If you are a new mother, you may find it difficult to breastfeed your newborn until you have some practice. But a little preparation can help you feel more comfortable.

During breastfeeding, doubts, fears and problems arise, often created by myths without any real basis.

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Breastfeeding and Period. How does it really work?

There are so many myths about breastfeeding and period that it is sometimes difficult to discern what is true and what is not. Although the

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Breastfeeding at work made easy

Breastfeeding at work for those mothers who cannot or do not wish to delay their returning to work beyond a few months. They have the option, in most cases, of continuing to breastfeed their children using different techniques.

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Best foods to eat while breastfeeding

You shouldn’t eat more than usual or deprive yourself of certain foods because of breastfeeding. You should only maintain a healthy and balanced diet

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Breast milk storage best guidelines

Some women choose to pump and feed their babies with stored breast milk. You may decide to do this when you return to work after your maternity leave. This allows you to continue feeding your baby breast milk through a bottle.

7 Breastfeeding tips for pain
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7 Breastfeeding tips for pain

Breastfeeding is not always a bed of roses. Complications can arise that make you feel frustrated and confused, and even make you consider stopping breastfeeding.

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mom and baby lying and kissing

”After nine months hooked up to our body by the umbilical cord, our baby
is willing and needy
to continue this
union and our body is
ready to offer
this link out through the breast.”

Once you get through the pregnancy and delivery comes another challenge, starting breastfeeding, a simple and pleasant experience for many mothers, while for others is very difficult and causes discomfort and even pain.

It’s well known breast milk is the first natural food for infants. It provides all the energy and nutrients a child needs in the first months of life, and continues supplying half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of life, and up to a third during the second year.

To enable mothers to initiate and maintain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

  • Breastfeeding needs to be initiated during the first hour of life.
  • The infant should be exclusively breastfed, with no other food or drink, not even water.
  • Breastfeeding should be on demand, that is, as often as the baby wants, both day and night.
  • No bottles, teats or pacifiers are used.

Breastmilk promotes sensory and cognitive development and protects the child from infectious diseases and chronic illnesses, reducing infant mortality from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia and helping the child recover more quickly from illness.

breastfeeding your baby breastfeeding your babyBreastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers. It helps to space pregnancies, reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, increases family resources, is a safe form of feeding, and is environmentally friendly.

Breastfeeding is a natural act, but at the same time it is a learned behavior. Numerous research studies have shown that mothers and other caregivers need active support to initiate and maintain appropriate breastfeeding practices in order not to give up.

 

 

lovely mother and baby
The fact that many of the women who have decided to breastfeed their children eventually give up is due, more than to doubts, to false beliefs and myths inherited from what experts call the “bottle generation”. “There was a time when it was believed that formula was better than maternal milk,” explains Jane Flanagan, nurse coordinator of Breastfeeding at the Miami Maternity Center.

Some of the most widespread myths.

  1. My breast is small, I may not have enough milk. False.
    You do not have more or less milk depending on your breast size. Size is defined by fat, not by the ducts that “make” milk. In fact, the breast makes as much milk as the child needs. All you have to do is find the right posture and have your baby nurse frequently.
  2. Having flat or inverted nipples will make breastfeeding almost impossible. False.
    Your nipples change at the end of pregnancy and during breastfeeding. In addition, babies don’t just latch on to the nipple, but to a good amount of the breast, which may cover the entire areola, depending on its size. However, if there is difficulty, you can seek the help of a professional breastfeeding expert.
  3. Until my milk comes in, I will have to give you a bottle. False.
    At first, colostrum (first milk) is all your baby needs if you breastfeed on demand and frequently. Very few women have no milk at all.
  4. I think my milk is watery and does not feed. False.
    All mothers’ milk is nourishing. You just have to give it as many times as the baby needs it. It is true that when you begin to drink, the first milk that comes out has more water and sugar. After a while of sucking and emptying, it becomes thicker because it has more fat content than it satisfies and fattens.
  5. To have more milk, I have to drink a lot of milk. False.
    Milk production increases or decreases depending on the emptying of the breast, not on the food you eat. Just as there are no foods that increase milk production, there are also no foods that cause gas in the milk or in the child.
  6. You should breastfeed every three hours, to give you time to “recharge”. False.
    Just the opposite. To ensure adequate milk production and flow during the six months of exclusive breastfeeding, the baby should be breastfed as often as he or she wants, both day and night. This is confirmed by a scientific study published in ‘Pediatrics’.

    This is what is known as on-demand breastfeeding. Infants are fed according to their appetite, they get what they need for satisfactory growth. These infants do not empty their breasts completely, they only extract between 63% and 72% of the available milk. They can always get more milk. The baby stops feeding only because he or she is full, not because the breast is empty, according to another study in the magazine ‘Food and Nutrition’.
    Keep in mind not all breasts have the same milk storage capacity. Infants of women with low storage capacity may need to be fed more frequently to express their milk and ensure adequate milk intake and production.

  7. If you feed your baby on demand, he or she may not get used to be nursing on a schedule and that can hurt the stomach.
    If your child eats when he wants to and for as long as he wants, his stomach will develop properly. Imposing schedules and amounts  don’t fit your baby’s needs can cause discomfort and irritability.
  8. The baby keeps crying, he will want to eat more and I don’t have enough. False.
    Babies cry for many reasons, not necessarily because of insufficient milk. Children who breastfeed without restriction, in the length and frequency of feedings, usually do not have colic. If he seems to be crying because he is hungrier, he can be offered more breast milk. A mother’s milk is easily digestible and well-tolerated.
  9. The feedings are starting to become more frequent than usual, so my baby may be hungry. False.
    Sometimes they will want to eat more and sometimes they are thirsty and need to suck just a little, especially in hot weather. It may also be due to growth spurts. Children may become more demanding on the mother to increase the amount of milk she now needs. After two or three days, she recovers a more relaxed rhythm without the need to add extra bottles.
  10. I no longer feel ‘full’, I may not have enough milk. False.
    In the end, most doubts end up with the same question: Will I have enough milk? According to the nurse, it is normal to feel your breast less swollen over time, but this does not indicate less production. Your milk supply depends on your baby’s feedings.
  11. I pump very little. I cannot continue to breastfeed. False.
    Manual pumping, with or without a pump, does not measure the amount of milk each woman has; a well-latched baby will pump much more.
  12. I have my period again, the end of breastfeeding. False.
    Milk production is maintained as long as there is stimulation and emptying of the breasts until both mother and baby want it.
  13. Stress can ‘cut off’ the milk. False.
    In the end, many fears have the same explanation, which is that milk production is maintained as long as there is stimulation and emptying of the breasts.
  14. Having a cold, the flu, or taking medicine is incompatible with breastfeeding. False.
    Neither should breastfeeding stop because the mother has a cold or the flu, nor if she takes medication. Through the milk, we transfer defenses to the child that protect him/her from infection. Before you hold your baby, you should wash your hands and, if necessary, cover your nose and mouth with a mask or tissue.

    As for medication, many more than we think and more than some doctors advise against can be taken during breastfeeding. There are plenty of breastfeeding websites that are highly recommended to check the compatibility of medicines with breastfeeding. If one is incompatible, you can look for an alternative. And if there is no alternative, you can maintain your milk production by pumping for the duration of the treatment and then resume breastfeeding and not give up.

  15. If the baby does not sleep well, it is because she already needs a supplement (formula). False.
    There is no relation. When they are small, they need to eat often and do not usually sleep ‘on the go’. Then, they space out their feedings and sleep more at night, but some want to keep eating often. It doesn’t depend on whether they’re drinking breast milk or formula, but on each child.

  16. The baby’s weight gain is not as fast as expected. She is not feeding well. False.
    Every child has a different growth rate. Not every baby has to grow up in the same way.
  17. I’m pregnant again, I have to stop brestfeeding my baby. False.
    It is not an obligation, but a decision of each woman. You can breastfeed throughout your pregnancy, as long as the child wants to and it is not a risky pregnancy. When the new member arrives, you can even breastfeed in tandem, always giving priority to the youngest.
  18. At six months, the baby is too old to breastfeed. False.
    The WHO and the Spanish Association of Paediatrics recommend the introduction of complementary feeding at the breast from six months onwards, but this is complementary. First the breast and then gradually the rest. Up to the age of one, breast milk remains the main food. When the child eats everything, it remains the main source of milk until the age of two or more.
  19. Once a child has started working, it is no longer possible to continue breastfeeding. False.
    It depends on many factors, how long the mother and baby are separated, whether the mother pumps during that time, whether the person who is left in charge can give her our milk, the baby’s age and the expectation we have. Sometimes, because of the circumstances, the mother chooses a complementary or mixed breastfeeding.

If you have just given birth or if you are in the weaning period, do not hesitate to ask for guidance if you have any difficulty or doubt. You will see how big and healthy your baby will grow.