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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs after discharge from the maternity home.

Q1. How do I judge that my milk is adequate for the baby?

A. If an exclusively breastfed baby passes urine ( fair quantity & clear or straw colored) 6-7 times in 24 hours & puts on at least 500 gms in 1 month then it means that breastmilk is adequate for the baby. In first 7 days of life baby passes less urine & does not put on weight.

Adequate urine output & good weight gain are gold standards for judging adequacy of milk. There is variety of reasons why mother feels that her milk is less. These causes are mentioned below. Mother should not infer that she has less milk because any of these.

A] Excessively crying: Baby may cry for different reasons.
B] Breast which feels heavy after the milk has come will soften up after a few weeks because body exactly produces what the baby needs.
C] Baby frequently suckles fingers or the fist. This is called mouthing
D] In the initial few weeks after delivery when mother feeds on one side the other side leaks. Other breast may stop leaking later on.
E] Baby may have growth spurts at 3wks, 6 weeks & at some other times. During these periods baby would breastfeed frequently & for longer periods.
F] Baby feeds frequently.
G] Baby feeds for too long or too shorts a time
H] Mother has no help at home.
I] Baby does not sleep at night.

Q2. Some mothers stop getting milk after some time? What should I do under these circumstances? Are there any medicines which can increase milk flow?

A. Many mothers are not aware of how to judge adequacy of breastmilk. They infer that milk is less from any of the above mentioned causes (1.3.1). It is almost certain that these mothers would have gained by a good counseling from a MSG Leader or any doctor properly trained in lactation management. Arranging help for household cores would have helped in some of these. Thus more than 90% of the mothers who complain of less milk actually have enough milk.

Less than 10% may actually have inadequate milk transfer reflected as reduced urine output & poor weight gain. Suckling in wrong position is common & needs correction. Frequent suckling in correct position makes more milk. Engorged breast may be the cause in some. Baby cannot suckle at the engorged breasts. In remaining some tension situation or stress affects production & letdown of milk. Enquiry in these areas & involving family members to find solution will solve the problem. Drugs have a doubtful role in increasing milk. They at best act as placebo.

Q3. In our family we traditionally give balkadu (Extract of herbal substances available ready or prepared at home). Do you recommend it?

A. Using traditional items like balkadu, balgoli, gripe water, somawa chautrisi & tonics for teething are unnecessary & dangerous. They can introduce infection in the baby. Some of these also contain alcohol or opium like substances.

Q4. My baby is one month old. My friend told me to start feeding water to the baby once a day by bottle in order to habituate it for bottle feeding. Should I go ahead?
Baby does not need water till six months of age because breastmilk contains enough water to take care of baby's needs. This holds true even in summer or in desert areas like Rajasthan. Bottle is a great danger because in spite of good cleaning bottle can cause many infections in the baby. Due to easy availability of milk a baby gets habituated to bottle-feeding & subsequently refuses to feed at the breast. Bottle can also cause problems with teeth & can have deleterious effect on mother-infant bonding.

Q5. When should I start giving top milk to my baby?

A. Top milk need not be given till second birthday except as an additive to weaning foods. It would be ideal to use expressed breastmilk as an additive to weaning foods because baby is habituated to mother's milk & hence increases acceptability of weaning foods. Even after 2 years of age child should not be forced to take top milk. Some children do not like milk.

Q6. What multivitamin drops & calcium preparation should I give to my baby?

A. Exclusively breastfed baby does not need multivitamin drops or a calcium preparation. Giving these preparations do not help but can introduce infection in the baby. Mother should continue to take calcium & iron supplements for at least 6 months post delivery.

Q7. How long I should give only my milk?

A. Mother should give exclusive breastfeeding for about six months. During this period baby should not be given water, multivitamin drops or top milk. Weaning food should be introduced by about the end of six months.

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Disclaimer: All material provided at 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.