgery itself.
As with any surgery, the nerves can be damaged. Damage to the nerves can decrease the sensitivity of the nipple. If the mammary glands are injured during surgery, the flow of milk may be reduced or stopped.
It is difficult to say if the nerves and mammary glands were affected by the operation. If you have had bleeding after surgery, this could indicate an injury.
What kind of problems can breast implants pose during breastfeeding?
Silicone implants are not recommended for breastfeeding. There are, however, some aspects to keep in mind:
- You can have less milk after a breast augmentation operation. This is because silicone implants are pushed into the breast tissue, due to their larger volume.
- Certain implants can block the flow of milk. When this happens, you may experience increased pain, especially during breastfeeding.
- The ability to produce milk after a breast implant depends on the type of incision used during surgery.
In order to not affect the nerves and prevent the loss of breast milk, plastic surgeons recommend making the incision under the breast or in the lateral part, under the armpit. It is not recommended the incision type "smile" in which the cut consists of a semicircle in the aura region. This type of incision causes nerve damage, which can interfere with milk production.
Silicone is not dangerous for babies
If you worry that the implants may be toxic to the baby, specialists guarantee that you have no cause for concern. There are two types of implants: those based on silicone gel and those that contain a saline solution.
Regardless of their type, the implants do not break, therefore, there is a very small chance that the gel will leak out of them. In addition, neither silicone nor saline are harmful to health. Silicone molecules are too large to pass through the milk ducts and further into the breastfed baby.
You may have problems with the amount of milk produced and if you do not have breast implants. Therefore, no one can discourage you from resorting to such an intervention if you wish. You just have to inform yourself correctly and address all your breastfeeding concerns to the surgeon.
What problems did you face at the beginning of breastfeeding and during breastfeeding? What other methods than presented have been applied to remedy the situation? Share your experience with us, using the comment section below.
On the same topic:
Breast milk: useful tips for pumping and storage
Comfortable breastfeeding positions
How to breastfeed your newborn baby: 7 tips to follow!
Why is breastfeeding important? Find out what are the benefits of breast milk for baby
Tags Breastfeeding Breastfeeding problems Breastfeeding and smoking