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Breastfeeding Series- getting off to a good start Featured

Breastfeeding is the natural and normal way to feed babies and young children.

If you are pregnant or just had your bundle of joy and want to give your baby that precious Liquid Gold, then you are in the right place. 

Think about it for a second, human milk is specifically designed for human infants and young children.

Breastfeeding can be a pleasant experience for both you and baby if you start off right with the knowledge and support. It’s supposed to be easy and trouble free but there can be some hiccups along the way. Let’s look at some of those obstacles, some I had to deal with myself.

Latching Latching Latching

A proper latch is important to succeed. A baby who latches well will drain the breast well and get enough milk. A mother can have a good milk production but if the latch is poor, breastfeeding will be similar to giving a bottle with a nipple hole that is just too small – the bottle is full of milk, but the baby will not get much out. A poor latch can also cause the baby to suckle at the breast for long periods of time or can return to the breast frequently or not be happy at the breast, which in turn will cause the mother to think that she doesn’t have enough milk. Too many mothers don’t get shown how to properly latch their babies, especially when they tell you that your baby is latched perfectly but in the meantime you’ve got so much pain, you just want to bite your hand off. Sensitivity in the beginning of feeds is normal but not terrible pain, especially throughout the feed. Often health professionals will tell the mother to take the baby off and latch him on again and again until it is right. This is not always a good idea as it can cause more pain and more damage to the nipple. Rather try to fix the latch that you have as best as you can by pushing your baby’s bottom into your body with your forearm. The baby’s head is tipped back so the nose is in the “sniffing position”. You can also try to gently pull the baby’s chin down so he has more of the breast in his mouth.

Skin-to-skin and having access to the breast immediately after birth


Many moms experience that their baby are taken away immediately after birth, especially if they had a C-section. “I had a C-section and they told me it was protocol for baby to be examined by paed and then to nursery,” says Linette van Tiddens. Another mom, Sumayya Motala Essack, chimes in:  “I had an emergency c section. Baby was only given to me almost 12 hours later, already formula fed. (This had a very bad effect on baby latching).”

Studies have shown that skin-to-skin warms the baby just like an incubator and helps in so many ways: baby adapts to his new environment, their breathing and heart rate are more normal, temperature is more stable, blood sugar higher and the oxygen in his blood is higher.

Scheduled and Timed Feedings

Babies often feed frequently in the early days and weeks, especially early evenings and during the night to establish your milk supply. You eat and drink when you want to, why restrict your baby? A breastfed baby can’t overfeed as they control how much they take in. A baby who drinks well will not drink for hours. Don’t watch the clock, it will make you nuts! The more baby feeds, the more milk you’ll make. A baby shows hunger cues long before they start crying so if you work on a schedule, you’ll miss those signs.

Formula, Water and Sugar Water

Supplements could be avoided by proper latching and thus getting the colostrum (which is needed in the first few days) and milk that is available. There really is no need to supplement, the most important is to feed baby so that baby can stimulate milk production. Many moms do not know that milk only comes in on day 3-5. “On the 2nd night in hospital the nurses all suggested I give formula cause I didn’t have “enough milk”, being a first time mom, what did I know,” says Ilze Muller, “I attended a friend's birth last year, and the baby was a few weeks prem (36w). A couple of hours after birth, the sister came in and said ‘ok, this is the deal. Either you give baby a bottle now, or we have to take her to NICU’. We asked what she meant with a bottle, and she said ‘formula, what else - but it's the doctor's orders’. I asked her how much, and whether asking the mom to express some colostrum would not be an option. She sort of agreed that it could be, and offered to get a pump. Within 10 minutes, my friend had expressed 30ml of colostrum, which was then syringe fed to the baby. I was horrified by the threat of taking baby to NICU if mom wouldn't be prepared to give baby a bottle and the fact that they never suggested colostrum,” says Ellen Kammann.

Artificial Nipples aka the Bottle

What can happen if you give a bottle in the early days? The flow of the breast and the flow of a bottle vary tremendously.  A mother doesn’t make a lot of milk in the early days, as is intended by nature and by giving a bottle with a faster flow; your baby will clearly start preferring the faster flow as there is no major work involved.


Basically what all this means is don’t give up until you’ve tried. Take each day as it comes and don’t give up on your hardest day. The first few weeks are challenging and can be stressful but I promise you, it does get better and you’ll look back and be thankful that you pushed through.

Additional links: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-BF

Author bio: Juanne Cronjè is a writer and mother of two. She is very passionate about parenting and reads up on various topics.  When she isn’t writing she works in the Financial Sector. Find her here: juanne.riaan@vodamail.co.za or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Researched-and-Informed-Parenting/234828546718236?ref=bookmarks

*This article is copyrighted. You are welcome to share it, without altering the contents, giving proper credit to the author and link to this article. Please note Moomie is not a medical website. All information provided here are to be used at your own discretion. Always consult your caregiver for medical advice. 

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