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Achieving Successful Breastfeeding
... the 5 "C's"
Modified from the article By Janet Lye
Extract from "Keeping Abreast" Jul-Sep 1997 Vol 6 No. 3 Issue

Breastmilk, is nutritionally the BEST starter food for your baby, and especially so, the Colostrum. It lowers the risk of illness in infants with a family history of allergies and food intolerance. Breastmilk is readily available, requiring no preparation, sterilization or refrigeration, thus reducing the baby's frustration of having to wait for milk.

On the emotional level, breastfeeding provides the babies the chance to touch, smell, hear, see and taste - an excellent opportunity for them to quickly get acquainted with the most important person in his/her life, from the first moment of birth. The familiar sound of the mother's breathing, heartbeat and voice is enough to subside the anxiety and tension of a crying baby.

An early start to breastfeeding is advantageous to the mother too. She will have less vaginal bleeding and, less risk of hemorrhage after birth. Breastfeeding causes the release of the hormone oxytocin, which makes the uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnant size sooner. It reduces the risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding requires no mixing, measuring, and no cleaning up - hence making night feeds quick, and easy (just lie down and put the baby to the breast).

Breastmilk is inexpensive and always available at the right temperature. Breast and babies are portable, making travelling easy and simple, and with little practice and skill, mothers can breastfeed their babies anywhere and anytime.
Breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and child that comes with touch and time, a bond that lasts forever.

Understanding the law of supply and demand:

Milk production works on the principle of supply and demand, i.e. the more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you will produce, thus satisfying the total equation of supply and demand.

Frequent feeding causes frequent emptying of the breasts, which in turn stimulates milk production. New mothers often have the fear that they do not have enough to nurse their baby, therefore, they start supplemental feeds by bottle. This causes the mother to breastfeed less frequently. As a result, there is a significant drop in the milk supply.

Unless medically indicated, supplementary feeds should be avoided altogether until your supply is well established and baby has latched on the breast without difficulty.

As a rough guide, to maintain sufficient supply throughout, you will need to breastfeed at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours (including compulsory night feeds) for the 1st 2-4 weeks, or even longer, until your baby has achieved well above birth weight.

The 5 "C's" to successful breastfeeding:

Following are the five Cs of successful breastfeeding.

CONFIDENCE:

In the past, many mothers felt that bottle-feeding allowed parents more control over exactly how much milk their baby was getting. Moreover, weight gain from bottle-feeding was seen as one of the major indicators of a satisfied baby. Getting them into a routine of a 3 or 4 hourly feed was further seen as a preferred choice for having a "disciplined" baby.
However, with mothers being more educated and well informed today, more of them opt for breastfeeding, and see breastmilk as the perfect choice, best suited to the needs of a fast growing baby. It has exactly the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that can be fully absorbed by the baby.
Your breastmilk is ALL the baby needs, and regardless of the size or shape of your breasts, you CAN produce milk in sufficient quantity. Lack of confidence in your breastfeeding ability could lead to a stressful breastfeeding experience, which in turn could cause your milk not to "let down" completely. So mothers, relax and have confidence!

COMFORT:

Breastfeeding builds a special bond between mother and baby. Many mothers are aware of this aspect and want to develop that special bond. Breastfeeding is wonderfully relaxing and pleasurable in its own right and, most mothers who have successfully breastfed for more than 6 weeks are so comfortable that they are reluctant to give it up. Your partner can play an important role in parenting the breastfed baby by providing the support and encouragement to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible.

CONVENIENCE:

Breastmilk is ready at anytime and, needs no preparation. It never goes sour or bad, even if the mother does not feed on some days.
It is FREE, and always a great savings for the entire household. Breastfeeding is very easy when you are on the move. There is no need to lug big bags to store bottles or hot water flasks.


CONSISTENCY:


Your baby begins to learn and practice the correct breastfeeding suck with the first nursing experience. To settle into an early and successful start to breastfeeding, it is important to be consistent in putting the baby to the breast each time she requires a feed. When both breast and bottle are offered at the same time, the baby may get confused and start refusing the breast. It is best to avoid using any rubber teats during the first weeks.
So, be consistent and offer only the breast during the time you are initiating breastfeeding.

COUNSELLING:

For a new mother to gain confidence in breastfeeding, she needs support and guidance from an experienced person. In days gone by, she would have got this support from her mother, mother-in-law or other elder relatives living with her. However, in today's nuclear families, new mothers may not have access to time tested advice on breastfeeding. Hence, the next best thing to do would be to seek professional help and advice when you run into difficulties during the early stages of breastfeeding.

Trained counselors would give you consistent and up-to-date advice. For information and assistance, call the Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group of BPNI Maharashtra State Branch

So, make the right choice and BREASTFEED!


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Disclaimer: All material provided at Breastfeedingindia.org is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Consult with your doctor regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.