Breastfeeding Facts: Must Knows For Every New Mom
Created by Dr. Pooja Attrey(PT) Updated on May 19, 2021
Why is breastfeeding important? List of breastfeeding facts are as given below
- Breast milk contains a unique combination of nutrients required for a baby’s growth. It also has rich antibodies, which helps to fight disease.
- It protects the baby by strengthening the immune system.
- That first thick yellow milk, called colostrum, is also known as liquid gold as it is very rich in nutrients and antibiotics. It must be fed to the baby.
- Day 3-5 day after the birth, mature milk production starts. It will be thinner and whiter than colostrum, and will have just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein to help your baby grow. Post that, breast milk composition will adjust itself according to your baby's nutritional needs.
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula or cow's milk.
Breastfeeding vs formula feed:
- Formula feed is harder to digest than breastmilk
- Breastfeeding is free!
- No formula feed can exactly match the nutritional composition of breast milk
- Research shows that babies who were breastfed have stronger immunity than babies who were only formula-fed
- Breastfeeding reduces risks of ear infections, respiratory infection, diarrhoea etc.
- In the long run, breastfed babies have shown a low occurrence of Type1 & 2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, heart disease and allergies
- Breastfeeding is more energy saving, as there’s no need to prepare milk, or wash and sterilise utensils and containers
- At night, even with frequent feedings, mothers can get more rest since you don’t constantly have to run to the kitchen to make formula milk
- The intimacy that breastfeeding brings to a mother and baby is simply beyond words; formula doesn't give you that empowerment
- Even for mothers, breastfeeding a baby is so beneficial; it is the long, but sure shot, way to lose those extra kilos
- Breastfeeding mothers are also less prone to Type 2 diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer etc.
- It helps new mothers in dealing with postpartum depression and excessive post delivery blood loss.
Are you breastfeeding properly?
Breastfeeding is a skill that can be well learnt with time and patience. You may seek and get guidancein the form of pre-natal classes, your doctor or family members and friends who have breastfed in the past. Be sure to learn it as a team—involve your partner and close family:
- Be prepared to give it time. Keep in mind that you make milk in response to your baby's suckling
- Start breastfeedingwithin the first hour after the birth, taking into consideration the mother's health at the moment, of course — breast milkcan be expressed and given to the baby if needed
- Once you have cradled your baby in your arms and are comfortable, you need to teach your baby how to latch on. Hold him or her close to your bare breast, with their mouth or nostrils a par withyour nipple.
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#ParentuneTip: Usually babies latch automatically thanks to the smell of milk, but for some you may have to tickle their lower lip with your nipple before they latch on.
- You need to feed 8-12 times during the first 24 hours. Every feed may take 15-20 minutes or longer
- You will also need to learn the baby's hunger cues. He may become more alert and active, or he may cry and purse his lips, or try to suck on anything that comes in contact with his cheeks and lips
- Follow your baby's lead. Once finished he or she will leave the breast or simply fall asleep with a full tummy. Some infants tend to sleep even after just two or three ‘sucks’. For these sleep lovers, mothers need to continually tickle their feet or rub their ears so that they may have a full feed
- Make sure to burp the baby after every feed or else milk might regurgitate from his mouth and nose
Your baby is getting enough breastmilk if:
- If your breasts feel soft and lighter after feeding
- If the baby burps on his own
- If s/he is passing clear to light yellow urine 8-20 times per day
- If s/he is soiling 4-6 diapers per day
#ParentuneTip: Keep a feeding chart handy by the side of your bed, so you’ll always know. Plus, after each feed wipe away excess milk from your nipples and keep them dry—use a child-friendly moisturizerafterwards.
Commonproblems that new mothers face:
- No lactation:It may happen initially with any new mother, but milk does usually come in a day or two after. But if you don’t produce milk at all,consult your doctor.
- Inadequate milk production: If you feel that your milk isn’t able to satiate your baby,you should considerchecking whether all milk pores are open—and continue feeding and pumping so that it may stimulate more milk production.
- Overproduction of milk: This may cause soreness and engorgement of breasts, and you will need to express this extra milk and store it for future use.
#ParentuneTip: You could even give it to a nearby hospital so that new mothers unable to breastfeed for any reason may use it.
4)Plugged ducts: This happens when a milk duct doesn't drain properly and becomes inflamed. It may also cause sore lumps in your breast without any fever, but if you have fever as well,it indicates a breast infection, known as mastitis.
5) Inverted/flat nipples: Flat nipples are those which turn inwards rather than protruding when stimulated. Sometimes they make it hard to breastfeed; you may have to pull them out with your fingers or try breast pumping.
Problems that babies face:
1) Improper latching:This makes feeding difficult for them
2) Unopened pores:If milk pores in the nipples are not opened completely, the baby may still cry of hunger even after a long feeding. To fix this,use a warm compress over your nipples rather than forcibly squeezingthe milk out with both hands; this may open all pores.
3) Confusion: If different feeding methods or pacifiers are used along withbreastfeeding, your baby might not feed properly, and it may irritate them
#ParentuneTip: Breastfeeding mothers should eat light and nutritious food so as to avoid gastric troubles in infants. Add calcium, Vitamin D and iron supplements to your diet throughout the feeding period.
Breastfeeding twins or multiples:
It might seem difficult for a mother to breastfeed twins or multiples, but twins are generally born pre-term and need breast milk the most. Double pumping will help in maintaining enough milk supply—remember, more pumping equals more milk production!
You may feed them one by one or together, using the double cradle position. For this,place both babies in front of you,their heads in you arms and their legs overlapping,making an ‘X’ across your lap.
Breastfeeding, working mothers & the law:
In many countriesmothers are allowed to work from home, or there is a place to pump milk at the workplace, and a crèche facility to help them continue to breastfeed longer.
In India,new mothers get 3 months paid maternity leave, but after that she has to make a choice: Her work or breastfeeding, or formula feeding as there is no provision for a working, breastfeeding mother.Although amendments in the already executed maternity bill have been proposed, till things become official,new mothers are advised to demand a private space to pump milk in the workplace, and a crèche facility
Your baby's wellbeing is your top priority, s do whatever it takes to preserve that!
Was this article useful? We’d love to hear your thoughts - share your most eventful breastfeeding moments with us in the comments section below.
| Apr 17, 2017
hi pooja,nice article good to know about breastfeeding.. i hv a questn my LO is 3 months old ans she was not able to latch so i switched to formula due to which my milk decreased.. i hv very less milk secretion now do you think pumping would help?can i switch to breastfeeding by any chance
| Apr 18, 2017
Hi ...First 2-3 months of bfeeding are usually more a struggle as babys feed n hunger and rate of milk production in mothers body are still getting into sync.. Post that once this rhythm develops,its better. Now if there is less milk production,Bf could be increased. Increasing milk production deoends on the baby sucking n mothers diet.. More sucking or electrucal/manual pumping more will be the milk production.. And along a healthy diet,introduction to prolactogens.. Satwari syrup ...Or overnight soaked methi seeds... These also triggers surge in milk production. I have seen some mothers resuming bfeeding after a break... So u may also try.. Good luck!
| Apr 18, 2017
Hi Pooja, I was breastfeeding my baby for 1. 5months till my both breasts got infected with Mastities. My milk flow got limited to 2-3ml while pumping. I started formula feed and thought of weaning as my DD stopped latching and cries when I bring her near my breast. she jus licks and refuses to latch. I am pumping my breast twice a day and getting 60ml of milk per day and giving it in bottle. Is there any way I get her feeding back on my breast?
| Apr 18, 2017
Basically milk production depends on mother's diet and baby sucking the milk. I too had issue with milk before. Started using Shatavari kalpa which is a homeopathic medicine. And it is truly helping. Drink lots of fluids and have a include green leaves, cow milk,garlic , almonds , basil leaves into food diet. Hope this helps. Have a happy motherhood
| Apr 18, 2017
Yes kavya... As divya also shared in her experience,u can Try these things To increase milk production n please be consistant in ur efforts.. Its actually difficult for babies to switch from bottle to breast or vice versa... Tongue movement require to suck milk is different for breast n bottle.. So they might get confused n not being able to drink if u kEep Switching it often for infants... Advising u from Personal experience,if u must, u can club breast feed n giving upper milk by teaspoon.. Babys tongue movement required in these is not very different.. Good luck!
| Apr 19, 2017
I am worried as increase in milk supply and my daughter's reduced suckling might again lead to engorgement. I used to get pain in my nipple since day 1. I used to see my nipple getting a shape of right angled triangle with almost torn skin and little blood. I am not sure if it is due to improper latch or cracked nipple. My daughter requires almost 700-800ml of milk per day and not sure if she can have it in a tea spoon. she doesn't have patience and won't give any time even to mix formula.
| Apr 19, 2017
Hi everyone.. Just FYI, this blog or my any onther write up on bfeeding isnt intended to demean or detriment mothers who have to put their babies on upper feed... By chance or by choice!its ur way how u choose to raise ur baby and i respect that. Its just that bfeeding have proven a plus for babies anyday... So dont give up soon on this.. I want to encourage this try hard spirit when its come to bfeeding and thats why this blog is here.. Happy parenting!
| Apr 24, 2017
Hi komal... That happens dear.. As i told before,u need first 2-3 months to get in exact sync with ur babys hunger and ur bodys milk production... He is just some days old now... Till then u keep pumping this Extra milk To avoid mastitis but do it with less force.. as strenous pumping would stimulate more milk production.. Also u can give this extra milk to any nearby hospital oe pediatric unit Than throwing up.. Also use breast pads so that milk doesnt get to ur clothes.. U can get these from. Market.. From. Any mother baby care goods Shop.. Good luck dear:)
| Sep 29, 2017
I am so very sorry @surabhi and Malini.. just happen to see your queries! if u still havnt got answers.. u must not take any period inducing medication during the period u r feeding as they are hormonal and may have adverse effects on baby and breastmilk. and at times if milk production is more,you may still have to oump out hind milk after your baby is thoroughly stiated!
| Mar 19, 2018
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| Mar 19, 2018
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