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Thread: Concerns About Breastfeeding
14th May 2014 02:06 AM #1
- Join Date
- May 2014
Concerns About Breastfeeding
Hi! Here are some of my questions regarding Breastfeeding. I hope it's okay that I posted them all at once.
1. Is it alright if I lay my baby down right away after he is full from breastfeeding?
2. Is burping really not necessary after breastfeeding? I just knew about this when my babyís resident Paediatrician told us.
3. When my baby had his hearing test, the Audiologist told me to always elevate his head when heís lying down during feeding. I would like to know how high would it to be safe? This is because I donít use pillows but I use folded blankets or cloth nappies to lay his head on. Is this okay?
4. I would like to know how long an expressed milk will last when refrigerated?
5. I want to express my breastmilk so my baby can have it whenever I am not around or when we are out but I am afraid he might not drink it from a bottle as he is used to my nipples. We use the same type of bottle and nipple on it for his water but I donít think he likes it because he is not sucking, maybe itís hard or he is just not used to it. Should I buy a softer nipple or should I just try harder with the one that we have?
14th May 2014 06:25 AM #2
Yes please do ask away. It is wonderful that you are breastfeeding - there are countless advantages to breastfeeding your baby including increased immunity and decreased rate of childhood cancers and cancer in the breastfeeding mum. Many women find that breastfeeding does not come easily to them at the start of their breastfeeding journey. This is fine but the thing to do is just keep asking for as much support as you can; here on this forum, at breastfeeding peer support groups, from a lactation consultant, midwives, breastfeeding charity helplines (such as La Leche League) etc. It is a skill which is learnt by mum and baby and suddenly you will realise you are doing it naturally and easily without even thinking about it.
To answer your questions:
1. Yes this is fine. Many women also breastfeed laying down, particularly at night-time. Some women also find that, at first, it is easier for the baby to latch on (and get that essential 'good latch') when they are both laying down. Unicef have produced 'safe co-sleeping guidelines' if you are interested in this.
2. Yes. It really depends on the baby. Breastmilk is delicate and designed specifically for newborn babies' tiny stomachs - quite unlike formula milk. This means that many breastfed babies do not actually need to be burped. Some won't burp at all and some will just give a burp on their own. However, some breastfed babies are still windy and do still need to be burped (a more upright feeding position, such as the 'rugby hold' can help with this). Go with your baby - follow their lead (i.e. if they fall asleep from breastfeeding then absolutely fine, if they seem uncomfortable or wiggly afterwards then try gently burping them).
3. I am a qualified Audiologist also as it happens. I have never heard this or seen research to show this. The recommended sleeping and napping position for babies (including when safely co-sleeping) is to be laying flat. This prevents the risk of cot death. You shouldn't put anything under the babies head when they are under 12 months. Many breastfed babies fall asleep whilst feeding laying down so again I don't believe you should put anything under their head whilst laying down. It is safe to breastfeed a baby in the flat position and this is the natural position for their head to be in.
4. These are the safe storage guidelines for expressed breastmilk:
- at room temperature for 8-10 hours
- in the fridge for 8 days (it is best stored at the back of the fridge)
- in the freezer for 3-12 months depending on the type of freezer and how often the freezer door is opened
5. For babies aged up to 6 months of age you should not give them any water (unless prescribed to do so for an unusual medical condition). The recommendation from the World Health Organisation is to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of life then to continue breastfeed from 6 months alongside solid food to two years of age and beyond. A baby under 6 months of age does not need water and, indeed, it is not good for them to have water - breastmilk contains everything they need.
With expressing breastmilk, it is important to remember that breastmilk works on a supply and demand basis. You need to feed your baby often enough from the breast or express the equivalent amount of milk from the breast at this time in order for your body to know how much breastmilk to continue to make for your baby. This is another reason not to give him water as your body will interpret it that he needs less liquids from your breastmilk and so your body will respond by making less breastmilk. At this early stage in your breastfeeding relationship this can still be rectified so don't worry. I would feed him on demand day and night now, exclusively breastfeeding. Then you will set up a good breastmilk supply for the months and even years ahead.
Typically babies of this age will feed every 2-3 hours day and night. If you are expressing breastmilk for some of his feeds then you still need to keep up with this pattern.
I think that your concerns are valid because this is a very early stage in your breastfeeding journey to be introducing bottles. Generally, it is recommended that you don't introduce any artificial teats until breastfeeding is well established (at around 8-10 weeks of age on average). This is because a baby can get 'nipple confusion' because an artificial teat and your nipple are very different. A baby latches onto your breast but he does not do this to a bottle. The worry at this early age is that he gets confused about latching on/ loses this skill and then you become more/ wholly dependent on bottles and your breastmilk supply will also suffer.
Also remember that a baby is much more efficient than any breastpump at extracting milk from the breast. This is why you cannot just express milk from a breast and use this to estimate how much milk a baby is getting from the breast at each feed.
Have you thought about/ are you wearing your baby in a stretchy sling (like a 'Moby' or a 'Karime') as you can then breastfeed on the move with your baby in this sling and with your hands free. It is also wonderful for bonding. You could also consider using a 'feeding apron' to begin with if you are feeling uncomfortable about feeding in public.
You can also get bottles which simulate the breastfeeding action (there is one called the 'breastflow').
I do hope this information helps you and it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. Please don't hesitate to post back with any further questions you may have on this topic.
Last edited by ljmarsden; 14th May 2014 at 06:31 AM.
15th May 2014 12:07 AM #3
- Join Date
- May 2014
Hi! Thank you so much for your time. I learned a lot from your answers, they were detailed and very informative.
Exclusive breastfeeding has been one of my goals to do for my baby. I'm glad that I have enough supply and I don't have any problems in feeding. I want to give my best for my baby boy and I know this is one of them. Aside from its benefits, it has also helped us save a lot.
Thank you for the answer to my first question. Sometimes, I let him sit on my lap or carry him upright on my chest, facing me for a few minutes before I lay him down. Other times, I immediately lay him down especially when I'm very tired, I felt guilty about it before but now, I'm relieved that it's just fine to do so.
I also breastfeed him when we're both laying down, it's one of my techniques for him to sleep, day or night.
My baby has no problem in falling asleep while feeding, he always does, most of the time. So, it's fine for me not to burp him. Thank you!
I am really happy now knowing that it's totally okay to lay my baby flat while sleeping or feeding. I was concerned about it so I did my research on the internet and I've read that it really is important especially for the first few months to have babies sleep flat. And it has been confirmed by you, thanks so much!
Thank you for the Storage Guidelines! I will write them down.
Most of the time after feeding, my baby has hiccups, I know it's just normal but I always feel pity for him. So can I just continue on feeding him for the hiccups to stop? I think I shouldn't express milk for now, there really isn't a need yet. I was just curious about the expressing part, that's why I did it (so funny) but I haven't given the milk to my baby because I'm sure he won't be comfortable with it just like the one with the water. And I should not give him water for now.
I have been out with my baby a few times, during his follow-up checks and I don't really feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. What I do is, I use a blanket to cover. I think I should get that stretchy sling. I've seen that and I think it's really practical and the baby looks really comfy inside.
I want to breastfeed my baby for a long time, I don't want to compromise and I should not.
Once again, thank you so much LJ for your informative answers, I really appreciate them.
15th May 2014 05:11 AM #4
You are really welcome Happytobeamommy. I'm so glad you found this information helpful.
Yes many young babies do get hiccups. It is fine to continue to breastfeed him through this. You may find that breastfeeding him in a more upright position helps him with this. Is he sick often with the hiccups? Does the latch feel comfortable? Does he take a good mouthful of your breast?
The blanket idea for breastfeeding under sounds like a good one - whatever you feel comfortable doing is best. You may find you change your public feeding technique/ what you feel confident with as your baby gets older. It is really a personal choice.
It really sounds like you are doing brilliantly. You are giving your baby Nature's Best. Whenever you have a new question about breastfeeding (I have found new questions tend to come up through the months) then please feel free to post it here.
With warm wishes,
22nd May 2014 08:37 AM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
Awesome info mama's.....I love to see all is great information passed back and forth.