Day 192, Breastfeeding

If your reading this article your either a pregnant mom, a breastfeeding mom, have finished with the phase of breastfeeding your baby or there will be some of you who may not have been able to breastfeed inspite of best efforts. Whether you breastfeed or not or how long you breast feed does not make you a good or bad mother. The recommendation from the World Health Organisation is to breast feed exclusively for the first six months and then start weaning foods. However breastfeeding should continue for the first one year of life. If possible for the mother breastfeeding should be continued well into the second year as well. However again the choice of how long to continue is really yours. There should be no guilt attached to your breast feeding choices Having said that let’s look at some interesting tit bits about breastfeeding. One of the most common questions that a new mom has is “Why am I not making enough milk?” 100% of moms will make just a little milk, which is really a few drops in the first 2-3 days. It is important to understand the baby’s needs and requirements here. For the first 8 weeks your baby will probably feed every 2-3 hours and this cycle will continue in the night as well. The new born stomach is very small, about the size of a marble and needs to be fed frequently. The key to making enough milk is frequent feeding – So remember the more you feed the more milk you will make. In the first few days the baby may cry a lot and then will calm down once he comes close to the mom. It is a natural assumption that because he has been put to the breast he has calmed down. But in reality he is calming down due to hearing the mother’s heart beat. The size of the breast has no relevance to the amount of breast milk you will make. However frequent feeding in the first few days will allow your milk glands to expand and hence increase the capacity for the long term. Remember the hormone that initiates breast milk is Oxytocin, which is really your love and happy hormone. So the more relaxed and stress free you are the more Oxytocin you will produce and the more Oxytocin rush there is, the greater the milk let down reflex.

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