Common Breastfeeding Questions – Answered! (Part 5)
Dr. Neetu Talwar, Senior Consultant Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, joins us and answers worried mommies about their breastfeeding concerns. Thank you Dr. Talwar for your support to the New Moms Club.
Bhawna – My baby is 5 month old, on bf only, but my milk supply is reducing day by day. Pls suggest something.
You have continue to breastfeed and have some faith that your milk is sufficient for the baby. Most of time what happens is that when the baby is growing we start doubting our own capacity to produce sufficient milk and consequently these thoughts start to affect our milk production, which then goes down. Like I’ve mentioned before these things are strongly linked to your emotions and your hormones. So do not entertain any negative thoughts and believe that your milk is the best milk for your baby and that you are producing enough milk.Once your baby is 5-6 months old, you can always add on top milk etc.
Namisha – My baby is 9 months old. He left breastfeeding at 5 months. He is already taking solids and gaining sufficient weight. I have tried to breastfeed him but he refuses even at night. What should I do? Will it leave any effect on baby?
If you are very serious about breastfeeding, then with proper supervision and guidance you can still start and become a successfully breastfeeding mother – despite the break. But in case you are not very keen, don’t worry, you can give your baby the right supplements and nutrients, which will ensure that your baby and his health don’t suffer.
Pooja – My twin babies are 3 months old, they r totally on ff.. As I’m not getting supply it’s totally gone. I’m taking everything -proper diet, domstal tab, jeera, dahlia, 5 times milk but nothing helps me.
Pooja what one needs to remember with twins is to take good amount of nutrition, something you are already on top of. You need not take other medicines, you can take satavarex and lactonic- these are both ayurvedic products known for their effect. Take these religiously and more importantly, keep trying to feed the baby. Put them to your breasts- the minute they start suckling, the signal goes to the brain, you have more let down reflex, and the milk production eventually does go up.
Also remember to feed them in the dancer’s position that I mentioned earlier.
Anupriya – Does the use of Breast pumps help us to increase or decrease breast milk? I have heard two completely reverse stories. My dd is 4.5 months and I think my bm is decreasing. I only pump when my breasts feel heavy and dd doesn’t empty them. Does pumping regularly helps in milk production?
I personally never advocate breast pumps to anybody, under any circumstances. With just a little pressure: up or down, it can damage and lead to abscesses and infections. We have excellent techniques to express milk manually- which are natural and don’t damage your breast tissues.
But I seriously have my apprehensions when it comes to breast pumps. Also, unless you really need to (if you work or have to travel), do not express milk and then give it to the child since expressed milk can have it’s disadvantages. For example, consuming milk this way,baby is more susceptible to infections. So expressing milk is a boon but please don’t do it just to increase your milk supply, it is not worth it.
Tarneet – My Dd is one yr n m joining office on 12th August…. how to wean her off completely.. she doesn’t drink milk from bottle n from glass she likes milk with bournvita… can I give her pediasure milk?
Yes, Tarneet, you can give her Bournvita and Pediasure, after a year there shouldn’t be a problem. Also, you can continue to breastfeed your child once you are back from your office- give one feed immediately and the second one when she sleeps. She will need it for emotional reasons. I wouldn’t advise you to suddenly stop breastfeeding, try and do it gradually. Your going to office will definitely be hard for the baby and if you stop breastfeeding at the same time, it will be even more difficult for her. Just take a couple on months’ buffer and then stop it altogether.
Deepti – I have tail breasts extended till my under arms. It happened during my first pregnancy. It has been 4.5years and one more delivery 3 months back. Will extensive breastfeeding help me reduce that? Or Any exercises to reduce that? Also, Does much use of breast pump harm the breast tissues and make those sagging.?
Using breast pump too often will definitely harm the breast tissue, which is why I don’t advise its use. Using breast pumps may also cause your breasts to sag, of course, there are no concrete studies to prove it but there is a very high chance of it happening. And you are right, extensive and exclusive breastfeeding will definitely help in your case.
Sonali – I bf my 3 months gal..next month I’ll have to join off back. I have tried giving bottle with expressed milk…but now she is not taking bottle and I have to bf her. My friends told me earlier I should have introduced bottle, so later she’ll not accept. I wanna feed my gal with breast milk..what shall I do to feed her in my absence. She also reduces spoon.
The best solution, Sonali, would be to express out the breast milk in three to four, stainless steel containers with lids (which have already been sterilized by you either in boiling water or a sterilizer). Then you need to instruct the person who will be taking care of the baby in your absence to feed the milk in a bowl by spoon. If your baby is refusing bottle that means you’ve got a smart little one, because that’s not something we’d advise anyway.
My breast gets full early morning as rarely I can feed my daughter in the night..what will happen once I join office and there will be 7 hrs of gap for feeding dd..There i dont think i can express milk as busy schedule at office. And also, What should be exact gap between 2 feeds. its says 2 hrs gap..but if baby demands every hour or just after 30 min. What shall be done?
Once you’ve joined office, you may not have the time to express out breast milk in a very nice and hygienic manner at home for the purpose of giving it to your baby but in the office, you have to make it a point to go express out the excessive milk to make sure there is no engorgement etc. Additionally, you should also wear very tight brassieres: a size smaller than what you find comfortable. This will help you decrease your milk supply. Also, a two hour gap between feeds is not correct, you should be demand feeding.
Aniesha – I am only able to feed my lo sufficiently from my right breast.. Left side does not produce as much milk I guess.. Should it be a big concern?
Aniesha, even if you are convinced that you don’t produce from one side, you must continue to feed from both. That physical stimulus of the baby suckling will give rise to let-down reflex (meaning that when a baby suckles at the nipple the brain receives the signal to send down breast milk). This will not benefit you instantly, but gradually, as the baby starts suckling at that breast regularly, the milk production will definitely increase.
Smriti – Does stress and tension affect breast feeding? Does breast milk supply becomes less due to this?
Stress and tension definitely affect breastfeeding. It will not only decrease the amount of milk flow, but the stress will also be transferred to the baby, whom you are holding in your hand and that will eventually lead to your baby rejecting your feed. When a baby feels that the mother is busy and not completely focused on feeding her/him at the time of breastfeeding, it definitely leads to failed and increased hours of breastfeeding.
Jyoti – My baby brestfeeds with nipple shields from the day one as my nipples is small…I tried hard feeding him off shields but failed..now the problem is that from the last one month he is simply denying to feed as he starts chewing the shield ….I’m not able to make out its teething problem or related to breastfeed (right now I’m pumping and feeding twice a day which has decreased my milk supply to very very low)..I wanna feed him for longer..hez 7 months now
This chewing is probably related to your baby teething. You should probably try and visit your pediatrician, who will teach you the syringe method which will help you increase the length of the nipple, just before you are due to feed. Gentle manual rubbing of the nipple will also help you stimulate it. This will help you in feeding your baby. If the shields are not working then you don’t have an option, you will have to try these methods I mentioned.
Shalini – What is the solution for leaking breasts?
For leaking breasts you could use cotton pads- place them in your undergarment. Remember that leaking breasts too are related to hormones and your emotional state. So you will see the baby and the milk will start to flow from your breasts, you have to give yourself some time to get out of this, you can’t do much here.