Myrtle Hodge RN Lactation Consultant DrMDK.com
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Host: So you could say in the beginning, you should try to think about breastfeeding by itself and nothing else, is that correct? Myrtle Hodge: Right. We think of exclusive breastfeeding. Doctors recommends that moms breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of her life, and then they would go into complimentary feeding along with breastfeeding into the infant's second year of life. Host: You say the first six months, you are talking even giving solid food, is that correct? Myrtle Hodge: First six months without solid food. Host: We are talking breastfeeding Myrtle Hodge: Breastfeed, yes. Host: And there was a concern -- again, if you give water, the kid will fill up in water, so there is some concern that breastfeed does not even get rid of water. Myrtle Hodge: Breast milk has sufficient water in it. Babies do not need -- 90% of it is water. Host: Now, the first time you breastfeed, should you go back and forth one breast per feeding, what is the best way of getting it done? Myrtle Hodge: It is recommended that babies be fed on one breast until satisfied, because of the composition of milk. I like to explain to moms that when the baby starts eating, the baby is like satisfying the thirst, and to satisfy the hunger the baby has to get the hindmilk, which comes after. The longer the baby nurses the more of the hindmilk, which is higher in calories, the fat content is higher. Some studies show that that helps to reduce the colicky effect that some babies may have. Host: So you would suggest the first feeding, say you start with the left side, to only that side, and then in the next feeding, go to the right side and only that side, and the next feeding go back to the left side; trying to get that breast totally empty and get that last few ounces of high calorie, high fat breast milk, is that correct? Myrtle Hodge: We want the baby to get the highest calorie out of the breastfeeding. Host: If for some reason in the beginning the nipples for the breastfeeding starts to get full and gorged, should she stop breastfeeding or continue? Myrtle Hodge: There are some women whose skin tolerance is very low and they may complain of sore nipples or tenderness in the nipples, and that's normal. In the beginning, some people do experience that. That's not a reason to stop breastfeeding. With good encouragement, and that's where you need good support. You need support from family, friends, relatives, pediatricians and the works, people to encourage you to continue with breastfeeding. If there are problems, then you need to see someone who is versed in the management of breastfeeding, that they can help you through those rocky days. Host: But usually the nipples sourness, the engorgement, it naturally gets better. Myrtle Hodge: Engorgement is the natural process which will get better, and its recommended, if you are engorged -- when you do become engorged, to keep nursing. There are things like cool compresses, cabbage leaves, all these type of things that may have to reduce the edema that's in the breast. Then as you keep nursing, everything subsides. It's a natural way that the breast functions after giving birth. Host: So if you change the way you hold the baby against a nipple, any particular feeling, like a football position or any position or it doesn't really matter that much? Myrtle Hodge: There are many different positions that they use in breastfeeding, but most importantly, you can so side lying, you can do the cradle or medina position. I like to sit underarm, I don't like football, and I think we are playing games. I think the underarm hold, across the chest. But what is beneficial is what is comfortable for the mom and baby. Host: The greatest concern in the beginning by a new mother, is my baby getting enough breast milk and calories. What would you suggest they should look for so that they won't be so worried about that? Myrtle Hodge: We teach moms to look, listen, and feel. Baby latches on properly to the breast
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