exclusive breastfeeding

Introduction

Exclusive breastfeeding is a way to increase the defenses of newborn babies, to feed them in the best possible way and it is also one of the moments of greatest mother-child closeness. I write this blog so that women who are breastfeeding clarify doubts about breastfeeding, especially about the most appropriate technique and the most frequent conditions and possible treatments.

Special interest points:

How long is it recommended to breastfeed?

Many associations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the baby’s life (in the case of premature babies up to corrected age) and then continue until 24 months with complementary feeding.

What are the advantages of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding reduces the initial weight loss of the newborn, increases the defenses, reduce the risk of diarrhea and pneumonia. Improves intellectual performance for later years. Furthermore, the better the technique, the better the protection that is produced.
In no case other kind of milk is superior to exclusive breastfeeding, of course, in some cases exclusive breastfeeding not possible by mother’s or baby’s conditions.

Basic facts about breastfeeding

  • The presence of inverted nipples is not a justification for not breastfeeding.
  • Milk hydrates and nourishes the baby adequately during the first 6 months, after this time it must be supplemented.
  • In few cases the foods that the mother eats affect the baby
  • You do not have to wait for the baby to cry to start breastfeeding
  • The more the woman breastfeeds, the more milk she will produce
  • The milk at the end of the feeding contains more calories that feed the baby more and generates the feeling of satiety on the baby, so you should always wait until the baby finishes feeding from the breast and not force the change to the next breast.
  • Breastfeeding is done according to the needs of each baby. Some recommend giving 8 to 12 breast feeds to the baby, but that will depend on each baby.
  • There are babies who breastfeed enough in 5 minutes, there are others who can take 20 minutes, which means that each baby has its own rhythm and the mother must know it.
  • Massaging the breast before and during lactation improves the quality of the milk and reduces the appearance of “galactoceles or milk retention” in the breasts
  • The woman can breastfeed and work, for this she must know how to express milk and the appropriate methods of preserving it.
  • It is recommended to remove the “gases” to the baby after breastfeeding and always put her to bed with FACE UP or MOUTH UP.
  • Breastfeeding is not only for the mother, it must also include the father at this time of great intimacy, who can help in other activities to support the mother.

Proper breastfeeding technique

  • Find a quiet place to breastfeed.
  • Have on hand the implements that you will need during breastfeeding, such as towels, pillows, water, etc.
  • The baby should approach the breast and not the breast to the baby
  • The correct position is “belly button against belly button”: The position must be a mother’s abdomen against a baby’s abdomen
  • The mother should always see her baby’s face and the baby hers, she should caress the baby and talk to him.
  • In case of sitting breastfeeding:
  • -Do not lay the baby on the elbow but on the forearm
  • -Put a small stool or bench on your feet
  • -Use a pillow under the arm to bring the baby closer to the breast
  • -At the end of breastfeeding, it is not recommended that you wash your nipples with water, but rather that you leave your breast milk on the nipple to moisten them and avoid cracks in the nipples
  • -The baby’s lower lip should be turned out when you are breastfeeding.
  • -Remember to change the position of the baby in each feeding to achieve emptying all parts of the breast.

What problems to expect while breastfeeding?

Whenever you have doubts during breastfeeding, ask your family doctor, basic information is provided here.

  • Pain during breastfeeding: Rule out that there is not a bad position for breastfeeding, check the baby’s suction technique, do not use cosmetic items on the breasts during or after breastfeeding.
  • Cracks in the nipples: Do not wash between feedings, let a little breast milk dry on the nipples and check the baby’s proper sucking form.
  • Breast engorgement: The more the baby is breastfed, the faster it improves, heat can be applied before breastfeeding on the breasts to facilitate the exit of milk as well as massages during lactation.
  • Galactosele or milk retention: You MUST continue breastfeeding to avoid and improve these episodes, apply heat and massage.
  • Mastitis: Occurs mainly during the first 12 weeks. It is characterized by the presence of pain associated with heat and an area of ​​induration with redness of the breast, it requires evaluation by your family doctor. DO NOT stop breastfeeding for that.

Extracting breast milk

  • It is recommended to prepare the baby for 2 weeks for the change in the way of breastfeeding.
  • Wash your hands before extracting milk.
  • You must have a wide-mouthed plastic container that has a hermetic lid and mark them with the date and time of the extraction, it is recommended not to use glass containers as they seem to alter the quality of the milk.
  • Microwave heating of milk is not recommended. This can be achieved, in the case of frozen milk, under a stream of tap water and then with a water bath but without boiling.
  • At the time of extracting the milk remember: You should not slide your fingers over the skin of the breast, because it can generate irritation, you should massage the tissue under the skin.
  • Milk should be given to the baby with a spoon.
  • ONCE THAWED IT CANNOT BE FROZEN AGAIN

Bibilografía

Sankar, M. J., Sinha, B., Chowdhury, R., Bhandari, N., Taneja, S., Martines, J., & Bahl, R. (2015). Optimal breastfeeding practices and infant and child mortality: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta paediatrica, 104, 3-13.
de La Rioja, G. (2010). Guía de lactancia materna para profesionales de la salud. Consejería de salud del Gobierno de la Rioja. España: Rioja Salud.
Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social; Organización Panamericana de la Salud. Guía para la atención y la consejería de la niñez en la familia. Bogotá: Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social; Colombia 2010. Brahm, P., & Valdés, V. (2017). Beneficios de la lactancia materna y riesgos de no amamantar. Revista chilena de pediatría, 88(1), 07-14.

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