Sunday, May 26, 2024

When Breast Isn’t Best – 5 Signs That Breastfeeding May Not Work For You.

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( Breastfeeding is a natural bonding process between a mother and her baby, and most people assume that a holistic, natural mum is one who breastfeeds to nourish her child. However, nursing doesn’t always come naturally or easily. 

The reason that mums often consult doulas, lactation nurses, and attend breastfeeding classes is because breastfeeding is a skill and sometimes it must be cultivated. If even after all this effort you notice one of the following red flags, you might want to look into newborn baby formula as breastfeeding might not be working.  

  • Baby looks parched after feeding or you’re not getting dirty diapers 

The act of breastfeeding is meant to provide milk to the baby. If your little one is constantly crying afterward, this could be a sign they’re not getting enough. 

Two things you’ll notice after a successful breastfeeding session are milk stains in the baby’s mouth and a white tongue. Also, babies need to have a fair amount of dirty diapers per day. As the baby gets older, the number of diapers tends to increase. If your baby is having too little milk, there will be fewer diaper changes.

Breastfed babies also have a lighter yellowish stool, so that can also be used as an indicator of whether the baby is receiving enough milk. Darker yellow or blood-tinged stool is a sign of worry and should send you running to the doctor’s office. 

  • Baby’s feeding times are too short or too long

Breastfeeding as we are often told, requires a lot of patience. On average, it takes longer than 5-10 minutes. If your breastfeeding sessions last for only 10 minutes, something is amiss. 

On the other hand, breastfeeding sessions that are too long can mean that the baby is not latching properly, nor gaining enough milk. A longer session may also mean that the mum is not producing enough milk to satisfy the baby’s hunger. 

  • Baby sleeps through the night and misses feeding sessions 

As peaceful as this sounds, having your baby sleep through the night is never ideal. In fact, you should wake your baby up every few hours to feed.

Keep in mind that breastfed babies drink more frequently than bottle-fed babies. Swallowing is a sign that the baby is getting nutrients from the milk, and they usually swallow more frequently towards the beginning of the feeding process.

  •  Baby’s weight isn’t in the healthy range 

Babies must almost double their weight in the few weeks after birth. If you notice your baby is not picking up weight within two weeks of feeding, this is a sign that something may be wrong with your feeding style. 

Weighing your baby regularly is important because sometimes it may seem as if they’re suckling, but if they don’t get any rewards from the feed, they’ll lose weight. 

  • Your breasts don’t feel right 

It’s important to listen to your body as it will let you know when you’re not ready to breastfeed. For instance, if your breasts feel empty, this could mean that you have no milk. 

Meanwhile, hard breasts with lumps indicate the baby is not latching properly. If after a feed, the breasts remain hard, check with your doctor. Engorgement decreases milk supply. 

Despite the amount of guilt that you might experience once you realize that you cannot nourish your baby through breastfeeding, rest assured that you’re not alone. While breastfeeding is excellent, it is not physically possible for all mums. Remember, breastfeeding is a gift but not one all can give and that is totally okay!

Staff Writer; Mary Brown

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