World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1 to 7 every year. In the interests of increasing awareness about breastfeeding and for greater knowledge and peace of mind for breastfeeding mothers, we've compiled a list of things everyone should know about breastfeeding babies.
1) WHO encourages breastfeeding for a long time
The World Health Organization recommends that a mother breastfeed exclusively for six months, and then accompanied with introduction of suitable solids till the age of two or even older.
2) Breast milk can change
The color of your milk can be affected by what you eat? The color of the foods you eat can show up in your breastmilk. The food you eat can have impact on your baby in other ways too, like a belly ache, gas or a diaper rash.
I personally saw this, when I took a brewer's yeast supplement while breastfeeding. I was fine but I observed astonishing infant flatulence that disappeared when I quit taking the brewer's yeast.
If a mother has an alcoholic beverage, her milk will end up with alcohol in it. The simplest way around this is not to drink till you are no longer breastfeeding.
If that's not an option, timing when you have a drink can make a difference in whether or not your baby will also be sharing it. Generally, alcohol will stay in your system for two or three hours after you've had a drink.
3) One breast can supply more than the other
It's not unusual for breasts to be different sizes, whether a woman is nursing or not. It's also not unusual for one breast to provide more milk than the other. One side may contain more glandular tissue than the other, the theory goes.
It's also not unusual for a baby to have a "favorite" side, and if more feeding is done from that breast, it can also end up with a greater supply of milk.
4) Breastfeeding can contribute to cramping
These are actually good cramps. They are an indication that your uterus is shrinking back to normal due to the release of oxytocin while breastfeeding. Often these cramps accompany your letdown of milk.
5) You may be producing more milk than you think
You don't see how much milk you're producing and it may be hard to believe that there is much going into your baby but believe it or not some women produce about 800 mL in a day.
Some women feed smaller amounts, and some provide larger amounts less frequently. Rest assured, you can provide enough for your baby's needs.
6) You can increase your milk supply
As your baby grows, there will be times when it seems like he is hungry all the time, and you may worry that you are not able to fulfill his needs. But this can be a temporary situation that is easily remedied.
Feeding your baby more frequently will make the difference. Switch breasts after feeding for about 10 minutes, till you've offered both breasts twice.
7) How to know if your baby is getting enough milk
Breastfed babies' dirty diapers are pasty or watery, and the color of mustard. They can vary substantially from baby to baby, and even from day to day without there being a problem.
Dirty diapers may or may not occur every day, without being a problem either.
It's harder to tell how much urine is being passed when using disposable diapers as they are so absorbent. If the baby is getting enough to drink, the urine should be nearly colorless.
Reviewed August 4, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
7 Things You Didn't Know About Breastfeeding. Huffingtonpost.com.au. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
Low milk supply. Thewomens.org.au. Retrieved August 2, 2016.