Right after baby delivery, new mothers are heading up to another challenging phase; breast-feeding. Why is breast-feeding important? What problems mother may encounter regarding breast-feeding? How do mothers make sure their milk does not dry up?
Why Breast-feeding is Important?
Breast feeding holds important roles to both mother and baby. For newborn babies, all the nutrients they needs for early growth are provided from breast-feeding. For mothers, breast-feeding strengthens their bond with the baby; preventing the syndrome of baby blue that mostly happens to first-time mothers. It also controls breast cells from malfunction and as the result; lower the chance of breast tumor and cancer. Therefore, although the choice of how newborn babies fed between breastfed and formula is personal, those benefits can be a consideration for exclusive breast-feeding.
What are Possible Inhibits while Breast-feeding?
Some mothers experience various problems regarding breast-feeding. Some have sore nipples, and some others cannot stop their baby from biting. Lack of sleep and giving up favorite foods and drinks also upset large number of nursing moms. Another group of mother gets panicked because they stop producing milk. How can this happen and how do mothers make sure their breast milk does not dry up?
How to Make Sure Breast Milk does not Dry up?
Unlike blood, breast milk cells are living cells. The compositions, thus, are depending on the interaction with babies. After delivery, mother’s body releases prolactin, the hormone producing milk. The amount released depends on how often mothers breast-feed their babies. When mothers do not nurse or pump milk, body starts to release Prolactin Inhibiting Hormone (PIH). This hormone will give information to the brain to stop the breasts from producing milk since it is considered not needed. If this continues, the production of breast milk will gradually stop and thus, the breast milk will dry up.
Should you plan to nurse your baby throughout her first year, there are some things to be considered to prevent breast milk from drying up:
Nursing will stimulate production of prolactin. When babies nursed often and regularly, prolactin will be continuously produced and thus, provide sufficient amount of breast milk. When nursed, make sure that baby empties both breasts. When baby starts to seem feeling uncomfortable sucking one breast, move her to another. This is to balance milk production between two breasts and to avoid one of breasts to dry up faster. Letting your baby sucking while there is no milk could also stimulate your body to reproduce breast milk.
Pump after nursing.
Pumping after nursing will circulate breast milk supply. Nursing mothers are also advised to pump every time their breasts feel uncomfortable in order to reduce the possibility of having mastitis syndrome.
Drink enough water and avoid soda.
Drinking water will keep your body hydrated and control the cells from misbehaving. When breast-feeding, make sure you nourish your body by drinking sufficient supply of water right before and after.
Avoid caffeine and cigarettes.
Tea and coffee do taste good. However, you really need to give up those while you are breast feeding. Caffeine will inhibit the prolactin to produce milk, so that your milk will dry up gradually.
Consume right foods.
There are some foods believed to trigger production of breast milk. Oatmeal, rice, spinach, carrots, bitter melon, and sweet leaves are some of them. Those foods are enriched with folic acid, vitamins, minerals, and proteins needed by the body to release progesterone, oxytocin, and prolactin required for producing breast milk.
Avoid stress and mind your sleep.
Stress and lack of sleep have been causing various health disturbances. When you return to work after 3-month maternity leave, be sure to maintain your stress level. Be sure to sleep 8 hours every day to let your body produce necessary substances for nursing your baby.
Do not Alter to Bottles too Often.
Every time you feed your baby with bottled milk, your breasts lose their chance to produce milk. So, minimize bottled milk and keep breast-feeding.
Breast-feeding is both emotional as well as physical, so mothers need to give special attention to their diets, emotion, and motivation in order to be able to feed the baby properly.