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Most parents of newborn babies have heard that 'breast is best'. But although 96% of youngsters are breastfed soon after birth, only 15% of mums are still breastfeeding exclusively 5 months later. So, what's preventing some parents from continuing to breastfeed, and the way can they stick with longer-term breastfeeding, if that's their wish?
What the research says
According to the 2010 Australian national feeding survey (the most up-to-date Australian research available), around 1 in 7 babies are still given only breastmilk at 5 months old. this is often called 'exclusive breastfeeding'. Solid food is then typically introduced to babies' diets at around 6 months.
The survey, which involved quite 28,700 children, also found that by the time they're 6 months old, 4 in 10 babies are receiving no breastmilk in the least .
What the rules say
Australia's dietary guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants until they're 6 months old, with the introduction of solid foods at around 6 months, then to continue breastfeeding until the age of 12 months — and beyond, if it suits the mother and child.
Breastmilk is free and, for several parents, convenient. It can help protect infants against conditions like diarrhoea, and respiratory and ear infections. Breastfeeding can also reduce the danger of obesity and chronic diseases in later life.
For mums, it's going to reduce the danger of some cancers and osteoporosis. Breastfeeding can promote bonding between mother and baby.
Why women stop breastfeeding
Continuing to breastfeed may be a challenge for several mums, albeit they're cognizant of the rules and benefits, and have the simplest intentions. it isn't always easy, and if their baby isn't attaching properly they will find yourself with cracked, bleeding or sore nipples and mastitis. Some women also experience engorgement or cluster feeding.
Poor attachment, "not enough breastmilk for the child", and an unsettled baby were the highest reasons for ceasing to breastfeed cited within the Australian national feeding survey (by parents who stopped breastfeeding entirely before 6 months).
Out of milk: supply concerns
While having 'low supply' of milk may be a common concern for breastfeeding mums, in many cases this might be a case of what they think may be a low supply, instead of a true issue of low supply, consistent with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).
In other words, a mother might imagine she's not producing enough milk when she actually is. most girls are capable of breastfeeding.
In rare cases, a lady may have breasts that don't produce enough milk thanks to 'insufficient glandular tissue' (IGT), the tissue liable for producing milk within the breast, reports the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). albeit a lady has IGT, it's likely that she will still breastfeed her baby. Visit the ABA to examine options for ladies with confirmed IGT.
Low milk supply can also be caused by postpartum haemorrhage, retained placenta, maternal illness, past breast surgery, sleepiness or illness in an infant, infrequent feeds and poor attachment. But assistance is available to mothers and babies who wish to continue feeding.
How do i do know if my baby is getting enough milk?
Here are 4 signs that a baby is getting enough milk, consistent with the Australian Breastfeeding Association:
- A minimum of 5 very wet disposable nappies or 6 very wet cloth nappies in 24 hours. Urine should be odourless and clear or very pale. a really young baby will usually have 3 or more soft or runny bowel movements every day for several weeks. Strong, dark urine or formed bowel motions suggest that the baby needs more breastmilk and you ought to seek medical advice.
- Good complexion and muscular tonus . If you gently pinch your baby's skin, it should spring back to place.
- Your baby is alert and fairly contented and doesn't want to feed constantly. It is, however, normal for babies to possess times once they feed more frequently and to wake for night feeds.
- Some weight gain and growth long and head circumference.
Tips for breastfeeding success
When it involves breastfeeding, attachment is everything. You're impossible to experience soreness from feeding your baby often, but your nipples can become very sore if the baby isn't properly attached to your breast during feeds.
Even though it's going to take a short time to urge the hang of breastfeeding, it'll become easier and quicker with practice. find out how to position and fasten your baby on the breast properly; ask your midwife to assist you.