Few important facts about breastfeeding

We all know how important it is to exclusively breastfeed a baby for the first 6 months of his/her life. But there so many unknown facts related to breastfeeding. Here I’ll share some of those with you.

Cluster feeding does not indicate low supply of breast milk

breastfeeding

Here I will tell you an important fact that no one tells you regarding breastfeeding. Some newborn babies nurse for 15-20 minutes and sleep for a couple of hours, while some newborns don’t seem to be satisfied even after 2-3 hrs of breastfeeding. This leads the mother and people supporting her to think that the mother’s milk supply is less. But the truth is entirely different. The tendency of a newborn to breastfeed for long hours taking shorter or no breaks is called cluster feeding. Some newborns would feed 24/7 till they complete one or 2 months. This is completely normal and it DOES NOT INDICATE LOW SUPPLY!

The exact reason behind this type of feeding is not known, what we do know is that this cluster feeding helps to increase a mother’s milk supply. All you have to do is feed according to the baby’s demand. If your baby demands to feed 24/7, then feed 24/7, if it’s once in 2 hours then feed him/her according to that.

Milk production is directly proportional to the feeding frequency

Breasts produces milk depending upon the amount that is pumped out/fed to the baby. This means that there won’t be enough (or more) milk production ( no matter what you eat to increase the supply) if you feed formula to the baby in place of breastmilk. When the baby cries even after you had fed him/her for hours, you would come to the conclusion that your milk is not enough for the baby and feed formula to the baby. Here you fall prey to the low supply trap. The exact reason behind baby crying even after feeding for 4 or 5 hours is not because of the low supply but because he/she simply wants to be at the breasts for continuous feeding and warmth ( without any breaks ). This would eventually leads to an increase in your milk ( your body recognizes that more milk should be produced based on this frequency of feeding.

If you give 30 ml of formula to the baby the body may produce 30 ml less breast milk, this is why you experience a drop in your supply once you start to give formula to the baby

Breastmilk is made by the body to fulfil the nutritional needs of the baby.

Till 6 months of age the infants does not need any food other than the breast milk for their growth and development. Human milk is manufactured by the mother’s body to meet the nutritional requirements of the baby. But after the baby complete 6 months his/her body needs more nutrients ( calories, proteins, fats, micro and macro vitamins, minerals and so on) this is why you should introduce other food at 6th month. Breastmilk is also rich in antibodies, which builds up the babies immunity.

Breastmilk has two parts

The breastmilk has two parts

  • The foremilk- is mostly water and quenches the baby’s thirst
  • The hind milk – is thick and rich in fats, calories and other nutrients. It satisfies the baby’s hunger.

So feed the baby at one breast till he/she unlatches. Once the baby unlatch switch to the other breast and continue. Repeat till baby stops by itself.

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