you, all mothers have a lot of concerns
about their babies. This is a special
chapter to assist you to answer some
of your own questions. Some common
questions asked by the mothers are:
When should breastfeeding be started?
Breastfeeding should be started
immediately after the baby is born.
The naked baby (after baby is mopped
gently and made dry) should be held
by the mother, close to her breasts
for skin to skin contact.It stimulates
smooth flow of milk and keeps the
baby warm besides helping emotional
bonding. After this start breastfeeding.
Why breastfeeding should be started
Baby is most active in first 30 to
Sucking reflex is most active at that
Early start ensures success of exclusive
breastfeeding. Colostrum, which is
the first yellowish secretion from
the breast, is full of substances
which protect the baby from getting
any infection and acts to prevent
infection like a vaccine.
It prevents breast swelling and pain,
reduces post delivery bleeding.
After Caesarean- section delivery,
can I breastfeed my baby successfully?
Yes. This operation does not affect
your ability to successfully breastfeed
your baby. You can start breastfeeding
after 4 hrs. of operation or when
you are out
of the effect
of anaestheia. You can tilt your body
to one side in the lying-down position
and start feeding ,or you can put
the baby on your abdomen and then
feed the child. All mothers who have
caesarean section deliveries are successful
in breastfeeding their babies with
assistance for the first few days.
Can I feed my baby in lying down position?
Yes. You can feed your baby in
any position comfortable to you and
your baby. It may be lying down, sitting
I give gripe water and/ or ghutti
to my baby- is it desirable or not?
No. Use of ghutti and gripe water
is an unscientific practice.It is
better not to use them. These preparations
sometimes contain medications which
are harmful and may induce sleep which
is not natural.
Does my baby needs vitamins?
Usually not. A baby who is exclusively
breastfed for first six months does
not need tonics or vitamins.If not
exclusively breastfed, then yes.
My milk looks thin and watery . Is
Milk at the start of breastfeed(foremilk)is
thin and contains less fat. Hindmilk(near
the end of feed) is thicker and full
of fats. A baby needs both. Feed the
baby in an unrestricted fashion to
ensure that baby receives both foremilk
and hind milk.
Should I breastfeed from both the
breasts each time I feed my baby?
One breast must be emptied out fully
before the second is offered, so that
the baby receives both foremilk and
hind milk. When the baby releases
one, breast other should be offered.
If the baby is still
hungry he will
feed from the other breast. Alternate
breast should be offered at each feed.
My baby is preterm. Can I breastfeed
Yes. you can breastfeed a
preterm baby successfully.
How long can I continue to breastfeed?
You should breastfeed your baby exclusively
for first 6 months and continue breastfeeding
well upto 2 years or beyond.
My milk leaks from breast after feeding
the baby. What should I do?
It is a temporary problem and quite
normal. If you notice the milk is
leaking , press your elbows firmly
against the outer margins of your
breasts. This will slow down the flow.
I don't have enough milk . What should
Sign of getting adequate milk supply
is the baby passing urine 6 times
(or more) in 24 hours and baby gaining
weight 500gms per month. The feeling
of inadequate milk is usually apparent
and not true as it comes from the
mother believing that she is not producing
enough breastmilk or if the baby asks
for feeds more frequently or cries
a lot. What you should do is put your
child more often at your breast. Increased
suckling frequently will increase
"prolactin" production and in turn
increase your milk supply. Also, avoid
tension which inhibits the milk flow.
I have pain in the nipples while feeding
the baby.What should I do?
The cause of pain, probably is that
your baby is suckling in an incorrect
position. If the baby is suckling
only at the nipple, it causes sore
nipple, which is painful. The treatment
is to feed your baby in the correct
position. Once your baby starts
suckling in the correct position,
pain will immediately disappear. Applying
any cream or lotion is not recommended.
You can put few drops of your own
breastmilk over the damaged area and
allow it to dry.
My baby is passing frequent loose
stools.Do I need to worry?
An exclusively breastfed baby
sometimes passes frequent loose stools.
It is normal.
I am sick, can I still breastfeed
Yes. You can continue breastfeeding
even if you are sick. Most of the
diseases do not affect the baby even
typhoid, malaria, tuberculosis, jaundice
or leprosy don't call for stopping
I am taking medicines.Can I continue
breastfeeding my baby?
Yes. Most commonly used drugs
don't cause any harm to babies For
further advice consult your doctor.
Should washing the breast before and
after each feed be done ?
No. Daily bathing is all that
is required. Avoid applying soap on
your nipples. Frequent washing or
cleaning of the breast is likely to
remove the antibacterial lubricating
oil produced by the special glands
present in the areola.
Some of my friends give fruit juices
and soups during early months of life.
My baby is 3 months old.Should I start
giving these to my baby?
No. From birth till 6 months your
child should be given only breastmilk.
Any other food or drink given may
be harmful for your child and also
increases his chances of getting diarrhoea.
Giving these would deprive your baby
of adequate amount of breastmilk.
I want to start bottlefeeding so that
baby does not refuse to accept it
later. What do you think?
There is no need to give bottlefeeding
and it should be avoided. If necessary,
child can take milk from a cup.Even
atfer six months if needed your child
should be fed with a cup and a spoon.Bottle
feeding is not necessary.
What is the harm of using one bottle-feed
a day when I am boiling the bottles
Starting bottlefeed leads to
three major problems
starts refusing the breast due to
It will reduce your own milk supply.
baby becomes more prone to infections
because of bottle. Inspite of boiling
the bottle the chances of infection
are higher in the babies who are
bottlefed than who are not given
In case I need to give artificial
milk, how should I give?
If the baby has to be given artificial
milk it should be given with a cup
or a spoon and not with a bottle.
Any mistake in the process of preparing
a bottle-feed can lead to infections.
Does smoking affect my milk and my
Yes. Smoking can reduce your milk
supply. It may also make your child
more prone to respiratory infections