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Lactation






​The World Health Organization recommends mothers worldwide to "exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months of age to achieve optimal growth, development and health.  Nutritious complementary food could be given after the age 6 months, with breastfeeding continued up to the age of two year or beyond."

 

Your baby does not need to drink water for the first 6 months; your milk is all he/she needs. Avoid giving your baby bottles, pacifiers or using nipple shields in the first few weeks of life unless directed by the Physician. The more often you breastfeed, the more milk you make.


 

Benefits of Breastfeeding:


For the Infant​For the Mother

Optimal nutrition

 

Promotes correct development of

jaw and teeth

 

Enhances performance on cognitive development tests

 

Enhances immune system

 

Decreases the incidence and severity of infectious diseases

 

Protects against non-infectious diseases

 

Decreases risks of childhood obesity

 

Protects against allergies and intolerances.

 

Provides safe and fresh milk

 

Promotes mother-child bonding

 

Increases energy expenditure, which may

lead to faster return to before pregnancy

weight

 

Promotes the return of the uterus to its normal size

 

Reduces  blood loss after delivery

 

Decreases risk for chronic diseases such

as type 2 diabetes

 

Improves glucose profile in gestational diabetics

 

Reduces the risk of  breast cancer, ovarian cancer

 

Improves bone density and decreases

risk for hip fracture

 

Saves time from preparing and mixing formula

 



Breast Milk Changes:


Breast milk changes from colostrum to mature milk during 3 days after delivery to provide adequate nutrition for your baby and promote appropriate growth.

 

Colostrum is often thick, creamy, yellow milk rich in nutrient and antibodies that protect your baby from infections and diseases

 

Feeding frequency and duration

 

Try to breastfeed right after delivery if possible. Continue to breastfeed your baby every 2 to 3 hours even if your milk has not come in or you do not have a lot of milk yet.

 

In the early days of life, breastfeed your baby on demand (every1 to 3 hours), make sure feedings are at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.

 

Try to breastfeed for at least 10 to 15 minutes on each breast and alternate the breast you begin with at each feeding

 

Try to begin feeding your baby before he or she becomes too upset.

 

 

Breast Milk Pumping:

 

If you are unable to breastfeed your baby directly, it is important to suck milk from each breast during the times your baby normally would feed. This will help you continue to make milk. At first, milk supply might be low, but it will increase gradually with more pumping.

Make sure you wash your hands and nipples with water and soap before expressing or handling breast milk


 

Expressed Breast Milk Storage:

 

StorageStorage Tips​
At room temperature (<25 ͦC) for 3 to 4 hours

Containers should be covered and kept as cool as possible.

 

Covering milk with cool towel may keep milk cooler

In the refrigerator (0-5ͦ°C) for 2 to 3 daysStore milk in the back of the main body of the refrigerator
In the freezer (-18°C) for 3 to 6 monthsStore milk toward the back of the freezer, where temperature is most constant. 

 


How to Get the Frozen Expressed Milk Ready:


By transferring it to the refrigerator for thawing

By holding it under warn running water or setting it in a container of warm water

Avoid using a microwave oven to thaw or heat bottles of breast milk

Do not re-freeze breast milk once it has been thawed

Thawed breast milk can be used within 1 to 2 hours if kept at room temperature and within 24 hours if stored in the refrigerator

 

 


Meal Plan Guidelines for the Mother During Bbreastfeeding:​


Food groupsRecommended FoodsServing Example
Dairy (3 cups/day)

Low fat or fat free yogurt

Low fat or fat free milk

Low fat cheese or cottage cheese or labnah

1 cup of milk

¾ cup of yogurt

1 ounce (30grams)/ 2 slices of cheese

2tablespoons of labnah/cottage cheese

Fruits (2 fruits/day)

Banana             watermelon

Orange              cantaloupe

Mango               grapes

Apple

Prune

Abricot

1 medium size fresh fruit (1 cup)

½ cup of fruit juice

½ cup of dried fruits

Grains

(8  servings/day)

Whole grain cereals

Whole grain bread

Rice/ pasta

Potato

1 slice of bread (30 grams)

1/3 cup of rice/pasta

½ small potato (1/2 cup)

Proteins

(6.5 servings/day)

Lean beef, chicken

Fish: halibut, herring, sardines

Egg

Nuts and seeds

 

30 grams of beef or chicken (3 small pieces)

1 egg

Vegetables

(3 servings/day)

Carrots

Spinach

Cooked greens

Cucumber

Lettuce

Red/ green Pepper

 

1 cup raw vegetables

½ cup cooked vegetables

 

 

 

 

General Recommendations for Breastfeeding Mothers:

 

 

ConcernsSolutions
Constipation

Eat high-fiber foods (such as bran cereals, whole-grains, dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetables).

 

Drink:

 

Plenty of fluids to help keep the stool soft

Small amounts of prune juice

Hot or very cold liquids to bring on a bowel movement

Do mild exercise (such as walking) each day

 

Bloating

It is advised to avoid the following foods if it causes you bloating (sometimes also causes colic in the breastfed baby):

 

Vegetables: onions, green pepper, cabbage, broccoli

Legumes: lentils, beans, chickpeas

Fruits

Carbonated beverages

 

Milk taste changes

Some food might flavor your milk like spices, onions, garlic, and cumin. It is better to avoid these foods in case you noticed that your baby is not accepting your milk after their intake.

 

Caffeine intake

Caffeine can pass into the breast milk and cause hyperactivity and sleeping problems in your baby - try not to drink more than 2 cups of coffee, tea and cola drinks per day

 

To limit your caffeine intake, you can try decaffeinated tea and coffee, fruit juice or mineral water instead of regular tea, coffee, and other caffeine containing drinks.

 

 

 

ConcernsSolutions
Iron deficiency anemia

Eat iron-rich foods:

 

Meat, chicken, fish

Legumes: beans, lentils, peas along with Vitamin C-rich foods (such as orange juice, tomatoes, and broccoli). Vitamin C helps the body with iron absorption. 

 

Continue to take prenatal vitamins or iron supplements after your physician approval

 

Decrease intake of coffee and tea (as they interfere with iron absorption)

 

Sugar Substitutes Although the available evidence do not suggest negative effect of sugar substitutes on lactation, it is better that they be avoided
Herbal remedies and other drugs or supplements

Make sure to discuss with your doctor the safety of intake of any herbal remedies, drugs or supplements during breastfeeding

 

Tobacco

Nicotine from tobacco smoking might decrease your milk output. Maternal smoking presents significant health risks for infants. It is recommended to avoid tobacco smoking during lactation period.

 

 

 

 


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