Monday, March 15, 2010

Nipple Confusion, Feeding Difficulties, Gaining Weight

Gaining Weight
Actually a newborn baby gains more as you said, only in the initial few weeks then speed of weight gain gradually decrease. What we say, if the birth weight doubles by 5 months and triples by one year, it’s absolutely normal. With that the weight seems to be normal. One more thing you said, she passes urine 4-5 times a day, that’s another clue to tell her feeding is adequate, and so you need not worry for that.

Irritable Behavior
You see sometimes these small children have what we call “nipple confusion” when thy are getting both breast feeds and bottle feeds. You yourself see, how difficult is to extract milk from breast, you really have to suck with enough force and from bottle its simple, just press, and milk comes out. So, these small children may get confused, how much force to apply when sucking nipple or breast. So, it may happen initially, but gradually they learn to identify them.

Establishing Breast Feed
I understand sometimes it’s really painful and difficult to breastfeed esp. after difficult labour or LSCS.. But you must understand one more thing, that’s its only the initial part of child’s life, when he/she learns this art of feeding, the most crucial phase. In most cases these children get proper attachment to breast and start taking feeds, once established its great. Only in some cases problem comes, where the role of doctors or supports comes, and i agree family has a very important role to play in supporting your views regarding willingness to feed.

No nerve can cause hindrance to breast feeding, as it depends mainly on sucking though nipple, which is the main stimulus to produce oxytocin and breast milk productions to feed.
You will be surprised to know that even eating behavior of mother doesn’t have anything to do with milk production.

Even if mother not eating enough, if child is sucking, milk will come (that’s another thing that mother will deplete her stores, if she don’t eat enough). All those galactogauges have nothing to do in breast milk production.

Some of these things will be surprising for you to know, but its true, women can feed even 3 children together, if they suck breast well. But proper counseling and continuous support have major role to play. I have seen many ladies who couldn’t feed their first child, but when proper counseling and support was given, they could produce so much breast milk, which was more then enough for their second child. But our caregivers, mostly doesn’t give that importance to all that. I have seen succeeding re trails for breast feeding if done withing 8 weeks, usually doesn’t help after 2-3 months, after that time, difficult to re-establish feeding.
So, at this stage, what you are doing is fine, keep trying giving breast milk as much as you can, if you can get help of some counselor's help there it will be great. Rest you give formula milk as you are giving, no harm in that.

Keep a record of his growth parameters, if they are doing good, don’t worry. Things will improve with time.

Dr. Sanjay Verma @ Indian Parenting.

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