This topic is one that every mother-to-be I am certain has many concerns. Breastfeeding is very special. For me, it was something that I thought was really wonderful – like a gift from God.
The reason I said it was like a gift from God was because like a gift it is complete; equipped with everything needed to succeed in most cases. It is unique for both mother and baby. All mothers-to-be have questions so I have provided some answers for what I thought are the most common ones.
1. Should I Breastfeed my Baby?
I guess by now you know the answer to this question right? Of course you should breastfeed your baby if you have no medical reasons why you should not.
Consider all of the benefits, your personal situation and make a decision based on your honest capacity to commit to it. I have met some mothers who wished they could breastfeed but cannot because of conditions like HIV infections, and certain medications i.e. antipsychotic medications and hypertension medications.
2. Can you overfeed a baby with breast milk?
I understand that new mothers can get confused at first, not sure if their infant is getting enough milk. Every mother wants to know that her baby is getting enough; but how does a mother know for sure? This is very important for mothers breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This is also essential as underfed or overfed can cause health issues for the little one.
The answer: No you can never overfeed your baby when breastfeeding!
Do you know why? When babies are full, they refuse to continue drinking. They will drink as much milk as they need. No baby is exactly the same so the amount may vary because of their needs.
Did you know babies have a regular schedule?
Yes they do; that you should feed them about 8 times in 24 hours. This means they will need to eat every 3 hours more or less. Never force your baby to feed if they continue to refuse. I used to try two times and if they still refuse I was confident that they were full. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you need to pay attention to the signals your baby gave you when they had enough to eat.
It might take time to understand how these signals work as they are specific for each child, but once you learn how to recognize them, you will be able to avoid overfeeding your child.https://nursingmoms.net/can-you-overfeed-a-newborn-breastfeeding/
3.Is it ok to smoke marijuana and breastfeed?
JAMA study notes that this can be problematic as prenatal marijuana use may impair birth weight, fetal growth, and brain development.
- Wow! this is a big one! With so much talk about the legalization of marijuana, many pregnant women are wondering how safe this is for baby. Are there any benefits that qualify it’s use?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics when a mom smokes weed and breastfeeds, the risks outweigh the benefits. Therefore, choosing to use marijuana and breast feed is not a good choice.
In a self-reported research letter published in JAMA, the rate of pot-smoking pregnant women increased from 2.4 to 3.9 percent between 2002 to 2014. The numbers are increasing.
The study notes that this can be problematic as prenatal marijuana use may impair birth weight, fetal growth, and brain development. Now who wants to risk issues with their baby’s health. Not even the women who are smoking would want problems for their babies. If you’re a current medical marijuana user looking to get pregnant, talk to your doc about alternatives you can use during pregnancy and lactation. The same dangers are with pot. No smoking is healthy for pregnancy.
Did you know there are certain conditions that are not safe for some mothers to breastfeed? Mothers should temporarily NOT breastfeed and should NOT feed expressed breast milk to their infants if
- Mother is infected with untreated brucellosis- a bacteria found in animals.
- Mother is taking certain medications.
- The mother is undergoing diagnostic imaging.
- Mother has an active herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection with lesions present on the breast3 (Note: Mothers can breastfeed directly from the unaffected breast if lesions on the affected breast are covered completely to avoid transmission)
A 2013 clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics,external icon” indicates that most medications and immunizations are safe to use during lactation.
According to the AAP, health care providers should weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing medications to breastfeeding mothers by considering the following:
- Need for the drug by the mother.
- Potential effects of the drug on milk production.
- Amount of the drug excreted into human milk.
- Extent of oral absorption by the breastfeeding infant.
- Potential adverse effects on the breastfeeding infant.
- Age of the infant.
- Proportion of feedings that are breast milk.
5.Where can I search for specific medications and their safety while I breastfeeding?
I am sure most if not all mothers are deeply concerned about what medications they use in fear of it harming the baby. I think everyone should be concerned for good reasoning -Medications can affect our health in a negative way. Here are some resources you can keep handy for future use. The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains LactMed®external icon, a database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.
LactMed®external icon includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. All data come from scientific literature and are fully referenced. A peer review panel reviews the data for scientific validity and currency.
The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) provides information, in English and Spanish, for women and health care providers on the risks and safety of taking medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This group maintains a website called Mother to Babyexternal icon.
The InfantRisk Centerexternal icon provides up-to-date evidence-based information on the use of medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The InfantRisk Center also provides resources such as a hotline, MommyMeds mobile app for consumers, InfantRisk Center mobile app for health care professionals and MommyMeds.com to make accessing safety information simple. I found these sites very helpful. I hope you do too.
6.How can a mother continue to provide breast milk to her infant after returning to work or school?
Being prepared for returning to work or school can help a mother ea
se the transition and continue to breastfeed after her maternity leave is over. The Office on Women’s Healthexternal icon has information for making this transition easier.
When a mother is away from her infant, she can pump or hand express her breast milk so that her infant can drink breast milk from a bottle. Mothers can visit CDC’s Infant and Toddler Nutrition website to learn more about pumping breast milk.
Mothers who are expressing their breast milk should visit the CDC’s Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk website to learn how to prepare and store breast milk safely for her infant.
7. Can I breastfeed if I have small breasts? Large breasts?
Yes you can! Many women believe that because they have large or small breasts, they will not be able to breastfeed. This is not so. I have nursed so many women including my sister in – law Madilyn. She had very small breasts and she came to me for advice. She had doubted that her breasts were able to produce milk.
I worked with her and we did it! She was able to breastfeed for six months. I surprised many by helping them to succeed in their breastfeeding journey. If you believe it, it is possible! Breast size does not determine your milk production. In fact, a recent study did show that large breasted women had a more difficult time getting the baby to latch on the nipple, but this is an easy to correct situation, with some professional assistance.
8.Hello, Can I Breastfeed if I Have Breast Implants?
Certainly, this can happen if the milk ducts were not handled. Surgical doctors are doing the best they can to preserve the breast tissue to make it possible. You can ask for a copy of your surgical report and try to ask your surgeon if you didn’t ask at the time of your surgery. Seeing a lactation consultant prior to birth can also be very helpful as well.
9.Can I pump and just give breast milk from a bottle?
Yes mam! You can do this if you wish. There are some women who unfortunately cannot or choose not to breastfeed breastfeed due to health conditions. situations In fact, there are a growing number of women who are choosing to exclusively pump breast milk for one reason or another.
10.WHAT KIND OF PUMP SHOULD I GET?
You know what my friend, that really depends on your needs. if you are not going to use your pump very often a small hand held or even hand expression of milk will work just fine. There are also electric, double pumps available for more frequent or faster pumping. A lactation consultant or breastfeeding class can also help you make this determination.
I hope I was able to answer some of your questions about breastfeeding. You will probably have many more. Always ask questions about things you do not understand. I mean anything! There are many people you can ask i.e. midwives, nurses, doctors. Get the facts and lets keep the journey happy, safe, and healthy