Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and baby. To get enough milk for babies, mothers need to understand the lactation process and some factors that affect the milk secretion to breastfeed effectively.
Breast milk is excreted by reflex mechanism. When the baby sucks the sensory pulse going from the breast to the brain stimulates the pituitary to produce the hormones prolactin and oxytocin, then these two hormones enter the bloodstream and reach the breast. Prolactin stimulates the secretory cells in the follicles to produce milk called the milking reflex. Oxytocin has the effect of contracting the muscles around the follicles to carry milk to the nipple called the ejection reflex. The oxytocin reflex is easily influenced by the mother’s thoughts and feelings. If the mother feels satisfied, loves her baby, believes in her good milk, this reflex will be supported, but if the mother is worried or suspects that she does not have enough milk, the ejection reflex can affect. to the descent. Therefore, it is important and decisive for mothers to get enough milk is the way to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding right after birth for babies to suck colostrum: Although colostrum is little, but still meets the needs of the baby in the first days. Children should not drink sugar water, licorice juice, honey, cow’s milk … before starting to breastfeed because there is a risk of infection, food intolerance and obstruction of the attachment to the baby. dinking mother milk.
Breastfeeding properly for the baby to latch on well: The mother can lie down or sit in a comfortable, relaxing position to breastfeed. Holding the baby close to the body, the baby’s face is facing the mother’s breast, the baby’s nose is facing the nipple, the baby’s head and body should lie on the same line and support the baby’s body by placing the baby’s back along the arm. Then, the mother lifts her breast with her hand, placing her fingers on the chest wall, her thumb above the breast, and the remaining fingers below the breast. In order for a baby to latch on well, the baby’s mouth must be wide open, the chin rested on the breast, the lower lip is facing out, and the areola above the baby’s mouth exposes more under the mouth. If the baby is breastfed properly, the mother does not have breast pain or cracked nipples.
Suck as often as your baby needs: Breastfeed whenever your baby wants, with no restrictions on time and number of feeds. The number of breastfeeds in young children is higher than that of older children, the time of each breastfeed depends on each child, on average about 15-20 minutes, usually when the baby is full, the breast will be released.
Exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months to help children grow and develop harmoniously, prevent infections. During exclusive breastfeeding, if the baby is getting enough milk, in the first 6 months, the baby must gain an average weight of 500-600g / month and urinate more than 6 times / day with clear urine. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the child’s monthly weight and daily urine.
Breastfeeding when the baby is sick: Continue to breastfeed, and suckle more times than usual. If the baby cannot suckle, express breastmilk with a cup or spoon to maintain milk production. Express the milk about 3 hours / time, put it in a clean cup, keep it in a cool place to store for 4 hours when there is no refrigerator, when feeding, soak the milk in hot water, do not heat the milk because the temperature will destroy the factors anti-bacterial infection.
Several factors affect lactation
Breast feeding: During breastfeeding, if a baby is bottle-feeding (including breast milk in a bottle), he will gradually stop breastfeeding because the bottle is often long so the baby only uses the nipple, suck the breast. need to attach properly to the breast to pump milk easily. Bottle feeding reduces the mother’s milk secretion. However, it is possible to get the baby to breastfeed again as before by feeding the baby with a cup or spoon and gradually practicing proper breastfeeding.
Lack of nutrition: In mothers with severe malnutrition (severe chronic lack of energy), they often produce little milk. Therefore, during lactation, mothers need to eat a nutritious supplement. In addition to a normal diet, eat 2-3 bowls of rice each day, add meat, fish, eggs or beans, green vegetables and ripe fruits. Limit the consumption of spices (garlic, onion, chili, and pepper) because milk can cause unpleasant taste, less breastfed babies. It should be noted to drink enough water from 1.5-2 liters / day.
Psychological trauma: If the mother is stressed, anxious, lack of confidence, it will limit the activity of the ejection reflex even though the milk is still in the breast. Therefore, it is necessary to have the support of families and communities to help mothers breastfeed, create conditions for mothers to live comfortably, confidently, have health, and have time to take care of their babies to help their milk production. .
Use of drugs: Some drugs through milk can cause poisoning for the baby or decrease the secretion of milk such as synthetic contraceptives, diuretics of thiazide group … Therefore, when breastfeeding should limit the use of drugs. , it is necessary to follow the instructions of the doctor.