Special Circumstances Tips

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Bootleg Breastfeeding

Some mothers cannot breastfeed for a number of reasons. Some are not allowed to because their premature babies are in the NICU at the hospital. Their milk is going to waste. Some mothers have begun to find mothers such as these online and in other ways and ask them to donate their milk. The donor mothers get to keep up their supplies and the receiving mothers get the best for their babies. Make sure to have screened mothers first for diseases that can pass through the milk. It is best to be safer rather than sorry just in case.

   

Herbal Supplements and Medications

If you are still nursing, it is important that you not begin to take new medications or herbal remedies without first discussing the ingredients and effects with your lactation specialist or OBGYN, or pediatrician. The myth exists that if something is natural, it will be fine. Taking herbal supplements to lose weight while nursing, for example, can be very dangerous to the baby. Not all things natural belong in your milk. Poisons can be natural too. Treat natural remedies and herbs as medications and discuss taking them with a doctor before they go into your child through your milk.

   
How long can I keep breastmilk?

Hospital Policy on Milk Storage

Be sure to check on the hospital's storage policies. They vary from hospital to hospital and may include special storage containers or a time limit on how long milk can be stored before use.

   
Are all babies capable of breast feeding?

Hang in There!

Finally, try not to get too discouraged. There are some babies who will never physically be able to nurse. They are the exception rather than the rule. Most babies, with patience and perseverance, will eventually be able to reap the many benefits of breastfeeding.

   
Should I store expressed breast milk for my baby in the NICU?

Store all Expressed Milk

If your baby is unable to be given the milk you express for him it may seem as though you have a great surplus. Rest assured- when he is able to eat this will all come in handy!
Check out your hospitals policy on storing expressed breast milk and save it for later.

   
How important is support while my baby is in hospital?

Surround Yourself With Support

Try to find at least one contact person who is supportive of your efforts to breastfeed. The isolation of being in the hospital with a sick baby is very stressful. Trying to nurse your baby without anyone to encourage you during this time is doubly difficult. The hospital staff are often so caught up with calories and “ins” (milliliters taken in each day), not to mention the dreaded daily weight check, that breastfeeding may be viewed as an inconvenience. It is much more difficult to measure. Someone who can pat you on the back when you're discouraged and celebrate with you when you've made progress, no matter how little, can be invaluable. If you have no close friends who would fit the bill, contact a local La Leche League Leader.

   
How can I increase my chances of breastfeeding after a c-section?

Inform Your Support Person

It is important to discuss your desire to breastfeed with your partner or support person so that they can notify your health care providers if you are unable to do so. An epidural is usually used for C-sections but occasionally, it is necessary to use a general anaesthetic and you may be too groggy or overwhelmed to make your wishes clear.

   
How often should i pump to maintain my supply?

Pump Regularly

It is important to pump frequently so that you can build up your supply. Most mothers find that they need to pump 6-8 times a day.

   
What can i do to help myself while my baby is in hospital?

Look After Yourself

This always seems to be redundant advice, but it is important and bears repeating. Try to rest and eat. When you're worried about your sick baby you may not feel like eating or be unable to sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. Inadequate rest and nutrition may interfere with your milk supply. Don't expect perfection. Sleep as much as possible and try to eat at least two small meals a day. On the ward it will be possible to keep a snack or nutritious drink nearby. In ICU you may be able to keep at least a cup of water handy. It depends on ICU policy and also the nurse on duty, but it's worth asking.

   
Can I breast feed if I am taking pain medication?

Pain Medication

Discuss your pain medication with your doctor. There are very few medications that cannot be taken while you are breastfeeding.

   
How can I position my baby,without pain, after a C-section?

Pain Free Positioning

An IBCLC or LLL (NMAA in Australia) counsellor can show you how to position your baby so as to keep its weight off your incision. It may also be a good idea to have your partner or support person present during this time so that he can help you in the future.

   
When should I start to breast feed my hospitalised baby?

Putting Baby to the Breast

Once you can hold and cuddle your baby, put him to the breast even if he's too weak to nurse. The stimulation to the breast will aid in your pumping efforts and it will help your baby to learn or relearn that not all touching is bad. Some babies have an aversion to anything touching their face or mouth after being intubated for a time. You may be able to help prevent this by allowing him the chance to suck on your finger even while intubated. In any case, do not force the issue if the baby doesn't want to nuzzle the nipple. You may need to start slowly, perhaps letting him rest his head on your chest with your shirt down and gradually working up to more skin contact until his face is lying on your chest with your shirt up. Eventually he'll get the idea.

   
Does my baby need to learn how to take a bottle?

Avoiding Nipple Confusion

Try to avoid rubber nipples, bottles or pacifiers. A baby that is unable to nurse may get even more confused if given rubber nipples to suck on. Drinking from a bottle is more physiologically stressful than nursing, and requires a whole different set of actions. Sometimes there may be a hospital policy involved.In a particular cardiac ICU, it was the policy that a baby be able to suck from a bottle, lying down, before being transferred to the ward. The theory was that if the baby could accomplish such a physically stressful feat without going into cardiac arrest, it was probably safe to move him/her into a less supervised setting.

   
What is the best way to give a baby medication?

Stress Free Administration of Medication

If your baby won't nurse and is being tube-fed, try to avoid giving medications by mouth. Oral medication can usually be put down the tube. This avoids any additional negative oral stimulation and may make efforts to breastfeed go a little more smoothly.

   

Nurse Before a Ride

It will always be to your benefit to nurse your baby before a car ride. It will keep them calm and happy for the first while in the car. Being trapped in a carseat can be upsetting to some babies, so at least this way you will have a few seconds of peace. Also nurse before takeoff in a plane. This will help the baby's ears and help them clear as they adjust to the altitude.

   

Nursing While Sick

It is natural to be concerned about passing a sickness to your child when nursing. However, in most cases, there is no reason you should not nurse when you are sick. You will continue to provide antibodies and boost your child's immunization if you nurse even when sick. You should not nurse, however, if taking medications for your illness unless instructed by a doctor (most medications should not be taken while nursing), or if your illness is passed through bodily fluids. In these cases, it may be harmful to your baby. If all you have is a cold, and are not taking medications, keep nursing, just make sure to wash your hands and try not to kiss the baby's face or breathe in the baby's face while you do so, so that you do not pass your cold to the baby as you would pass it to anyone else.

   

Where to go at day-long events

Most convention centers and large arenas, as well as larger offices will have a small room occupied by security or even Red Cross staff at major events. If you explain to security that you have a medical issue that requires privacy and an electrical outlet, you should be able to use this room. If they pry for more information you can either insist that it is a personal medical issue or you can let them know. Either way they should not give you trouble in using the room for a brief amount of time, especially if made aware of the need before it becomes urgent. What they might not have, is a place to store the milk, so bring your own thermal bag with ice packs just in case.

   
How many calories does breast milk have?

Calorie Content of Breast Milk

Breastmilk is calculated as having 20 calories per ounce. High calorie formulas, containing 24-27 calories per ounce, are frequently advised for use in compromised babies. Human Milk Fortifier (HMF), developed for use with premature infants, is often used as a “filler” when an infant is being tube-fed expressed breastmilk. HMF is cow's milk based and may cause an allergic reaction. A full term baby on HMF may also need to be monitored for electrolyte imbalances because they don't have the same nutritional deficiencies as preemies.Another commonly used filler is Polycose.It is basically a simple carbohydrate, but may also cause allergic reactions. Various studies have concluded that the caloric content of human milk varies from mother to mother.

   
Can I breastfeed with inverted nipples?

Breastfeeding with Inverted Nipples

Breastfeeding with inverted nipples is certainly possible. Even though your nipple does not protrude so that your baby can easily latch on, certain tools are available to aid you in successfully ensuring that your child consumes breast milk.
First, if you decide not to breastfeed directly or if you prefer to breastfeed only some of the time, you can use a pump to extract your milk. A breast pump is a commonly used tool. You can opt to use a manual breast pump which requires you to squeeze a lever for the suction to occur. This kind of pump is very portable and doesn't require anything else besides the bottle to collect the breast milk. An electric pump is a more popular option today, however; It uses an electric motor that fuels the suction. All you need to do is hold the pump's flanges over your nipples for fifteen to twenty minutes and watch your breast milk collect in the bottle that is attached to each flange. Please keep in mind that pumping milk requires a lot of patience and effort - some women may have more success with it than others. But once a user figures out how to make the pump work to her satisfaction, the system is a rewarding and painless process.
If you want to try breastfeeding exclusively despite your inverted nipples,you can do so with the aid of a nipple shield. A nipple shield is a rubber shell in the general shape of a nipple, with five or six small holes at it's peak through which the milk is passed. You put the nipple shield over your own nipple, taking care to ensure that it sticks to you and stays in place. You then bring your child to your breast and allow her to suck on it and take in the milk. Because the shield is made of rubber, it promotes a kind of friction that allows it to stick to your skin, but only until you remove it.
Lactation experts are often weary of the nipple shield, concluding that it isn't a completely natural experience for both mother and child, and that it can aid in your contracting Mastitis, an infection of the breast. Mastitis can be prevented with careful washing of the shield and practicing good hygiene. Please note that even mothers who do not use a shield often develop Mastitis. Ultimately, the nipple shield is a wonderful tool that allows you to breastfeed when you otherwise might not be able to do so.
You can use both tools in conjunction with each other. Pumping after feeding your child from the breast may take more time in general, but it allows you to reach and sustain your full milk supply sooner, which is great for your baby. You can freeze some of the milk you pump so that your child can consume it later. There is never too much breast milk; It is a customized food, specifically tailored to your child's developmental and nutritional needs. Some mothers breastfeed well into the toddler years. If you breastfeed with the aid of a nipple shield for several months while pumping, you can still feed your child breast milk during the weaning process. With that, happy breastfeeding! May you and your child enjoy the beauty of such a unique bonding process.

   
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