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Nutritional and Breast Feeding Tips for Newborn Infants

The Great news about breastmilk

  • Contains many digestible proteins.
  • Reinforces your baby's natural defenses.
  • And best of all, it comes in the right temperature, requiring no preparation at all!
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to have colic, respiratory and ear infections, constipation, asthma and allergies.
  • For moms, breastfeeding also burns up to 500 calories a day, helping bring you back to your pre-pregnancy weight!

For effective breastfeeding

  • Try and breastfeed right after baby is born.
  • Have baby with you in the room, so you can breastfeed on demand.
  • Try and avoid supplementing with formula to maximize your chances of breastfeeding effectively.
  • Limit food and drinks that contain caffeine, as this can lead to irritable and restless babies.
  • Follow a well balanced diet.
  • Breastfeeding can be a challenge. Do not hesitate to get help if you need it. There is a lot of information on the Internet, support groups and pediatricians who can offer good advice.
  • Despite all the advantages of breastfeeding, you should not feel guilty if you decide to give your baby formula milk. There are good formulas that provide good nutrition and promote growth and development.

Common breastfeeding problems

  • Low milk supply– This is a common worry among mothers. A good way to tell your baby is getting sufficient milk is when you have to change soaking wet diapers 5 – 6 times a day and baby is gaining about 14g of weight a day.

    Tips for increasing milk supply

    • Apply a warm compress to the breast before feeding to improve the let down reflex
    • Feed your baby frequently – the more your baby feeds, the more milk your body will produce to meet demand
    • Try pumping your breasts for 5 – 10 minutes after feeding to stimulate milk production.
    • Massage your breasts during feeding.
    • Make time to rest and relax. Engage the family for help and support.

  • Sore nipples– This is usually caused by baby not latching on properly or positioned correctly.

    Tips to prevent sore nipples

    • Do not use soap on the nipple area.
    • Use a loose fitting, dry and clean cotton bra.
    • Allow breasts to air dry for 10 minutes after feeding.
    • Use lanolin-based moisturisers.
    • Massage breast while feeding.
    • Make sure to break the suction before removing baby from your breast.
    • Use an ice pack before feeding and a warm compress after feeding.
    • Express some milk by hand before feedings to soften the areola.
    • Avoid plastic-lined nipple pads and shields.
    • See a doctor if the soreness does not improve after a few days. You might have mastitis– a clogging of the milk ducts – and this can lead to infection.

  • Leaking– This is not uncommon especially if this is your first baby.

    Tips to deal with leaking

    • Use nursing pads that don't have plastic liners.
    • Avoid breast shells unless you need them to improve nipple shape.
    • If leaking occurs from overproduction, you can improve it by breastfeeding your baby frequently.

  • Engorgement– This is common for mothers 2 – 5 days after your baby is born. This also makes it difficult for your baby to latch on and it can cause your nipples to flatten or leak

    Tips to prevent and treat engorgement

    • Take a hot shower and use a heating pad before feeding.
    • Gently massage breast towards the nipple while baby is feeding.
    • Wear a loose-fitting supportive nursing bra.
    • Make a cold compress with cabbage leaves and leave on breasts for about 30 minutes.
    • Try pumping your breasts for a few minutes to relieve the engorgement.

  • Plugged Ducts– This happens when milk does not empty completely into one area. When this develops, you will feel a hard lump in one area of your breast.

    Tips to relieve plugged ducts

    • A warm compress will help increase drainage.
    • Rest as much as you can.
    • Nurse your baby as often as you can.
    • Massage your breast towards the nipple while baby is feeding.
    • You will know once the plugged ducts have been unclogged. The lump and tenderness will disappear.

  • Inverted and Flat Nipples– This can cause difficulties in breastfeeding, although it is still possible.

    Tips to help baby latch on

    • Squeeze a flat nipple between your forefinger and thumb to make it easier for your baby to latch on.
    • You should also wear breast cups or shells a few hours a day, especially during your third trimester, to help your nipples 'pop out'.
    • Try pumping just before your baby is going to breastfeed or place a few drops of breastmilk on your nipple to encourage baby to latch-on.

  • Mastitis – This is an infection of the breast that causes flu-like symptoms. These including fatigue, headache, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. It also causes the affected breast to be red, swollen and tender. Mastitis can occur after you have cracked nipples, plugged ducts or engorgement.

    Tips to help baby latch on

    • Rest.
    • Drink more fluids than normal.
    • Try and continue breastfeeding.
    • Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics for 10 – 14 days.