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St. Maarten Medical Center
Contact the Breastfeeding Support Group
Breastfeeding is the method of feeding a baby from a woman’s breast.
Breast milk is the milk produced by the breasts of a human (woman) for her
Lactation is the process of milk production by the mammary glands.
Colostrum is the first secretion from a woman’s breast. During pregnancy,
your body begins to prepare for feeding of your baby after delivery, it can
be observed from the breast as early as the second trimester of pregnancy.
Your breast starts producing mature milk on the 3-4 day after delivery . The
volume of the milk becomes heavier. It may take longer depending on when
you start breastfeeding and how often you breastfeed. The change in the
milk occurs a little earlier if you have breastfed before.
Foremilk is the first milk your baby drinks after latching on. It is bluish and watery, high in milk sugar (lactose). It also has a high volume of water which satisfies your baby’s thirst.
Hind milk is thicker and creamier, high in calorie. It’s best for the baby's weight gain, brain development and stooling. It has a relaxing effect on your baby. This picture shows samples of mature milk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that breastfeeding begins within the first hour of a baby's life and continues as often and as much as the baby wants.
During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse 2-3hours. The duration of a feeding should be 20 minutes on each breast at least 8 to 12 times per 24 hours. Older children feed less often.
When a baby sucks on the nipple, the stimulation is transmitted to the pituitary gland and hormones called prolactin and oxytocin are produced. Prolactin conveys commands to the breasts to produce milk, and oxytocin operates to push out the breast milk that accumulates in the breast ducts.
World Health Organization (WHO), recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months. This means that no other foods or drinks are typically given. After the introduction of foods at six months of age, recommendations include continued breastfeeding until at least one to two years of age.
Just rinse your breasts with clean water during your daily bath or shower and if needed just before breastfeeding. Avoid soap, disinfectants and any substances that could dry or damage your skin, nipples or areolae.
You should prepare your nipples for breastfeeding during pregnancy.
This is most often used position.
Also known as the cross-cradle hold. This hold may work well for small babies and for infants who have trouble latching on. This position is the opposite of the cradle hold.
Probably the most comfortable and easiest for both you and your baby.
In this position you tuck your baby under your arm (on the same side that you're nursing from) like a football or handbag.
Reference: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2004) Clinical Protocol Number #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Healthy Full Term Infants *PDF-125k+. Princeton Junction, New Jersey: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Available
Breastfeed Encouragement is the painful overfilling of the breasts with milk.
Mastitis is the inflammation of the breast. It can be infective or noninfective. Mastitis
cause by bacteria is treated with antibiotic. Breastfeeding may continue if breasts are inflamed or
fever detected. Sore nipples are trauma from the baby’s mouth and tongue, which result
from incorrect attachment of the baby to the breast. It can also be caused by infection (Candida