Breastfeeding With Love
Betty H. Greenman BS, CLC, IBCLC, RLC
11811 Dandelion Lane
Houston, Texas 77071
"One Of Houston, Texas Most Recognized International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Expert"
"Betty Greenman explained to me that the first days you milk comes in and it is called Colostrum. Then it becomes mature milk and changes color. She had a great pamphlet for me to see when she came over." Aliza S.
Mother's Milk Don't Start Life Without It.
It is very important to begin to breastfeed the first hour after delivery. In the first half hour of birth, the babies sucking reflex is strong and the baby is more alert therefore, it is an ideal time to breastfeed ( Renfrew and Lang, 1998) It is important to establish a good breastfeeding pattern within the first few days is crucial to begin your breastfeeding journey. The let down reflux once your baby starts to suck the breast usually happens well. It may take anywhere from several seconds to several minutes. As the baby sucks, the baby starts to stimulate the nerve endings on your nipple. Beneficial hormones are released into the mother’s body. The breast is a remarkable endocrine organ that experiences growth, differentiationand lactation in response to the complex interplay of hormones and stimulation(Unvas- Moberg and Eriksson, 1996). In fact, this signals the pituitary gland in your brain to produce more of the hormone Prolactin, which is the hormone for milk production. This hormone stimulates the alveoli, which are tiny sacs containing milk producing cells within the breast, to produce milk. As long as your breasts are sucked, it will stimulate milk production. Another hormone called Oxytocin is released helping the alveoli to squeeze the milk from the alveoli into the ducts. Oxytocin also causes the uterus to contract while the baby is being breastfed. Breastfeeding your baby helps the body produce Oxytocin. Breastfeeding releases Oxytocin and Prolactin, hormones that relax the mother and make her feel more nurturing toward her baby (Stuart-Macadam and Dettwyler, 1995).These hormones help the uterus return to the prepregnancy state faster.
Newborn infants feed 8 to 12 times a day. While the content of breast milk changes over the duration of the months a mother breastfeeds her baby, there are three essential types of breast milk, Colostrum. Foremilk and Hindmilk, the first breast milk is Colostrum, which comes in within the first few days of birth. Colostrum contains many antibodies. It is yellowish in color. It contains more fat and protein for your baby. Colostrum also contains other proteins such as Lactoferrin which inhibits the growth of iron dependent bacteria in gastrointestinal tract. Secretory IgA which protects the baby from viruses and bacteria is also found in Colostrum. It also protects against E. Coli and other allergies. Other immunoglobulins include IgG and IgM which also protect against bacterial and viral infections. Lysozyme is an enzyme that protects the infant against E Coli and Salmonella. It promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora and has ant inflammatory functions. Bifidus factor supports the growth of Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus is a beneficial bacteria that protects the baby against harmful bacteria by creating an acidic environment where it cannot survive. Additionally, water makes up the majority of human milk. Breast milk also contains fats that are good for brain development so starting to breastfeed right away in the hospital gets your child and off to a great start in life. Therefore, Colostrum is a great start for your baby’s health.
After 3 to 4 days, the breast will begin to produce mature milk. This satisfies the babies thirst and provides protein, sugars and minerals the baby needs. Foremilk is breast milk that is available at the beginning of a feeding, which is typically lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates. Furthermore, the average calorie and fat content of human milk is 22kcal/oz. The amount of fat changes dramatically during each feeding throughout the day since fat content depends on the degree of emptiness of the breast, empty breast equals high fat and a full breast equals low milk.
Hindmilk is present after the mother’s breast milk supply has been established. Hindmilk is breast milk at the end of a feeding which has a higher fat content then foremilk at that feeding. Hindmilk is best for the baby’s weight gain, brain development and stooling. Hindmilk has a lower water content and higher fat content to satisfy hunger.
Baby FeedingCues: Wiggling and moving the arms can be a feeding cue that the baby is starting to get ready to want to eat. Other cues can be rooting, where the baby turns its head when you touch its cheek or wants to eat your shirt; the baby puts its finger in its mouth, squeaky noises, being fussy, and restless. The latest cue is when the baby starts to cry real hard and the baby’s color turns red. It is best to try to feed the baby before this happens so you will have a more successful breastfeeding session.
As mentioned above, newborns should breastfeed 8 to12 times in a 24 hour period for the first 2 to 4 weeks. Watch for feeding cues such as an increased alertness or activity, mouthing, rooting and sucking and feed on demand. At a minimum, newborns should eat every three hours. Stools are loose and change from black to brown to a mustard yellow in color in the first five days. Breastfed babies vary in stool pattern but by the third day they have at least 2 to 3 stools in a 24 hour period. Most babies by the fourth day have 4 seedy yellow stools per day. Wet diaper patterns go as follows: Day 1- 1 wet diaper, Day 2-2 wet diapers, Day 3- 3 wet diapers, Day 6- 6 to 8 wet diapers.