Edie and Amy

Breastfeeding

10 Ways To Relieve Breast Engorgement

“Oh, it hurts!” That was Kate’s expression when the doctor tried to examine her breast. She just couldn’t understand why her breasts would cause so much pain now that she had just delivered.

First, breast pain is common and sometimes normal for women. Second, it occurs during puberty for some, especially during their menstrual cycle. In addition, most women experience this pain during lactation.

In this article, you’d find out about breast engorgement during breastfeeding; the causes, symptoms, and 10 simple ways to relieve the pain.

What Is Breast Engorgement?

Breast engorgement is a breast swelling that results in a tender, painful breast. It’s a sign that the breast is painfully overfilled with milk. It usually occurs during lactation.

Engorgement During Pregnancy

Breast engorgement may happen before childbirth as the body prepares for nursing. The breast milk builds up in anticipation of a baby that’s yet to arrive, leading to breast engorgement.

Causes of Breast Engorgement During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, breast engorgement is caused mainly by a surge and imbalance in certain hormones. Usually, these hormones are oestrogen, progesterone and prolactin.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Engorgement

The symptoms of breast engorgement are unique to each woman. However, the general symptoms include:

  • Swelling, which may be contained to one or both breasts. It may also extend up towards the armpit
  • Oedema (retention of fluid) in the affected breast
  • Hardness or tightness of the affected breast which may lead to noticeable veins beneath the breast skin
  • Warm on touch
  • Feeling heavy or full
  • Breast may appear shiny or transparent
  • Nipple may become stretched and flattened
  • Low-grade fever
  • Lump on the affected breast.
Treatment

10 Ways to Relieve Breast Engorgement

  1. Cold cabbage leaf compresses. This helps to relieve pain. Cabbage also contains anti-inflammatory substances which help to relieve inflammation (swelling).
  2. Use a cold compress or ice packs to ease swelling. Place a towel over your breast and apply an ice pack to the area. It helps to relieve swelling.
  3. Take warm baths. If you don’t get relieved after using applying a cold compress, you can try taking a warm bath. The heat can help to ease the tension by relaxing the surrounding muscles.
  4. Drink more water. This is a good way to relieve breast engorgement. Drinking excess water during the day will help to flush out excess hormones and fluids. If you like, you can add lemon or ginger to your water because they relieve soreness and pain.
  5. Take pain medication approved by your doctor. If the pain is becoming too much, you can take a pain relief drug but ensure that your doctor prescribes it. If the pain continues, you may need to see your doctor to check your breast in order to rule out any infection.
  6. Wear a more supportive bra. You need a supportive bra to keep your breast firm and avoid it making any significant movement. You can try out an exercise bra or a maternity bra. Avoid under-wire bras because they can make you very uncomfortable.
  7. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight, fitted clothes may make you feel uncomfortable if you have breast soreness. Loose clothes won’t irritate you, making them a better option.
  8. Reduce contacts with your breast. Avoid touching your breast as much as possible. If your seatbelt is uncomfortable, you can adjust the straps so that it runs between your breast and not on top of one of them. The same goes for your purses and bags. Don’t allow their straps to pass over your breast. A backpack may be a better option.
  9. Try wearing a breast pad. A breast pad shields your nipples from the inside of your bra. They also help to protect your clothes in case your breast is leaking.
  10. Diet modification. Adding foods rich in vitamins and minerals can help to reduce pain in the breast during pregnancy. Reduce the quantity of salt you take because of the sodium it contains. Temporary reduction in ingested sodium helps manage breast pain. But before you make any modification to your diet, you should consult your doctor to know if a salt reduction is good for you.

Final Words

A breast infection may be mistaken for breast engorgement just because it’s happening after pregnancy. Therefore, it’s safer to report any major changes to your doctor.

Also, do not self-medicate.

This can harm you and your baby. Finally, use the drugs prescribed by a doctor and everything is going to work out fine.

REFERENCES

Pain During Breastfeeding; Causes, Prevention & Treatment

Most new moms tire of breastfeeding in the early days of this journey; sometimes, this is due to stress, physiological changes, or even the pain experienced while feeding their little ones. In most cases, this sharp pain during breastfeeding can discourage many new moms from the all-important process of breastfeeding.

It is interesting to note that the cause of this pain varies from woman to woman, therefore, each mom should carefully check for the underlying cause; as it’s the first step to proper treatment. This article provides you with the causes, prevention, and treatment of sharp pain during breastfeeding.

Causes of Pain During Breastfeeding

  1. Breast Engorgement.

This is a condition that ensues when the breasts produce more milk than required. Essentially, it’s a situation where supply exceeds demand. As a result of this, the breast becomes overfilled and quite painful.

  1. Let-down Reflex.

Let down means the release of milk. Mothers share a very special bond with their babies. Sometimes, when a new mom hears her baby cry or just thinks about him/her, the ‘let-down’ reflex occurs, leading to a stimulation of the milk ducts.

This experience can be painful for first-time moms, especially when it’s not feeding time, as it causes the milk ducts to distend significantly.

  1. Using A Wrong Latch.

Many breastfeeding moms, especially first-time moms, take some time to learn to right position during breastfeeding. With a healthy nursing latch, deep on the breast is given, the baby will get the most milk causing no pain to his/her mom.

However, a shallow latch pressures the nipple & causes an entire world of pain. Sometimes, bruising may occur. One tip to note and remember always is that feeding a baby is breastfeeding, not nipple feeding. Ensure your baby’s lips are around most of your areola when feeding.

  1. Yeast infections

Babies can develop an oral yeast infection also known as thrush and then pass it to the mothers’ nipple during feeding, resulting in painful, sore & tender breasts. A baby with yeast infection can have any of the following symptoms: white patches on the tongue or inside of the cheeks, diaper rash, or persistent fussiness.

  1. Mastitis.

Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue, which results from delayed/improper treatment of a blocked milk duct. Whenever this occurs, breastfeeding is always painful for the affected mother.

  1. Tender Nipples

We understand that the first few days are the toughest. In this period, you may have to deal with painful, sore, or cracked nipples. However, if your baby latches on well, this pain will subside.

  1. Breast Abscess

When the infection caused by mastitis is untreated, it can lead to breast abscess. Breast abscess is a condition characterized by a pus filled boil on the breast. Breast abscesses are really uncomfortable and quite painful.

Prevention of Pain During Breastfeeding

  1. Treat Mastitis

Whenever you observe a reduction in milk production or lumps in your breasts, please consult your doctor immediately. This may result from a blocked milk duct that should be treated immediately.

  1. Get A Good Latch.

To get a good latch, hold your baby’s chin down gently and open as they approach to feed. Then tickle your baby’s upper lip with your breast and wait until their mouth is wide open before you guide them to the breast gently.

  1. Help Your Baby Unlatch.

While helping your baby unlatch, it’s important to break the suction before pulling him/her off. To unlatch your baby, put your finger between your breast and his/her gums gently to break the suction. Then guide your baby’s head away from your chest. Doing this right would prevent the possibility of a sore nipple or pain during breastfeeding.

  1. Adjust Your Hold

Your holding position during breastfeeding goes a long way to determine how comfortable feeding sessions are for you and your little one. To attain a healthy hold, ensure that your baby’s face is parallel to your breast and his/her tummy is in contact with your body. You can try out multiple positions and change positions to avoid getting sore.

  1. Prevent Thrush

Each time you breastfeed, you leave your nipples wet. Persistently wet nipples can lead to thrush; a yeast infection of the nipples. An infected nipple hurts a lot during breastfeeding, furthermore, this thrush can be transferred to the baby, making him/her really sick.

To prevent thrush, keep your nipples dry. Once feeding sessions are over, dry your nipple with a baby towel.

  1. Keep Your Nipples Moisturized

Nipples may crack and bleed during breastfeeding as a result of dryness. Therefore, you need to moisturize them often. Ensure you use only moisturizers that are safe for babies, since your little one would put his/her mouth directly on your nipple. Apply the cream on your nipple after feeding so that your skin can absorb it all before the next feeding session.

  1. Wear A Supportive Bra

Avoid bras with underwire while breastfeeding. Try out nursing camisole tops that can stretch more. You can also ask your doctor what bra type is best for you.

Treatment of Pain During Breastfeeding.

  1. Reduce engorgement if your breasts are engorged: The breast becomes engorged when they are too full. To express more milk from your breast, use a warm, wet towel to compress your breasts one after the other. You can also use a breast pump to express more milk and store if you want to.
  2. Apply a cold compress: A cold compress soothes sore nipples after breastfeeding. To use a cold compress, place a piece of fabric between your skin and the icepack. Please, do not place an icepack directly on your skin.
  3. Treat your nipple if it’s blocked: Blocked nipples appear as a whitish or yellowish blister on the nipple. It may go away on its own or reoccur in some cases. You can use a warm compress or massage with olive oil for relief. However, you should not pick at it as it may lead to bleeding and infection. If you have a painful and reoccurring blister on your nipple, consult your doctor immediately.
  4. Soothe sore nipples with a hydrogel pad. You can use hydrogel pads at room temperature to relieve pain from sore nipples. These pads prevent your nipples from sticking on your bra fabric.

Conclusion

Breast pain can discourage you from feeding your baby, leading to malnutrition for your baby. It is best to seek medical help as soon as you notice any pain in your breast.

References

Kirsti Kaski and Linda J. Kvist (2018). Deep breast pain during lactation: a case-control study in Sweden investigating the role of Candida albicans. International Breastfeeding Journal volume 13, Article number: 21. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13006-018-0167-8

Jacqueline C. Kent, Elizabeth Ashton, Catherine M. Hardwick, Marnie K. Rowan, Elisa S. Chia, Kyle A. Fairclough, Lalitha L. Menon, Courtney Scott, Georgia Mather-McCaw, Katherine Navarro, and Donna T. Geddes (2015). Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Mothers: Incidence, Causes and Treatments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626966/#__ffn_sectitle

Priscilla Tait (2000). Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Women: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention Strategies. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. Accessed on 2nd March, 2021 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12412775_Nipple_Pain_in_Breastfeeding_Women_Causes_Treatment_and_Prevention_Strategies

10 Ways To Boost Breastmilk Supply

Breastfeeding your baby is a beautiful experience for every new mom. However, most babies don’t get to feed well due to inadequate milk supply. Breastmilk is composed of proteins, fat, water and other necessary minerals and vitamins essential for your baby’s growth and development.

Of course, your baby needs the best supply of milk to grow well. However, this supply may be impaired by caffeine & alcohol consumption, stress and dietary changes.

In this article, you’d find 10 amazing ways to boost your breast milk supply and an extra tip on maintaining a good health while breastfeeding.

1. Drink Enough Water

Breastmilk is made up of about 90% water. Therefore, water should be a regular part of every mom’s diet. Although, the exact quantity of fluid requirements varies for each persoin, you should take at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.

You can also supplement with other healthy liquids such as fruit juice, milk, or tea.

Dizziness, slight headache or a dry mouth may be signs that you are not taking enough water.

2. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

Breastfeeding consumes a lot of energy. As a result of this, every nursing mother requires an average extra calorie intake of 500g daily.

Thankfully, smoothies, yoghurt, eggs, fruits and veggies can help you meet this calorie demand and boost your breastmilk

Also, your vitamin and mineral intake need to be regular and balanced. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends Calcium, vitamin D, iron, folic acid as important minerals and vitamins needed by breastfeeding moms.

3. Feed On Demand

The trick is to feed as your baby demands.

Don’t schedule your feeding. Feed as often as your milk flows and as your baby demands. This means that you feed your baby as soon as they are hungry.

Although this may be difficult for most new moms, creating a workable plan would go a long way to help out. If you really want to boost your breastmilk supply, you need to feed based on demand.

4. Let Your Baby Feed Fully On Each Side

Feeding from both breasts during each feeding in the first few weeks after birth helps to build a stronger supply of breast milk. Always remember to alternate the breast you start feeding with each time. This is because the first breast usually gets more stimulation. Starting each feeding from the same breast will make that breast bigger and more productive than the other one.

Milk production functions like a demand and supply system such that the more you empty your breast, the more milk is produced. As a result of this, when your baby feeds often and empties both breasts, they are sure to get both the fore-milk and the fatty hind-milk which is great for their development.

5. Use A Breast Pump

Using a breast pump is a good way to maintain milk supply for your child while you’re away. Remember that the more you empty your breast, the more milk your body will provide.

You can also use the breast pump to stimulate your breast after even after you are done feeding or the milk has stopped flowing. This will signal to your body that you need more milk and more will be produced.

6. Use Breast Compression

The Breast compression technique is guaranteed to help your baby feed more during breastfeeding sessions. This technique also helps to remove more milk from your breast during feeding.

Always remember, the more milk is expelled; the more milk that will be produced.

You need to note that this technique works best if your child is not feeding well or sleeps off during feeding. If your child is feeding well, you don’t need breast compression.

7. Keep Breastfeeding

Remember the breastmilk demand and supply rule? Yes, it works.

When the demand for breastmilk increases, the supply will also increase. When you breastfeed more often, your body will receive the request to produce more milk and this will boost your breastmilk supply.

8. Breastfeed For Longer Periods

The more time your baby spends breastfeeding, the more stimulation you get to produce more breast milk. Your newborn should breastfeed at least 10 minutes on each side daily.

9. Don’t Skip Feedings

If you skip feeding or give your baby formula, you won’t allow your body to produce more milk. This is because when your baby feeds at the breast, you are sending signals to your body to produce more milk. Your supply will reduce if you fail to pump in place of that feeding. But this won’t produce as much result as breastfeeding.

10. Avoid Things That Decrease Milk Supply

Despite the fact that you’re doing all to make your breast to increase supply, some activities can decrease your breastmilk supply. Some of these include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

Birth control pills, especially a method that controls estrogen in the first six weeks after birth can make it difficult to produce breastmilk. This is because estrogen suppresses the production of breastmilk.

Taking too much caffeine can also reduce the supply of breastmilk. Smoking or drinking alcohol can also interfere with the supply of breastmilk.

Avoiding these substances while breastfeeding is a sure way to boost your breastmilk supply.

An Extra tip

Stress is one critical factor that can affect your supply of breastmilk. So it is important for you to rest well as much as possible. Try and take much nap, or sleep when your baby is sleeping so that you’ll recover and gain more strength.

Excess Sweat
References

IS GUINEA CORN GOOD FOR MY BABY?

For the first few months of life, most new mothers don’t have to worry about what to feed their babies. Nature has made provision for an always available, highly nutritious meal for newborns in the form of breast milk.

Breastfeeding and Losing Baby Weight

In fact, we advise all new mums to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. However, after that the question of which solid food supplies your baby with the best nutrients may spring up.

As usual, we’re here to help out.

Firstly, What’s Guinea Corn?

Guinea corn, also known as Sorghum has been a common choice for African mothers for a very long time.It is also becoming increasingly popular in all parts of the world. This popularity isn’t strange because guinea corn is a highly nutritous cereal. It is not only highly beneficial for adults, but it is also especially good for babies.

Guinea Corn

If you are a new mother searching for the best weaning foods, you have come to the right place.

Nutritional Content Of Guinea Corn

Guinea corn is a highly nutritious grain and a natural energy inducer. It is highly rich in protein, cellulose, and other micronutrients such as:

  • magnesium
  • iron
  • vitamin-B
  • copper
  • calcium
  • potassium

Guinea corn is the real super food you need to fulfill all your babies nutritional requirements for healthy growth.

Health Benefits Of Guinea Corn:

1. Weight Booster

African mothers take pride in their newborns growing and putting on healthy weight. Guinea corn is a super food with high calorie content to support weight gain. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many Nigerian mums choose to feed their babies guinea corn once they stop breastfeeding.

Furthermore, it’s necessary for a child to be at a healthy weight for proper growth and development to occur. Babies who are underweight usually have problems with physical and mental development.

If your baby is having issues putting on weight, guinea corn will be very helpful. This super food is not only packed with nutrients, but is also high in calories that will help your baby gain weight easily.

2. Aids Digestion

The process of transitioning from consuming breast milk to eating solid foods is a gradual one. Your baby’s digestive system may take some time to adjust to the new diet and you may have to deal with some bowel inconsistencies. However, guinea corn can be easily digested by your baby’s system. In fact, it will even help improve your baby’s digestive system and get rid of common bowel problems.

3. Anti-carcinogenic Properties

Medical studies show that guinea corn can prevent cancer. This amazing grain is rich in phenolic compounds which prevent the growth of cancer cells in the colon and breast.

Still doubting this amazing grain?

Just hold on.

How to Use Guinea Corn As Baby Food

Guinea corn can be processed and eaten in different ways. Some of them include:

  • Brown Pap

This is one of the most common baby foods used to weaning babies in Nigeria. It is like our very own English version of custard. This highly nutritious meal is made from a combination of corn, millet and guinea corn. It provides your baby with the right amounts of carbohydrate, proteins, and vitamins necessary for growth.

How to make tom brown for babies

In addition, pap can even be fortified with milk, fruit purees, soyabeans, groundnuts, or even crayfish, you have a balanced diet!

  • Kunu Geida

This is also another local baby food. Kunu Geida is made from guinea corn and dried nuts. It is also highly nutritious and contains sufficient amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates needed for your child’s growth. Feeding your child Kunu geida regularly will help him grow faster and gain weight.

In addition to this, you can also process Guinea corn into flour for baking bread, pancakes, and porridge.

In Conclusion

We advise that you breast feed your baby exclusively for at least the first 6 months of life before you consider introducing solid foods.

Guinea corn is one of the best foods you could introduce to your child first.

Finally, It is easily digestible and highly nutritious. You should try it!

REFERENCES
  • 2) Nago, Mathurin Coffi; Hounhouigan, Joseph D.; Akissoe, Noël; Zanou, Elisabeth; Mestres, Christian (June 1998). “Characterization of the Beninese traditional ogi, a fermented maize slurry: physicochemical and microbiological aspects”. International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 33 (3): 307–315. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2621.1998.00169.x.
  • Chukwu, Ogbonnaya & Abubakar, I.. (2011). Determination of Some Physicochemical Properties of Guinea Corn (Sorghum vulgare). Journal of Innovative Research in Engineering and Science. 2. 62-66.
  • Eifediyi, Kevin. (2015). Studies on the growth and yield response of guinea corn (Sorghum bicolor) to organomineral fertilizer application in Ilorin North Central Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Applied Science. Volume 33.
  • Shutterstock

Breastfeeding Struggles: Mastitis


Have you ever experienced mastitis?

It’s a situation where part of a woman’s breast becomes warm, very painful and swollen because of inflammation.

Sometimes it’s associated with fever and chills and later develop into a collection of pus (an abscess) as the body tries to contain it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Mums who stop breastfeeding abruptly due to latching issues or weaning and later develop blocked ducts or engorgement are at of mastitis. Infected nipple cracks, sores and smoking are also risk factors.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Mums who stop breastfeeding abruptly due to latching issues or weaning and later develop blocked ducts or engorgement are at of mastitis.

Dr Ijeoma Idaresit, The Edie & Amy Company


Don’t be fooled by this calm fancy write up. Mastitis can make you feel your breasts are on fire.

How can mastitis be prevented?

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1) Always drain your breasts of milk after each feed or express whenever your breasts are engorged.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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2) Avoid nipple cracks by ensuring baby has a good latch during breastfeeding ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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3) Ensure you are using the right size of breast shield (flange) in your breast pump. The wrong flange can mar your pumping experience. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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4) If you do develop a nipple cracks or blisters please keep them clean or seek medical care as soon as possible if they don’t heal within 3 days.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5) Adopt a gradual approach to weaning your baby off breast milk to reduce the risk of engorgement.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you develop mastitis ensure you keep hand expressing milk from the affected breast and applying cold gel pads.

The wrong flange can mar your pumping experience.

Dr Ijeoma Idaresit, The Edie & Amy Company
Breastfeeding struggles: mastitis

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Visit your doctor to get an examination and a prescription of painkillers and antibiotics as well. Learn more about dealing with common breastfeeding challenges here.

“A good latch prevents nipple cracks.” Ours chat with IBCLC Titi Med

WEANING: CARING FOR YOUR BREASTS AND YOUR BABY

Weaning in every child always comes with its own unique changes and challenges
Source: Shutterstock

Baby Fola was already 6months old. Her parents loved and adored her so she never lacked anything. Her mother, Sade, was able to take some time off work so she could breastfeed her little one exclusively. Sadly, Sade’s break had come to an end and she had to go back to work. She had to start giving Fola solid food, but was uncertain about how to go about weaning.

Source: Shutterstock

Was Fola even old enough to be weaned? Sade didn’t know were to begin.

What Is Weaning?

Weaning is the introduction of solid food into a baby’s diet, while gradually stopping breastfeeding.

When Does It Start?

The WHO recommends children are fed breast milk till the age of 2 years. Milk should form a major part of your child’s diet within the first year of life. It has several benefits for mum and baby such as reducing the risk of breast cancer and obesity.

At first, breast milk is all you baby needs. However, after 6 months, your baby requires more nutrients which breast milk cannot provide. At this point, you need to introduce solid food. Keep on breastfeeding even after you introduce solid food.

This gives your baby time to adjust to the new diet.

Reasons For Weaning

Reasons for wanting a breastmilk production to stop could vary from :

  • having to go back to work,
  • reaching your breastfeeding target,
  • You are tired and just wanting your body back (personal),
  • having a baby or mother with a medical condition that is incompatible with feeding breastmilk or
  • unfortunately if a mum looses her baby.

How To Start

Weaning can be either natural or planned.

Natural weaning is also called “child-led weaning”. In this case, your child determines the time and pace of weaning. It starts when your baby gradually begins to accept different types of food, while still breastfeeding. It’s best to start gradually, with one ingredient meals. We’ll discuss this in another article.

This continues till breastfeeding completely stops. This method of weaning might take some time, till your baby is about 2 years or more.

Feeding Baby
Source: Shutterstock

On the other hand, planned weaning or “mother-led weaning” is based on the mother. She chooses when to start the process. However, you should still wean gradually.

Begin by alternating solid food and breast milk. Introduce one food at a time. As your baby begins to adjust, you could then add a variety of meals.

How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Ready For Solids?

This usually coincides when your baby is around) months old but it varies from child to child. The signs of readiness to look out for include the following:

  • They can sit up without support.
  • They start showing interest in the food they see being eaten by others around them
  • They loose the extrusion reflex; the tendency to push food out using the tongue instead of rolling it in and to the back of the mouth

Next Steps

  • Gradually drop take off one feeding or pumping session every 2-3 days replacing this for baby with your desired semi solid meal. This tricks your baby and your body. For kids who are “aware” ie. over 1 year old you can substitute these sessions with healthy alternatives such as yoghurt or fresh fruit smoothies.
  • Increase the time in between each feeding or pumping session eg. If you pumped or fed every 2 hours, increase the interval to 4 hours.
  • Shorten the duration of each session. If your feeding or pumping sessions usually last 20-30 minutes, cut it down to 10 or 15.
  • Gradually your baby should loose interest. This doesn’t mean your milk supply will dry up immediately. This will come with time.

Drastic measures

You can stop Breastmilk production more abruptly using specific medication( diuretics or prolactin inhibitors). A doctor can prescribe this for you

How Can Weaning Affect You?

When you stop breast feeding, your body experiences some physical and emotional changes. Some of these include;

  • Mood swings
  • Return of your periods
  • Decrease in breast size

Additionally, your breast will continue producing milk for some time. Weaning gradually allows your breast milk supply to reduce little by little.

This is necessary to prevent your breast ducts ( which transport milk) getting blocked and causing an infection.

How Can You Care For Your Breasts When Weaning Starts?

Your breastmilk supply obeys the laws of demand and supply after your baby turns 1 month old. The best way to reduce and finally stop your milk supply is to drain as little of your milk as possible. However, your breasts may become engorged with milk, your ducts may clog up and get blocked, causing discomfort and pain.


Reasons for wanting a breastmilk production to stop could vary from having to go back to work, reaching your breastfeeding target, being tired (personal), having a baby or mother with a medical condition that is incompatible with feeding breastmilk or unfortunately if a mum looses her baby. for wanting a breastmilk production to stop could vary from having to go back to work, reaching your breastfeeding target, being tired (personal), having a baby or mother with a medical condition that is incompatible with feeding breastmilk or unfortunately if a mum looses her baby.
Weaning gradually can prevent complications from engorged breasts

If this happens to you, you could try;

  • Using warmth to help loosen up the clogged duct. This is done by taking warm showers, use hot compresses or a hot water bottle to massage your breasts. Please wrap in a towel before applying to your skin to prevent burns.
  • Hand-expression or pumping to temporarily drain milk in the affected breast. This will help clear your ducts. You can do this with a silicone breast pump.
  • Wearing a looser bra. Bras that are too tight especially those with underwires can lead to clogged ducts. We stock some comfort ones from Biamo designs.

If left untreated, a blocked duct could cause an infection called mastitis. This may need treatment with antibiotics. Your doctor may also recommend paracetamol or ibuprofen to help with the fever, pain and inflammation.

Learn about mastitis

Once the blocked duct or mastitis is treated, you can resume not draining your milk. With time, your breast will decrease its milk supply till it eventually stops.

Do you….

Whether you are breastfeeding directly or pumping exclusively, the decision as to how and when to begin to WEAN your baby off breastmilk is yours.
Tricking your body to stop producing milk is another matter altogether. If this process isn’t handled well it could lead to undernourishment in your baby or complications from breast engorgement for example.

We’ve written on 10 Nigerian meal ideas you can try for weaning. Meals like pap and Tom Brown are mixed with soya bean powder are great once your baby gets the hang of your starter one ingredient purees.

It would be a big change for both of you physically and emotionally. So do what you think is best, in your own time. Seek support from family and friends when needed.

You’ve  got this mama!

References
  • Arpana M. Naik 2015, Pregnancy and Parenting, Healthy Women, Viewed on June 22, 2020, <https://www.healthywomen.org/content/ask-expert/1286/clogged-milk-duct>.
  • Caring For Kids 2018, Weaning Your Child From Breastfeeding, Caring For Kids, Caring For Your Kids, Viewed on June 22, 2020, <https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/weaning_breastfeeding>.
  • First 1000 Days 2020, What Is Weaning & How To Get Started, First 1000 Days, Viewed on June 22, 2020, <https://www.first1000days.ie/what-is-weaning-how-to-get-started/>.
  • Jessica Madden 2020, Engorgement, Mastitis + Thrush: What They Are and How To Treat Them, Motherly, Viewed on June 22, 2020, < https://www.mother.ly/life/engorgement-mastitis-thrush>.
  • Medela 2019, Weaning; When and How To Stop Breastfeeding, Medela, Viewed on June 22, 2020, <https://www.medela.com/breastfeeding/mums-journey/weaning>.

How To Select A Baby’s Bottle Teats

As a breastfeeding mum, sometimes you may need to delegate feeding your baby to someone else. This may be so you rest or return to work outside the home when your maternity leave ends. Delegating means your expressed milk needs to go in a bottle.

Adanna, like most new mums preferred to breastfeed her baby. She planned to do so for 6 months. However, having to go back to work and life schedules were forcing her to consider the bottle feeding option .

Now here’s the problem; Adanna’s son hates being fed from the bottle!

What Is A Baby’s Teat?

A baby’s bottle teat is also known as a nipples. It is the part of the bottle that goes into the baby’s mouth during feeding. It comes in different shapes and sizes in order to suite your baby’s needs.

Why Would A Baby Reject A Bottle

The nature of your baby’s bottle teat is just as important as the food you’re giving them. It goes directly into his/her mouth and if the texture is strange or the flow is different from the way milk is let out from your breast, your baby is sure to reject it.

Sometimes the solution is as simple as selecting the right bottle teat.

What Are Bottle Teats Made From ?

Bottle teats are made mostly from silicone or rubber. Each of these materials has its own unique features.

baby teat

Rubber (or latex) is a natural material which is softer and more flexible than the silicone option. Rubber teats are stronger, more water absorbent and effective. In addition, the softness of the rubber material makes it easier for your baby to adapt to it. However, the rubber teat tends to break easily.

On the other hand, the silicone teat is clear, firm and more resistant to temperature. Furthermore, it is more stretchy, durable and able to retain more liquid as compared to the rubber material.

The silicone teat can undergo several rounds of sterilization without developing cracks. Silicone is relatively inert. There a chance that your baby may be allergic to latex.

Tips For Selecting Your Baby’s Bottle Teats:

Choosing bottle nipples/teats for your baby when you are baby shopping could be a bit confusing as a new or expecting mum.

  • For younger babies, choose a teat that is close to the shape of your nipple. For older babies, choose one that is consistent with the appropriate flow of milk required.
  • Start with the teat with the slowest flow for newborns and then increase as the he/she grows. It’s important you select age appropriate teats. Most brands have different flow nipples to mimic the amount of milk and speed with which a baby is able to draw out milk from the breast during feeds hence the terms fast and slow flow nipples. Avent, for example achieves this by the number of holes at the end of the teat; these increase from 0-6months.⠀Manufacturers usually indicate the age on the packaging
  • Silicone teats are not suitable for babies who are teething. This is due to the softness of the material. It can be bitten off. This increases their risk of your baby being choked.
Choose a bottle teat that looks  similar to your nipples
  • The teat hole should allow an age appropriate/ slow release of milk. This helps to decrease the risk of choking and nipple confusion.
  • We suggest you don’t buy a full set of a particular brand’s teat at once. Get teats of different brands to see which one your baby will prefer.
  • Bottle teats should be changed every 2-4 months or once there’s any sign of damage. Change rubber teats when they become opaque or when they swell up.
  • Once your baby’s teats begins to look worn, sticky or cracked; change them. This would prevent the growth and spread of harmful germs.
A baby who’s used to the ease and fast flow from a particular teat may fuss whenever you then want to breastfeed directly. This is termed nipple confusion.
Change rubber teats once they become opaque

For mums who want to breastfeed exclusively, please note that it’s best to wait to your comfortable with latching and breastfeeding is established before introducing bottles and pacifiers. This usually takes 2-4 weeks max.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Despite all these measures your baby may still refuse the bottle. Some babies just don’t like bottles and that’s totally normal. Read our guide on alternative ways of feeding your baby .

References
  • Judith Kotowski, Cathrine Fowler, Christina Hourigan, Fiona Orr (2020). “Bottle‐feeding an infant feeding modality: An integrative literature review.” Maternal & Child Nutrition. Accessed on 19th October, 2020 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mcn.12939
  • Angel Moral, Ignasi Bolibar, Gloria Seguranyes, Josep M Ustrell, Gloria Sebastiá, Cristina Martínez-Barba and Jose Ríos (2010). “Mechanics of sucking: comparison between bottle feeding and breastfeeding.” BMC Pediatrics. Accessed on 19th October, 2020 from https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2431-10-6
  • Jessica Appleton, Rachel Laws, Catherine Georgina Russell, Cathrine Fowler, Karen J. Campbell and Elizabeth Denney-Wilson (2018). “Infant formula feeding practices and the role of advice and support: an exploratory qualitative study.” BMC Pediatrics. Accessed on 19th October, 2020 from https://bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12887-017-0977-7
  • Sharon Lisa Perrella, Kathryn Nancarrow, Michelle Trevenen, Kevin Murray, Donna Tracy Geddes, and Karen Norrie Simmer (2019). “Effect of vacuum–release teat versus standard teat use on feeding milestones and breastfeeding outcomes in very preterm infants: A randomized controlled trial.” Plos One. Accessed on 19th October, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430377/#__ffn_sectitle

Nipple Confusion: My Baby Prefers Bottle Feeding

Do you know that the texture of the teat and flow of the milk during bottle feeding or while using a nipple shield is usually quite different from the way your breastmilk flows from your own nipple during breastfeeding?

Nipple confusion, nipple contact shield
Nipple shield

Your baby will have to do a bit more work in sucking to get milk out at the same quantity and speed when feeding directly from you. Shields are usually introduced to help breastfeeding with flat or inverted nipples or dealing with nipples sores which make breastfeeding painful.

Nipple confusion in breastfeeding, feeding bottle

As a result, babies on the bottle or using a shield tend to get frustrated whenever they are breastfed. They may eventually lose interest in direct breastfeeding. This is called nipple confusion.

We can avoid nipple confusion by :

  • Making sure proper latching and direct breastfeeding your baby is fully established before introducing a bottle/shield. This also one of the steps to ensuring your baby gets enough milk.
  • Always check that you are using the right teat for your baby’s age. As your baby gets older, the number of holes in the teat of the bottle increase from 1 to 3 and so on. A 3 week old has no business with a teat that has 3 holes.

If nipple confusion already exists consider…

  • Ensuring you feed baby on demand… follow baby’s early hunger cues and not the clock.
  • Consider pumping or hand expressing before putting your baby to breast to encourage milk let down . Milk let down is the initial flow of milk. This way, your baby does less work to suckle.

Dear Mama, not being able to breastfeed your baby directly does not make you less of a mother. Some mums have to pump their breast milk exclusively to feed their babies and so on and that’s totally fine. It’s just a different way to go.


Check out our previous posts on alternative ways of feeding baby breast milk and as well as tips on how to wean your baby off a nipple shield.

How To Wean Your Baby Off A Nipple Shield

Dear Mama, you had a challenge with breastfeeding that required a nipple shield.

You got the right size shield.

The challenge has over time been solved / corrected. Your baby no longer has a tongue tie, your flat or inverted nipple is now corrected.

Your baby is currently feeding adequately ( ie. gaining weight, peeing and pooing as expected etc).

How then do you transition smoothly to directly breastfeeding your baby?

We’ll share some tips on how to wean baby off the nipple shield :

Follow your baby’s early hunger cues

  • Breastfeed your child on demand to prevent baby from getting impatient and upset at feeding times.
  • Try pumping or hand expressing to encourage milk let down before baby latches.
  • Ensure you latching technique is on point and baby opens her mouth wide for a deep latch.
  • Try starting the breastfeeding session with the nipple shield then unlatch baby and take the shield off to continue breastfeeding directly . Gradually keep reducing the time you spend feeding with the shield per session.
  • Experiment with different breastfeeding positions.


Please …..

Don’t cut the top of the nipple shield while weaning as some advise. It will create dangerous sharp edges that can hurt your baby’s mouth.

Ensure your nipple shield is made from high grade silicon. If all else fails, don’t stress yourself Mama. Weaning may take longer for you and baby than some other mums.

Please be patient.

How To Feed A Baby Who Hates Bottle Feeding

Your maternity leave is about to end. Maybe you need to go on a trip without your baby. You’ve been breastfeeding directly all this while. Time to switch to bottle feeding and your baby outrightly rejects the bottle at your first attempt.

The clock is ticking and your baby still doesn’t want a bottle.

Your resumption date is fixed or your flight ticket has been booked. In fact work has started coming in , in anticipation of your arrival at the office.

Nope.

This isn’t the opening narration of a horror movie. Neither is it the work of your enemies. It’s legit the reality of some working mums in Nigeria.

How do I getback to work and continue feeding a baby that's rejeting the bottle?

How do I get back to work and continue feeding a baby that’s rejecting the bottle????

First things first. Please read our guides to selecting bottle teats and how to know if your baby is getting enough milk.

Done?

Now let’s continue the discussion below.

As a mum who want to breastfeed exclusively it’s advisable to delay bottle feeding till your baby is 4 weeks old and you have established breastfeeding properly (gotten your latch right etc etc).

That said…..


Sometimes, you may need to delegate feeding to rest or return to work outside the home when maternity leave ends.

For this, consider selecting a bottle with teats that look similar to your nipples when you are doing your baby shopping.


Despite your best effort, some babies just don’t like bottles .

some babies do notlike bottlefeeding despite your best efforts

In this case, consider feeding with any of these alternatives to bottle feeding:

  • Cup and spoon
  • Small Syringe (without the needle please, ejo, mbok, biko )
  • Feeding cup

These methods require that your baby is held a bit upright and fed patiently to avoid choking.
Please delegate this task to someone who is diligent and careful .

If you liked the tips in this article, you’ll love our guide to exclusive breastfeeding with a 9-5 job.

7 Signs your newborn is hungry
How to increase your milkk supply and buid a stash for work with Maryam from Breastfeedingng
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