Basics of Breast Feeding 2

Do I need to wash my breast before every feed?

There is no need to wash your breast before every feed, as it may lead to dryness and can even crack your nipple. All you need to do is daily bath and maintenance of personal hygiene.

Can I bottle feed my baby intermittently along with breastfeeding?

You should not introduce bottle feeding until your doctor advices you to do so. Once your baby gets used to the bottle, baby will refuse to accept the breast because the former is easier. Breast-feeding would require coordinated movement of lips, gums and tongue. So your baby would prefer the easier method of bottle feeding.

Since bottle has a rubber head, your baby might start sucking or biting at your nipple (like how he/she would do with a bottle). This is called NIPPLE CONFUSION. This can even cause cracked nipples.

How do I know if my baby is getting adequate milk?

If you have adequately fed your baby, he/she would not ask for a feed for the next 2 to 3 hours. He/She would pass good amount of urine, at-least 6-8 times a day and would gain around 25-30 grams per day during first 4 months. So basically, if your baby is thriving well, playful and happy he/she is getting enough milk.

How do I express my milk?

You can express your milk manually or with the help of a breast pump.

  • Manual Breast Pump: You place a cone shaped shield on your breast and squeeze the handle to express the milk. This will be useful if you are away from the baby occasionally.
  • Electrical Breast Pump: If you are returning to work full time then electric breast pump is a better option.

I am working and pumping my milk. How can I ensure adequate milk supply to my baby ?

  • Don’t make the procedure stressful. Be relaxed as stress can hamper milk supply.
  • Continue breast-feeding when you are with your baby.
  • Express/Pump your milk often every 2-3 hours even when you are working.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Why is it important to burp my baby after every feed?

When your baby feeds, she would also suck in air. The swallowed air tends to bloat her stomach causing discomfort. If baby swallows excessive air, his/her abdomen would get tensed and can result in crying episodes. The gas would also travel through the intestine, giving rise to irritation, which would make the baby even more restless. To prevent all this you have to burp your child. When the baby’s back is gently rubbed, the milk goes down under influence of gravity and air rises up. So the swallowed air would be expelled out and the baby would be comfortable.

How do I burp/wind my baby?

Once you have finished feeding put her on your shoulder with her abdomen resting against your body. You can use a towel under the baby’s chin or on your shoulder. Now gently pat or rub her back till she burps.

Should I add sugar to the milk that I am giving my baby or should I give it without sugar?

Milk contains adequate milk sugars and does not require refined sugar to be added to it.

How long can I store my milk, if I express it?

You can store breast milk in a sterilized container:

  • At room temperature up to 6 hours.
  • In the fridge for up to five days at 4°C or lower
  • For two weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge
  • For up to six months in a freezer

Breast milk must always be stored in a sterilized container. If you use a pump, always sterilize it before and after use. If you have frozen your milk, defrost it in the fridge before giving it to your baby. Once it’s defrosted, use it straight away. Milk that's been frozen is still good for your baby and better than formula milk. Many breast pumps come with custom containers that can be used as storage and feeding bottles; others allow you to use a standard feeding bottle to collect milk.

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