hand_in_hand_with_baby

How much weight should a baby gain per week?

One of the ways to know if a baby is feeding properly is by observing its weight, which is recommended to be done every week during the first months of life. However, you should not be obsessed with weight since they might put on more weight in a week than another.  

The weight of a newborn ranges between 3 and 4 kilos. In the first two days it is normal for them to lose up to 10of their weight due to the expel of meconium and the start of breastfeeding. From then on, the baby should gain 20g to 30g every day to reach the same weight of the childbirth in around 10 daysWhen two weeks old, the baby should weight more than at birth. 

Babies normally gain between 120g and 200g per week in their first months of life. Thus, from the first to the third month, it usually fattens between 600g and 800g per month. This growth can slow down a bit between the fourth and sixth month. Between 6 and 12 months, it is usual for them to gain less weight per week, about 125g, until they reach only 50g of weight growth per month. 

Always keep in mind that each baby is different, and some are more gluttonous than others, which can make them gain more or less weight per week. It should also be borne in mind that fattening is not mathematical. One can gain 90g this week and, the next, 180g. Therefore, it is recommended not to obsess about weight or weigh your baby more than once a week.  

Many newborns go through a period of rapid growth when they are about 10 days old. Other two peaks happen around 3 and 6 weeks oldSo you may have weighed your baby just before that peak of growth and then will you be misled to think it has gained little weight, when it is not true.  

You should always observe the paediatrician’s reviews and be aware of other signs that the baby eats enough, such as regular urinating, rounding of the body shapes, etc. 

Bear in mind that breastfed children tend to gain weight slower and take more feedings than bottle-fed infants. The nursing moment is caloric-consuming until the baby learns to do it well and the birth weight does not determine its later growth. 

In short, it is important to control weight, but you should not obsess about it, what is really essential is that the baby feeds properly, is happy, grows and develops favourably, not weighing 100 grams more or less. 

 


baby-eating-on-a-chair

Is it normal that my baby eats too much?

If our baby does not eat or seems to eat little, we are concerned; but if it eats a lot, is this also a problem? The excess is never good, but how do you know if the baby eats a lot? Should we take away the food even if it continues to show hunger? 

Infants should eat on demand, whether they drink breast milk or formula milk. That is, every time thbaby shows hunger, you should breastfeed or bottle feed it. This usually happens every 2 or 3 hours in the first months of life, spacing from 3 to 4 hours when the baby reaches 6 months, although it depends on each baby.  

Some babies can hold up to 3 hours between feedings from their very first days, while others demand food every hour and a half. Be that as it may, you must respect their needs. Of course, you should know when the baby is really hungry and when it only wants you to be closer to you. 

The main signs of hunger in a baby are: 

– Bite their fists or put them in their mouth 

– Look for the mom’s nipple with their mouth when they are close to the mom’s chest 

– Make movements with the mouth and tongue 

It is important that you lie the baby on your chest before it starts crying. Because when this happens, the bay will be already very hungry and will eat anxiously, which can make it feel bad or vomit. 

Bear in mind that not all feeding sections will have the same duration, since it will depend on the hunger or the energy of the baby at each time. If it seems that the baby is eating more than normal, but it keeps eating, do not take away the food, as this will only cause dissatisfaction and anxiety. 

How to balance milk and complementary feeding? 

It is possible that, when your baby starts with complementary feeding, you will feel that it eats eat much more, to such an extent that it seems excessive. It may be because and this period usually coincides with the development of motor skills: crawling, walking, running, etc. And, for this, the baby’s energy needs increases. It moves more, so it needs to eat more.  

As long as the baby’s growth is regular, there is no problem. But if it suddenly starts to gain a lot of weight, it is better to consult the paediatrician since your baby may be eating too much or very caloric and unhealthy foods. 

The baby diet must be based on nutritious and varied foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals. If your child eats a lot of these, it is unlikely to have a nutrition problem. But if it eats a lot of buns or chips, the diet will be poor in nutrients and can cause obesity. Check with your paediatrician. 


Almond_milk

Can I give almond milk to my baby?

During the first two years of life, the only kind of milk the baby should drink is breast milk. If this cannot be offered at all feedings, formula milk irecommended when the baby is up to 12 months, and cow’s milk when the baby is older than 12 months.  

During the first 6 months of life, the baby drinks exclusively milk, preferably breast milk, since breast milk is the best possible food for a baby during early life. From this age on, complementary feeding is started, but it should be followed by breast milk for as long as possible.  

If during these months the mother is not able, or does not want to exclusively breastfeed the baby, she can offethe formula milk advised for the specific age of her baby (for example, first formula, second formula, follow-on formula, etc). Always consider the advice of the baby’s doctor. 

From 12 months on, you can already give cow’s milk to the baby, since its stomach is already capable of digesting this milk, which is different than breast milk. 

Almond milk, like other vegetable milk, should not be given to the baby before 2 years old. This is because vegetal milk is made of dried fruits and grains, which are harder for the babies to digest this age (although recent studies state that they could be introduced to the baby’s diet earlier). 

Almond milk provides protein, healthy fats, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D, making it beneficial for the baby, although it is never recommended as a substitute for breast or cow’s milk. It is a good option in case of allergy to cow’s milk protein or in vegan children. 

Among the main benefits that this milk offers to the baby we find: 

– Easy to digest and softer than cow’s milk 

– Provides electrolytes such as potassium, making it convenient in case of diarrhoea and vomiting 

– Provides a lot of fibres, avoiding constipation. 

– Contains good quality fats that help to reduce bad cholesterol levels. 

– Almond milk enriched with calcium promote the development and growth of bones and teeth. 

– Contains a lot of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, and B vitamins that promote tissue regeneration. 

Cons of almond milk: 

However, it also has contraindications and side effects that must be considered. For example, consumed in excess can affect the function of the thyroid in people who have problems with this organ. It is not suitable for people allergic to nuts. It provides a lot of sugars and carbohydrates and, sometimes, it can contain additives that are not good for children. 


baby-lying-on-bed

What is Landau Reflex in infants and babies?

Landau Reflex is a secondary reflex that appears around the fourth month of the baby’s life and whose absence may be an indicator of motor weakness or a slower mental development. 

Primary and secondary reflexes are involuntary responses of the body that serve to check if the baby’s development is normal. The primary reflexes are those with which the baby is born, and the secondary ones, those that appear throughout the child’s life. 

Among the secondary reflexes we find the Landau Reflex, which appears around 4 months of age and disappears around 12.  

This reflex can be observed when lying the baby on his stomach with the abdomen on our hands. In this situation, instead of letting himself fall by gravity, the baby tensions its body, stretching the trunk and legs and raising the head to see ahead and look for a visual reference. 

The absence of this reflex may be an indicator of motor weakness or less mental development, but the paediatrician is the only one to assess it in each case. If you notice your baby lacks this reflex, always contact its doctor.  


baby_drinking_milk

When to stop sterilizing baby bottles?

In the first months of life, it is recommended to sterilize the baby pacifier and bottle to avoid possible infections. This is because the babies’ immune system is not yet fully developed, making them more likely to contract certain diseases. 

It is also advisable to sterilize rubber toys in the first three months and wash fabric toys and cuddle-loveys with very hot water.  

However, the sterilization should never be exaggeratedTo develop and become stronger, the baby’s immune system needs to get into contact with bacteria. You cannot isolate children in a bubble to prevent them from getting sick. 

For this reason, paediatricians recommend to stop sterilizing the bottles and pacifiers after 4 months-oldwhen the babies start taking to the mouth everything they grasp with their hands (toys, keys, mobile phones…), which diminish the need of sterilization 

Of course, it is recommended to continue washing them every 15 days to avoid milk residue or germs. When you feel it is needed, just wash them well with hot soapy water, but there is no longer needed to sterilize them every after use.  

From 6 months-old, you can completely stop sterilizing baby bottles and pacifiers. You can even start washing the baby products in the dishwasher if you choose a program at more than 80 degrees. 


baby-in-a-onesie-lying-on-bed

What to do when my baby is wheezing?

Phlegm is very common in newborns and babies as it is a defence method to protect themselves from possible infections while your immune system is strengthened. The phlegm is a natural mucus from the airways that is expelled through the mouth of the baby and it is normal that, during this process, the baby will be also wheezingIf you notice your baby very uncomfortable and upset with wheezing, so you should know how to help him expel the phlegm. 

First step is remaining calm and remembering that the wheezing, although uncomfortable, is not necessarily bad for your baby. Phlegm and mucus are very common in young babies since they serve to protect the airways from the entry of viruses and bacteria, making them a defence mechanism of the body while the immune system is strengthened. In addition, they serve to prevent dehydration of the airways and to lubricate them. Of course, these mucus from the airways can increase if the child has a cold or other infection, but generally the child does not need to be sick for phlegm and mucus.  

Although beneficial for their health, it is also true that, if the babies have a lot of phlegm and mucus at the same time, it will be uncomfortable and annoying, since it takes an extra effort for them to breathe and eat. In addition, iphlegm is accumulated in the stomach, it can cause vomiting, one more reason for you to understand the wheezing of your baby and learn how to help youchild to expel the phlegm. 

What to do:  

1- Unless recommended by the paediatrician, you should not give any medication or mucolytics to your baby. Although the medication dissolves the mucus, it also increases the secretion of mucus, establishing a vicious cycle which is difficult to break. Also, since babies almost always have snot, you would be always medicating your baby, which is not a good thing. 

2 – The best solution is hydrating your baby. If he is breastfed, feed him more often to keep him hydrated. If he is already taking complementary food, offer him water frequently.  

3- A humid environment will also help, especially at bedtime. You can use a humidifier or place bowls full of water around the baby room.  

4- If the nose of the baby is full of snot, this prevents him from breathing, increasing the wheezing. You can do a nasal wash with sea water or saline. To do so, the best way is to lay the baby on his side and apply serum to one nostril while closing the other slightly with your fingers. Then repeat it on the other side. 

5- When the mucus is more abundant or thicker you can extract it with a baby nasal aspirator, but you should not do it often to avoid irritating the skin in the nose of the baby. 

6- The best way to clean the phlegm from the throat is waiting for when it reaches the mouth of the baby. Never try to stick the mucus out the throat of the baby with your fingeras you may hurt it. Roll a sterile gauze pad over your index finger and stick it into the baby’s mouth. The phlegm will stick to the gauze and you can remove it without hurting the baby. 

7- In newbornsthere is a risk that phlegm can choke it. In that case you must lay the baby with its face down on your forearm and pat it on the back to help him expel the phlegm. 


Several tips for newborn babies

Help your newborn get plenty of rest

Newborns need to get lots of rest to continue growing strong and healthy – some can sleep for up to 16 hours a day. Once your baby is around three months old, they may be able to sleep for 6-8 hours at a time. However, in the beginning, your baby may only sleep for 2-3 hours at a time and should be woken up if they haven’t been fed for 4 hours.

  • Some babies have their days and nights confused when they are born. If your baby is more alert at night, try to limit night-time stimulation by keeping the lights dim and your talking low, and be patient until your baby begins a normal sleeping cycle.
  • Make sure you place your baby on their back to lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • You should alternate the position of your baby’s head – whether it’s leaning to the left or the right – to eliminate the “imprint” that can appear on a baby’s face if they spend too much time sleeping with their head in one position.

Uninterrupted sleep

You don’t have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept.

Changing your newborn’s diaper

 If you plan on being attentive to your newborn’s needs, you’ll have to become a diaper-changing expert, and fast.

  • You’ll need a clean diaper, diaper ointment (for rashes), a container of warm water, a clean washcloth, and some cotton pads or diaper wipes.
  • Remove your baby’s dirty diaper. If it’s wet, place your baby on their back, remove the diaper and use the water and washcloth to wipe your baby’s genital area. Wipe baby girls from front to back to avoid urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you see a rash, apply some ointment to it.
  • Open the new diaper and slide it under your baby, gently lifting your baby’s legs and feet. Move the front of the diaper up between your baby’s legs, over the belly. Then, bring the adhesive strips around and snugly fasten them so the diaper is nice and secure.
  • To avoid diaper rash, change your baby’s diaper as soon as possible after a bowel movement, using soap and water to wipe your baby. Let your baby go without a diaper for a few hours each day to ensure the skin on their bottom is exposed to the air.

Bathing your newborn

During your baby’s first week, you should carefully give them a sponge bath. Once the umbilical cord falls off, you can start bathing your baby regularly, around two to three times a week. To do this the right way, you should gather your supplies, such as towels, soap, a clean diaper, etc., in advance, so that you don’t need to do all this while your baby is present. Fill the tub or baby tub with about three inches of warm water before you begin the bath. Here’s what you should do next:

  • You may feel a little scared, so your partner or a family member can be involved. That way, one person can hold the baby in the water while the other person bathes the baby.
  • Undress your baby carefully. Then, gently lower your baby into the tub feet first, while using one of your hands to support their neck and hands. Continue to pour warm cupfuls of water into the bath so your baby doesn’t get cold.
  • Use mild soap and use it sparingly so you don’t get it into your baby’s eyes. Wash your baby with your hand or using a washcloth, ensuring you gently wash your baby from top to bottom and from front to back. Clean your baby’s body, genitals, scalp, hair, and any dried mucus that has collected on your baby’s face.
  • Rinse your baby with cupfuls of warm water. Wipe your baby clean with a washcloth. Lift your baby out of the bath tub, continuing to use one hand to support their head and neck. Be careful – babies are slippery when wet!
  • Wrap your baby in a hooded towel and pat them dry. After that, put a diaper and clothes on your baby and kiss them so they have positive associations with being bathed.

Know how to handle your newborn

Wash or sanitise your hands before you handle your baby. Newborn babies are susceptible to infection because their immune systems aren’t fully developed.

  • Support your baby’s head and neck. To hold your baby, cradle their head whenever you carry them and support it when you’re holding your baby upright or lying them down. Babies can’t hold up their own heads yet, so don’t ever let a baby’s head flop around.
  • Avoid shaking your baby, whether you’re playing or angry. This can cause bleeding in the brain, which can lead to death. Don’t try to wake up your baby by shaking them – instead, tickle their feet or give them another gentle touch.
  • Learn to swaddle your baby. This is a great way to keep your baby feeling secure before they reach the two-month mark.

Hold your newborn. You have to make sure to give your baby as much head and neck support as possible when holding them. You should let your baby’s head rest inside your inner elbow, with the length of their body resting on your forearm. Their outer hip and upper legs should rest against your hand, with their inside arm resting over their chest and abdomen. Hold your baby snugly and give your baby all of your attention.[3]

  • You can also hold your baby by placing their tummy on your upper chest, while using your hand on the same side to hold their body, and using your opposite hand to support their head from the back.
  • If your baby has older siblings or cousins or is around people unfamiliar with holding babies, carefully instruct them on how to hold your baby and make sure they are sitting down with a knowing adult nearby to keep your baby safe.

Give your baby “tummy time” every day. Since your baby spends so much of their time on their back, it’s important to also give your baby time to stay on their tummy so that they develop both mentally and physically and strengthen their arms, head and neck. Some doctors say babies should get 15-20 minutes of tummy time a day, while others say that you should just place your baby on their tummy for 5 minutes during different parts of the day as they develop.

  • You can start with tummy time as soon as a week after your baby is born, once the umbilical cord falls off.
    • To make tummy time fun, get level with your baby. Make eye contact, tickle your baby, and play around.
    • Tummy time is hard work, and some babies will be resistant to it. Don’t be surprised – or give in – if this happens.

Care for your newborn’s umbilical cord stump. Your baby’s umbilical cord stump should fall off within the first two weeks of their life. It will change in colour from a yellowish green to brown and black as it dries and falls off on its own. It’s important to care for it properly before it falls off, in order to avoid infection. Here’s what you should do:

  • Keep it clean. Clean it with plain water and dry it with a clean and absorbent cloth. Make sure you wash your hands before handling the umbilical stump. Stick to giving your baby sponge baths until it falls off.
  • Keep it dry. Expose it to the air so the base dries out, keeping the front of your baby’s diaper folded down so it is uncovered.
  • Resist the urge to pull it off. Let the stump fall off at its own pace.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of infection. It’s natural to see a bit of dried blood or a little bit of crust near the stump; however, you should see a doctor immediately if the stump produces a smelly discharge or yellowish pus, continues to bleed, or is swollen and red.

Know how to hold a newborn

You can carry your baby in a classic cradle hold position, a snuggle hold position by holding them on your chest like a kangaroo or by putting their head on your shoulder. The most important thing is to support your baby’s body and neck by grabbing their whole body with both hands while picking them up. Do not pick up your baby by grabbing their hands or picking them up with just one hand.

Know how to lay a newborn down

 Newborn babies should be laid on their backs or on their sides with their backs supported. Putting your baby into bed face-down should be avoided since they have little control over their head.

Interact with your newborn

You can’t play with your baby just yet, but they do get bored just as we do. Try taking them for a walk to the park once a day, talking to them, putting pictures in the room where they spend most of their time, listening to music, or taking them in the car. Take your newborn to the doctor regularly. Your baby will pay frequent visits to the doctor during its first year, for scheduled check-ups and shots. Many first newborn visits occur just 1-3 days after you and your baby are discharged from the hospital. After that, each doctor’s programme will vary slightly, but you should generally take your newborn to the doctor at least two weeks to a month after birth, after the second month, and then every other month or so.  It’s important to schedule regular doctor’s appointments for your baby to make sure that they are growing normally and receiving the necessary care.

If you have more tips to share, don’t hesitate to share yours by commenting the article.


Rash

What is a rash and why does it occur?

A rash is a clinical condition occurring as reddish skin, fluid-filled lesions or sometimes as an open wound caused by the diaper rubbing. It can also be due to irritation in the diaper area caused by stool and urine or a fungal infection. However, the symptoms thought to cause rashes may be the symptoms of a skin or systemic disease.

What are the advanced stages of common cases of skin rash? Is there any risk of a different type of disease in babies?

If a rash is not treated, bacteria and fungi contaminated by stool may turn into a serious disease that has common symptoms on skin. Various bacteria passing into the bloodstream through cracks and scratches on the skin can cause an even more serious disease. There are several skin diseases which are confused with rashes. These can be serious metabolic diseases such as dermatitis, atopic eczema, psoriasis and viral infections.

What should I pay attention to when choosing diaper and care products?

The diapers should be the proper size and absorbency, have several layers reducing the effects of urine and stool, dermatologically tested and proven to pose no harm to the skin.

Does the nutrition given to the baby have any effect on the rash?

The nutrition and medications given to the baby can cause problems with rashes and worsen the situation by changing the texture of the stool.

Do the meals consumed by breastfeeding mothers have any effect on the baby?

Antibiotics and all medications that pass into breast milk affect the baby. To prevent a rash from occurring on baby’s skin, the mother should eat natural foods and should not take any medications without consulting her doctor.

How to select the right rash cream How to use a rash cream

The rash cream must be colourless and odourless. You should generally opt for creams containing zinc oxide; however, in cases of resistant rashes, you should use creams with low hydrocortisone and, in the case of a fungal infection, fungicides should also be used in addition to the rash cream. Creams containing such medications should not be used under any circumstances without medical advice, since creams containing cortisone may cause adrenal deficiency by passing into the bloodstream through the skin, should your baby have a reaction to this ingredient.

What are the points to consider for baby care in the neonatal period?

During their first month, called the neonatal period, the baby’s skin is very thin and sensitive, so any medication applied can cause serious adverse effects by entering the bloodstream. For this reason, you shouldn’t apply any ointment or cream to your baby unless it is done so under medical advice. The umbilical cord should be kept clean and dry until it falls off; it should not stay inside the diaper. A stool and urine infection can be the cause of a serious infection over the belly. In addition, cleaning the baby in accordance with hygiene standards is critical for newborn baby care. The baby’s skin should be rinsed with warm water and dried thoroughly during the diaper change.

How to treat a rash

  • Do not allow the room temperature in your home to become too hot in winter.
  • Do not overdress your baby at home.
  • Make sure that the clothes you choose for your baby are not too tight or made of nylon.
  • Try to keep the temperature of your baby’s room cool and frequently air the room in summer.
  • Give your baby frequent warm baths.

Be sure to use single-use, ready-to-wear sanitary diapers to avoid a rash on your baby’s skin. You should change your baby’s diaper frequently, as urine and stool can irritate their bottom. Nowadays, paediatricians do not recommend talcum powder. You can rinse the area gently with warm water containing 1-2 drops of baby oil. Then, clean this area with a sanitary, soft and absorbent cloth. It is an efficient protective measure to let your baby stay without a diaper for 10-15 minutes and let their bottom air out while changing the diaper.

You should fasten the diaper as loosely as possible on the belly area and let the air circulate in the diaper. You should not dress them in nylon underwear (synthetic fibres) or a layer preventing leakage after fastening the diaper. This causes a rash by locking moisture inside as well as preventing the skin from getting air. If there is a rash, the baby’s bottom should be washed with warm water containing 1-2 drops of baby oil, rinsed and patted dry. Apply a thick layer of protective cream for rashes to protect the areas with rash against urine and stool.

 


Breastfeeding

When should I start breastfeeding?

You should start breastfeeding shortly after the birth, as soon as you have recovered. The dense milk (colostrum) that the body produces in the first few days after birth must be given to the baby. Colostrum helps the baby to grow and take in protective substances that fight against disease. Even if milk production is delayed for 1 or 2 days, you should avoid starting to feed your baby with formula milk or a bottle. You should keep breastfeeding, if possible. When the baby is breastfed frequently, even after 3 or 4 days, some milk may come out of your breasts. Breastfeeding should be maintained for newborns and jaundiced babies. Artificial teats should not be given to the baby, if avoidable.

How should the baby be latched onto the breast?

It may be comfortable for the mother to breastfeed lying down during the first few days. In this way, the baby is positioned facing the mother, who is lying on her side. The mother can move the baby with her free arm and hand towards her breast. It may help the baby to settle if the mother uses a pillow to support her back while breastfeeding. When breastfeeding in the sitting position, the mother should sit up or bend a little but her lap should be straight. For this position, she can use a stool under her feet if necessary. A pillow placed on her lap can help her to hold the baby comfortably.

How can the baby latch onto the breast better?

Babies nurse by opening their mouth wide and moving their tongue. Bring your baby slowly to the breast, making their mouth touch the nipple. The mother may experience nipple pain when she starts breastfeeding. However, pain that does not go away during breastfeeding indicates that the baby is not latching onto the breast correctly. The reason for the nipple pain is that the baby is moving their tongue against the nipple instead of the breast.

If their mouth is not sufficiently open, the tongue will rub against and injure the nipple. If the baby does not seem to be sufficiently full after breastfeeding, it means that they are experiencing a problem in latching onto the breast. The baby must open their mouth wide to reach the ducts full of milk.

Expressing and storing breast milk and feeding it to the baby

In any situation that efficient breastfeeding cannot take place, you should keep feeding your baby with breast milk without using other baby formulas. In the case of the mother or baby experiencing difficulty in breastfeeding, you can express your breast milk with your hands or by using an electric breast pump to express the milk.

Storing freshly expressed breast milk

Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours.

It can be stored in the freezer compartment of a fridge for up to 4 weeks.

It can be stored in a freezer for up to 6 months.

Breast milk which is already refrigerated can be stored in a fridge for up to 24 hours.

It will not spoil for 6-8 hours at room temperature.

Breast milk which has previously been refrigerated should not be refrozen.

Breast milk taken out of the fridge should be thawed at room temperature or should be warmed by gently swirling it in hot water. It should not be thawed using direct heat or a microwave.

Increasing and restarting breast milk supply

If milk production is reduced due to reasons such as stopping breastfeeding because of the mother or baby being ill or the baby starting on an artificial diet, the mother needs to increase her milk production, should she wish to start producing breast milk again. To achieve this, the mother should breastfeed her baby frequently, maintain a healthy diet, consume lots of fluids, and, above all, she should be focused on breastfeeding her baby. A regular increase in the breast milk supply will be observed within a few days after the baby starts nursing again.

How to express breast milk

Every mother should know how to express breast milk by hand. Expressing breast milk may be necessary in a variety of situations. Expressing milk helps with:

Relieving breast congestion and swelling;

Feeding the baby until they learn how to nurse from an inverted nipple;

Feeding a baby who does not want breastfeeding until they like nursing;

Feeding a low birth weight baby who cannot nurse efficiently;

Preventing milk from flowing needlessly, if the baby cannot nurse efficiently;

Preventing milk from leaking, if either the mother or the baby is sick;

If the mother works.

Using the hands is the best way to express breast milk. It does not require any equipment and it can be done anywhere and any time. Make sure the cup in which the milk will be poured is sterile. You should choose a wide-brim cup or glass when expressing milk by hand. Wash the cup with soap and water; then boil the cup in or fill it with boiling water. After a few minutes, it can be emptied. Boiling water will destroy most bacteria.

The importance of breast milk

The most favourable nutrition for the baby’s physical and mental health is breast milk.

Milk production is easier with breastfeeding that is started shortly after the birth and done frequently.

Thanks to early breastfeeding, postpartum bleeding stops quickly, the breasts do not become congested or infected and the postpartum period gets easier.

Breastfed babies have no need for any additional fluids, including water, additional nutrition or vitamins, except for vitamin D.

Giving the baby additional fluids or nutrition decreases the mother’s breast milk production.

Babies fed with breast milk only for the first 6 months grow up and thrive in a healthy manner. They become immune to diseases, they do not catch microbial diseases such as diarrhoea and they do not get sick as often after this period.

Thanks to breastfeeding, the relationship between the mother and the baby grows stronger, which makes it easier for the mother to embrace her baby and for the baby to develop a healthy personality.

Every healthy mother can produce sufficient milk for her baby.

What are the benefits of breast milk?

The yellow milk that comes out after birth is called beestings/colostrum. It protects the baby against diseases. Despite its small quantity, it is sufficient to feed the baby and initiate bowel movement.

Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for feeding the baby.

Breast milk is the most natural and fresh nutrition.

Breast milk is always clean and sterile.

Breast milk is always available and economical.

Breast milk is easily and fully digested.

Breastfed babies suffer from abdominal pain and constipation less frequently.

Breast milk mediates the mother-child attachment.

Breastfeeding your baby may help with their intellectual development.

A breastfeeding mother experiences less postpartum bleeding.

A breastfeeding mother loses weight more easily due to increased metabolic functioning.

Breastfeeding may lower the risk of contracting breast, uterine and cervical cancers.

Expressing breast milk by hand

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before the expression process.

2. Sit comfortably, then gently massage your breast with your fingertips from the outer part of the breast, moving inwards towards the brownish or pinkish area surrounding the nipple. Apply a warm towel over your breast to increase milk flow.

3. Hold your breast by placing your thumb over the top part and cupping your other fingers under the bottom part. If the breast is large, you should hold it with one hand on top and the other hand at the bottom. To express breast milk, gently press your thumb and fingers together inwards, towards the chest wall, and then against each other. Keep pressing while moving your hand away from the chest wall. In this way, breast milk flows towards the nipple. Breast milk expression is not a painful process; if you feel pain, then there is a problem with the method you are using. When you repeat this process, breast milk starts to flow. You should repeat the expression process for milk flow. During the expression process, you should move your fingertips by rolling them; you should not rub the skin on your breast with your fingertips. You should not move your hand around the fleshy part of the breast only; you should massage your entire breast including the armpit. Expressing breast milk by hand takes about 20-30 minutes. Applying a warm towel, taking a warm bath, and dangling the breasts by leaning forward helps breast milk to flow. Leaning forward empties the bottom region.

MORE BREASTFEEDING = MORE STIMULATION = MORE MILK

The more the baby nurses, the more milk the mother produces.

Should I use both breasts for breastfeeding?

The milk that comes out at the beginning of each breastfeeding is the “foremilk”, which contains less fat. As the baby keeps nursing, the composition of breast milk changes and its fat content increases. “Hindmilk” is the milk which is highest in fat content and is the type of milk lactated at the end of breastfeeding. A baby needs both foremilk and hindmilk.

The fat content of hindmilk is similar to that of cow’s milk. It is lighter and more digestible. This fat is an invaluable source of energy for the baby. The baby develops the feeling of fullness and they need the energy provided by this fat to gain sufficient weight.

If you latch your baby onto your breast well and feed them until they are full and stop nursing by themselves, it means that your baby is taking both foremilk and hindmilk. If the baby wants to keep nursing, you can give them your other breast. If the baby is fed with only one breast, you should use the other one for the next feeding. In the meantime, it is appropriate to express the remaining milk after breastfeeding. If you feed your baby with both of your breasts, next time you should start next feeding with the breast the baby nursed on the previous time. Most babies get full by nursing on a single breast for 5-10 minutes and then fall asleep. Some babies nurse for at least 20-30 minutes.

Is night-time breastfeeding necessary?

Night-time breastfeeding increases milk production as more hormones are secreted at night. The hormones which increase milk production relax the mother and sometimes make her drowsy. Thus the mother generally gets a good night’s rest even after breastfeeding at night. Babies also want to nurse at night, until they are able to be satisfied with breastfeeding during the day only. The time to stop night-time breastfeeding varies depending on the baby. Generally, gaps between night-time feedings become longer after the first few months.

How often should you feed your baby?

There is no need to set a time limit for breastfeeding,

You should breastfeed your baby frequently in order to increase milk supply.

You should breastfeed your baby whenever they cry.

Newborn babies usually want to nurse 8-10 times a day; this number gradually decreases.

Breastfeeding frequently prevents breast congestion and pain and ensures a large amount of milk supply.

Feed your baby with breast milk only during the first 6 months for their health and mental wellbeing. After the first 6 months, you can keep breastfeeding with proper nutritional supplements for up to 2 more years. Breast milk contains the correct amount of nutrition and water necessary for the baby. Breast milk satisfies your baby’s thirst even when it’s very hot. If you give water to your baby, they won’t want to nurse as their stomach will be full of water. As a result of this, the baby will nurse less and breast milk production will be reduced.

How to relieve a baby’s wind after breastfeeding

After breastfeeding, holding the baby up straight for 10-15 minutes helps them to relieve excessive pressure. If the baby falls asleep on the breast and seems peaceful, there is no need to relieve their wind. If the baby is fussy, gently patting them on the back while holding them up straight can help to relieve any trapped wind.

Why do babies hiccup and what should you do to stop it?

Babies hiccup due to the development of a muscle called the diaphragm.

It is a completely normal and physiological event. To stop hiccups:

• Wait

• Hold the baby straight

• Massage the bottom of their feet

• Breastfeed the baby for a short time Hiccups may persist for several minutes or up to an hour. If the baby continues to hiccup for more than an hour, if the hiccuping does not stop despite the measures taken and if it lasts so long it prevents the baby from nursing, you should consult your doctor.


General information for mothers

How to clean your nipples

The natural oils on and milk from the nipples have protective factors. The risk of catching an infection in this way is low since breast milk contains a variety of substances protecting the baby against disease. Thus, there is no need to clean the breasts before each feeding. During the breastfeeding period, wiping the nipples with boiled and warm water once or twice a day will be sufficient. During this period, using carbonated water or soap is definitely not recommended, as this could cause the skin to dry out and crack. However, your hands in particular must be washed thoroughly before each feeding. After the baby has stopped feeding during the nursing session, putting a few drops of milk on and around the nipple area can keep the nipple soft.

What should the mother eat?

A large part of the milk lactated by the breastfeeding mother is provided by her diet. Considering that a healthy mother lactates 700-800 ml of milk on average per day, breastfeeding mothers need more nutrition in comparison to other women. Breastfeeding mothers should not rush to lose weight. This period can last for 6 months or more. It is easier for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight in comparison to mothers who do not breastfeed. Loosing more than 2 kg a month is not recommended. Diets or drugs promising quick weight loss should be avoided. The conventional wisdom is that mothers should eat syrup, milk, oats, tahini, halva, grape molasses and desserts such as baklava etc. to increase their milk supply. These foods have no effect whatsoever on milk production; all they do is make the mother gain weight. The key to increasing milk production is water consumption. Mothers should drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water every day. The reason for this is that the main component of milk is water. Breastfeeding mothers should not skip meals and should not smoke or drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Reducing tea or coffee consumption is also recommended, opting for herbal teas instead.

Why do babies hiccup and what should you do to stop it?

Babies hiccup due to the development of a muscle called the diaphragm.

It is a completely normal and physiological event. To stop hiccups:

• Wait

• Hold the baby straight

• Massage the bottom of their feet

• Breastfeed the baby for a short time Hiccups may persist for several minutes or up to an hour. If the baby continues to hiccup for more than an hour, if the hiccuping does not stop despite the measures taken and if it lasts so long it prevents the baby from nursing, you should consult your doctor.

Some other baby care tips…

  • Breast milk is sufficient if your baby wets themselves 5-6 times a day, defecates once or twice a day and gains at least 600 g every month.
  • Your baby’s first stool may be dark green and well-formed. It turns yellow after 24 hours and then becomes soft, watery and khaki-coloured. It turns a golden hue after 48 hours.
  • Breastfeed your baby whenever they want.
  • Relieve their wind after each feeding.
  • If they cry when full, then check their diaper.
  • Always wipe a baby girl’s bottom from front to back, to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Ensure that your baby’s environment is clean.
  • Ensure that the walls of your baby’s room allow adequate breathing.
  • Air your baby’s room out everyday.
  • Moisturise your baby’s skin using baby oil, particularly in the first 15 days.
  • Do not use cotton buds to wipe your baby’s eyes, ears and nose.
  • The temperature of your baby’s bath water should be equal to your body temperature. You can check the temperature of the water with your elbow. Use baby shampoo instead of soap.
  • Your baby should not be too hungry or too full while bathing. For this reason, bathe them between feeding times.
  • During their first month, clothe your baby in clothing that is twice as thick as your own.
  • Do not try to remove cradle cap (crusty, scaly skin rash) from your baby’s head; apply baby oil to it, wait for a while and then cleanse this area by gently running a comb over it.
  • Wipe your nipples with boiled and warm water twice a day and leave a drop of milk on them.
  • Do not eat meals that produce flatulence; it will affect your baby.
  • Speak with your baby and touch their skin.

Be prepared

At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress levels – and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.

Help your baby to bond with Dad

Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Dad. His touch and voice are different to yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets your baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be challenging. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you’re needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and “fix” things if they start crying. Your baby cries when you are present, and you experiment to find out what’s wrong. Dads need time to do this too – in their own way.