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Friday, August 16, 2013

Breastfeeding Questions: Is my baby eating enough? Can I give water to my newborn?

I bumped into this information that I really believe this to be very important. I'm crediting the author and posting this a whole below. It's a reminder to all mothers that we are all what our babies need with regards to their sustenance, most especially from newborn up who "feed on demand".

The post below is from Katie Wickham RN BScN IBCLC of  They have a facebook page here that you can follow. I encourage you read it to further help you build your confidence and take out any doubt that your baby is not getting enough milk.

Is my baby eating/getting enough milk?"I see many new families in the hospital, as a staff Lactation Consultant, and in their homes, with my private practice, and I hear many similar questions.  One of the recurring themes comes across in statements like “my baby can’t be getting very much” or “my baby is feeding so frequently, I must not have milk. This cannot be normal!”  There are many charts on the Internet that show an illustration of the size of a newborn’s stomach, I felt putting these illustrations into real world sizes we can see would be helpful.

Below is an illustration I have created showing the approximate size and volume of a newborn’s stomach on day one, day three, at one week, and at one month.  Newborns’ tummies are tiny, and cannot/should not take in large volumes, so they need to feed frequently.  In the first day or two, their little tummy fills with 5-15 ml during a breastfeed, and then, snuggled in close to your warm chest and familiar heartbeat, they fall asleep.  Just as you may be drifting off to sleep or decide that you too should eat something, they start to wake up and show signs of hunger; their sweet little fists fly frantically to their mouth and their lips start smacking together.  Their little tummies have started to digest that perfect amount of colostrum, and they are starting to get hungry again.  A newborn baby feeds 8-12 times in 24 hours, which means they will be feeding about every 1-3 hours.  They often cluster feeds together; this means your precious little one may breastfeed for 45 minutes then fall asleep, then wake 30 minutes later and feed for another 30 minutes, and fall asleep.  The next feed may happen 2 hours later, then 3 hours after that, then an hour later… I’m sure you get the idea; there is no set schedule.

Many families feel the need to supplement their baby; maybe they are concerned with the frequent feedings, or feeling pressured from their doctor or family.  I often hear my clients comment that they hear their well-meaning family members say “The baby is crying again, she must be hungry” or “The baby is fussing, are you sure you have milk?” or “the baby just ate an hour ago, you must not have enough if he is hungry already.”  This can create, or further feed the insecurity a new mother may already be feeling, and often leads to unnecessary supplementation.  Some families feel they need to supplement due to pressure from the Doctor, and other families are supplementing for legitimate medical reasons.  When you are supplementing it is crucial that you keep in mind how small those little tummies are.  If you supplement too much this will cause baby to sleep longer and feed less frequently and any time they are supplemented away from the breast you losing the stimulation  and removal of milk needed to signal your body to make more milk; this will directly impact your milk supply.  If you are supplementing always seek guidance from an expert in feeding- a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) will help guide you through how to supplement and how to wean the supplements when the time is right.

Understanding the size of your Baby’s stomach, the average volume taken in during a breastfeed and typical newborn feeding frequency can help alleviate some anxiety a mother feels when she is trusting her body to nourish her child.  Newborns are only this tiny for a short time, those stomachs grow quickly and they get more efficient at breastfeeding which means breastfeeding sessions become less frequent and shorter.  For now enjoy those snuggles, and feel encouraged that your baby is feeding frequently and doing a fantastic job of “demanding” a healthy supply of breast milk.  The great effort you and your baby put in during the first few days establishes a solid start for a happy and healthy breastfeeding relationship."

 ~ Katie Wickham RN BScN IBCLC

Can I give water to my newborn child?
No, newborns are not advised to give your newborn water. Even when a mother's milk supply is just coming in during the first few days after delivery, the baby is getting colostrum, which is enough to keep her well hydrated. Water can interfere with a young baby's ability to absorb the nutrients in breast milk and may prevent her from feeding as much as she should. Most importantly, it can also cause water intoxication, a serious condition that happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, upsetting the electrolyte balance and causing tissues to swell. It's uncommon but serious, potentially causing seizures and even a coma.
~ reference KellyMom

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's N@W or Never: Breastfeed Your Child - A Photo Exhibit

In line with another breastfeeding month events around town that I was able and honored to join is a photo exhibit titled "It's N@W or Never! Breastfeed Your Child".  For more information about the exhibit, kindly read the below.

The Office of Senator Pia Cayetano , together with Newlyweds@Work, proudly present this breastfeeding exhibit entitled “It’s N@W or Never: Breastfeed your Child”. The entire month of August has been designated as Breastfeeding Awareness Month under Republic Act No. 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. This year’s theme is "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers."

Newlyweds@Work (or N@W) is an online community/support group for Filipino couples on marriage, pregnancy, parenting, family life home improvement. N@W has also become a lifeline for new moms, especially regarding breastfeeding. The exhibit showcases N@Wies who breastfeed their children and provide breastfeeding support to their fellow N@Wies. These photographs were originally intended as personal keepsakes of each mom on their breastfeeding journey. The N@W community is honored to share these to a wider audience.

Blogger Jenny Ong of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom shares how N@W patched her up with breastfeeding supporters that eventually led to a successful breastfeeding relationship with her firstborn. N@W co-founder Benz Co-Rana likewise achieved breastfeeding success with the help of several N@W breastfeeding counselors. Jenny and Benz are just two of the growing number of N@Wie moms who opt to breastfeed their children despite the 21st century challenges that come with it.

This project is a collaboration between Stanley Ong Photography and LIFE at Imagine Nation Photography. Since 2008, Stanley has taken yearly breastfeeding photographs in support of the breastfeeding advocacy and his breastfeeding photographs have been exhibited in several locations. Despite being a male photographer, he has photographed almost 100 breastfeeding mothers.

Imagine Nation Photography is a team of young and creative photographers in pursuit of excellence and perfection in their field
because of their huge love for Jesus. It has been a known brand in wedding photography for 10 years. For family celebrations, victories, and bite-sized milestones, the team brings LIFE– its fresh new name for family, portrait, and lifestyle photography.

More updates and photos soon! For now, please check out the poster and a sneak peek of the exhibit.

Poster Credit:  Oj of The Pretty Palette by OJ for our Poster Design;
Mec Arevalo for the title

Sneak Peek Credit:  Chronicles of a Nursing Mom