THE FEEDING 101- NEW BABY
Hello New Mums,
We hope all is going well for you in the new and intriguing world of motherhood – and in these initial days it will feel like feeding the baby is the biggest part of it all – if you are enjoying it immensely and are totally in sync with what is to be done, then you are one of the rare lucky ones and this article is not for you!
If you have a million questions running through your head and are constantly worried about doing things correctly then please read on – we have tried to cover as much information as possible for you to begin with, so here goes….
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FLOW :
It’s a demand & supply system so the more your child feeds and suckles, the more milk will get produced- if you are using a breast pump then pump every two hours – yes that’s a crazy schedule but it will get better once your supply stabilises and once the baby learns to feed faster
Drink lots of water especially just before a feed ( I was drinking close to 7 ltrs a day! )
Shatavari is a known herb to help increase breast milk flow – it comes in powder form to be had with milk and recently in tablet form as well. Here’s the link to one of the most popular Shatavari Powder & Shatavari Tablets
Feed from both breasts equally to avoid clogging (keep a small notebook or note it on your phone to avoid confusion)
If you need to use a nipple shield initially in case of flat or inverted nipples - avoid using it once the baby learns to latch properly as it does interfere with the milk flow
Relax. Loads of stress can hurt your ability to produce milk (yup, its ironic – how can a new mother with less milk supply not stress!) But try to relax before pumping or breastfeeding by playing soothing music, looking at pictures that produce happiness
If you are really feeling that nothing seems to be working but you don’t want to give up on breastfeeding then take a “Nursing Vacation” – yup its exactly what it sounds like – just you and your baby for a few days – you need not go anywhere special, this can be done at your home too – just delegate all other duties except the baby to your partner and family members – just take your baby to bed with you and do nothing but nurse when the urge hits your baby. During this vacation, take advantage of nap nursing - sleeping with your baby ever-close to his favourite food. This relaxes both mother and child. It also increases the stimulation of milk-producing hormones.
CLOGGING, SORENESS & LATCHING
Massage and circulate the breast well to open up any clogs especially if you feel the milk is flowing less from one breast compared to the other
Massage while in the shower as warm water will help the process and hurt less or do a hot water compress to loosen them up a bit
Another super trick is if they're feeling very heavy and painful while in the shower take a hair comb and run it over the breasts – the circulation will do wonders to relieve your pain
If your nipples are feeling sore – the main reason is that the baby is not latching correctly – here are two great detailed articles that helped me get this one right, here they are for your reference Latching 1 & Latching 2
In the meanwhile you can use breastmilk on the sore nipples or a great lanolin based nipple cream like Nipcare – available at all chemist stores (please consult your gyenac before proceeding to do so ! ) or an off the shelf cream like The Mom & World Nipple Balm
The most important factor while Bottle feeding the baby is to ensure that all the feeding equipment and accessories are thoroughly cleaned and sterilised as there is a chance for harmful bacterial growth if this is not done correctly. So if you have chosen to bottle feed the baby, we would advise you to invest in a good steriliser like the Phillips Avent steriliser and bottle cleaning brushes.
If you have a baby maid, train her to clean the bottle parts with the brushes correctly and use the forceps only to remove the bottle parts from the steriliser
Store the bottle parts in the steriliser itself till you need to feed the baby
If you are using formula, store the powder in an airtight container
Pour in the powder first and then the water to get the proportion correct- one scoop of formula for 30ml water
The water should be boiled and cooled to no less that 70 degrees – this is because hot water will destroy any harmful bacteria in the powder
Formula feed once made, should not be kept for more than 45 minutes – specially in our humid weather
If you plan to express milk regularly, then an electronic pump is a saviour and I would highly recommend investing in one like The Medela one or The Spectra baby one – but if it’s only going to be rarely done, then you can even express by a manual pump like this one easily that is pretty inexpensive but can get tedious if done on a regular basis. And lastly without a pump as well, but this one takes some practice and you will need to express in a cup and then store in the bottle later on (this is the one that Indian lactation consultants recommend usually) here’s the link to a video explaining how to do it
BOTTLE FEEDING ON THE GO:
The best trick we learnt for giving formula, specially while on the go is to carry 2 water thermos’ – one with hot boiling water and one with boiled and cooled water – we would pour half the hot water in the powder first and then after swirling a bit, pour in the cooled water – so that the hungry baby does not need to wait while the feed cools and the bacteria are also killed off
Instead of carrying the whole formula container, these compact formula dispenser boxes are really handy and convenient
DO NOT FORGET TO PUT A TRAVEL CAP ON EXPRESSED MILK – or you will be crying over spilt milk (ok ok bad joke )
If you are carrying breast milk, carry an ice pack along to keep the milk at a cool temperature – it stays good for at least 4 hours this way unless its in direct sunlight and if you are going to a place that has a refrigerator then it can stay the whole day too
Then before the feed, just pour in hot water in a container and put the bottle in it for a couple of minutes to get it to room temperature ( saves space over carrying a bottle warmer everywhere – if you are going to a restaurant, they can easily provide you with this )
There tends to be a lot of confusion on how long breastmilk stays good for - when its stored in the fridge/ in the freezer/ thawed then frozen again etc etc...this flowchart was a lifesaver for me in those days and I'm sure it will help you too!!
We hope these little pointers help you on your feeding journey – there is still so much to cover so if you have a question, do leave it in the comments below and we will answer them to the best of our ability!
Happy Feeding Mommas :)