Reassuring news for breastfeeding Mums

breastfeeding

I had always intended to breastfeed and when my son was born as soon as the nurse placed him in my arms he latched on. I loved the whole process, it was such a beautiful, bonding experience. I am 22 weeks pregnant and I am hoping to breastfeed my newborn too.  I know that breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone and it might be harder for me the second time around.

Reassuring news for breastfeeding Mums

New breastfeeding research means less stress for Mums

Breastfeeding a newborn can be quite daunting and stressful. It is such a personal choice and there are a lot of questions for any new mum who is breastfeeding for the first time.

When I breastfeed, how do I know I am doing it right? Is my baby getting enough milk? How often do I need to feed my baby? Why does my friend’s baby not feed as frequently?

Now, thanks to new studies from leading lactation researcher Jacqueline Kent these common queries have been answered.

Reassuring news for breastfeeding Mums

Her findings confirm that in fact there is no breastfeeding norm, every breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby is unique and will adapt and change throughout the breastfeeding period.

Results show that:

  • Breastfed infants control their milk intake to match their appetite and growth rate, taking what they need
  • Exclusively breastfed infants normally show a wide variety of breastfeeding patterns

Between one and six months of lactation, breastfed infants take fewer, faster, larger feeds, but their total daily milk intake is constant. Kent’s findings have highlighted the changes in breastfeeding patterns during a baby’s individual journey, sometimes changing monthly.

They also demonstrate that between infants, there is a wide variety of breastfeeding patterns and that they do not need to conform to an average. The significant variability in frequency and volume intake of the healthy, exclusively breastfed infant aged 1 to 6 months is as follows:

  • 4-13 – the number of breastfeeding sessions per day
  • 12-67 minutes – the duration of a breastfeeding session
  • 54-234 ml – volume of milk consumed in a breastfeeding session
  • 478-1356 ml – the volume of milk consumed in a 24 hour period

This knowledge will provide much-needed evidence to give health professionals confidence in various feeding situations and to give mothers self-assurance in their role. An infant’s breastfeeding behaviours are completely normal, as are differences between babies. They are not an indication of insufficient milk supply.

Lack of milk is often cited as one of the reasons mothers give up breastfeeding; the concern that their baby is not getting milk is naturally a worry. Mothers may think that because their baby is feeding more often it is a sign they are not getting enough each feed, but thanks to Kent research shows that this is not necessarily the case.

This new research will provide relief to new mums everywhere and hopefully lift the pressure, putting their minds at rest! Breastfeeding can now become a more enjoyable process for both mum and baby.

All research information in this post provided by Medela.

Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit: www.medela.com.au / www.facebook.com/medela.au

{Pic source: Flickr Creative Commons}

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