Fenugreek is one the oldest medicinal herbs used to naturally increase breast milk production by stimulating milk glands in breast tissue. Women all around the world have reported success and are very happy with the results they get with taking fenugreek. Of course, when your baby is happy with his or her feeding, how can you as the mother not feel happy!
While fenugreek can certainly help you to have more breast milk, keep in mind it is not a magical, miracle drug. A positive thinking is just as important to keep your breast to produce more milk. It is said that breastfeeding is 80% in the mind and 20% in the breast.
Below are some very good information obtained from Birralee Maternity Service of Box Hill Hospital (in Victoria, Australia). This hospital highly encourage mothers who are or have just delivered their babies to breastfeed.
Why is Breastfeeding Important?
Breastfeeding is the best and safest way to feed your baby.
- Your breast milk is made by you especially for your baby.
- Your baby has been fed via the placenta before s/he was born, getting everything s/he needed from you. You will still be able to meet all baby's needs from the breast for at least the first six months after the birth,all in a form that s/he can easily digest.
- Breast milk will increase your baby's resistance to many infections and diseases because you produce antibodies to protect your baby every day without even thinking about it.
- Breast milk reduces the risk of developing allergies. Foreign proteins found in formula can easily pass through a newborn's immature gut and cause serious allergies.
- Breast milk is free, always convenient and requires no sterilising, mixing or heating.
- Breastfeeding helps your body return to your pre-pregnancy weight and your uterus to its normal size.
- Breastfeeding creates a loving bond between a mother and her baby.
Can All Babies be Breastfed?
All mothers and babies are unique and individual. Differences in breastfeeding are expected and normal. Nearly every baby can be breastfed, even small and very sick babies, who will get added benefits. twins, premature babies and those born by caesarean section or forceps can all be breastfed.
When Can't I Breastfeed?
If you are taking drugs which, are necessary for your health, but may be dangerous for your baby, you may be unable to breastfeed. Discuss this with your doctor as there may be alternative medications available. You may choose not to breastfeed and will need to use formula milk.
How Do I Prepare for Breastfeeding?
No preparation is needed. Your body will make all the preparation necessary. Avoid soap or creams on the nipples. Your nipples are naturally moisturised, and creams and soap can interfere with this natural process.
When Should I Start Breastfeeding?
At birth, if all is well your baby should stay with you (ask and insist if your baby is taken away from you). Hold your baby close against your skin. Initially s/he will rest but within minutes s/he will start to look around, listening as either parents talks. You may like to consider this first hour as part of the birth and leave phone calls and visitors a while. You will find the baby will start to look for a feed usually within an hour of birth.The baby's instinct to suckle is very strong at this stage. Some babies take to the breast easily, others need more coaxing. Ensure you both achieve a good attachment. After the first feed, 'demand feeding' while 'rooming in' will help to make sure you have a good milk supply.
What is 'Demand Feeding'?
This means feeding your baby whenever s/he is hungry, and not setting the number of feed and length of feed yourself. This is more natural and encourages your milk supply. A hungry baby feed more often and this stimulates your body to produce more milk. Most babies feed every 2-6 hours - some are very regular, but most are quite unpredictable initially, especially at night. It takes at least 2-3 weeks before any sort of routine is develop so don't expect baby to feed only during your waking times. Night feeds are important for starting and keeping your milk supply, but there is no point waking a healthy baby to feed, unless you want to relieve uncomfortable breasts.
What is 'Rooming In'?
Your baby stays in the same room as you day and night. We encourage rooming in because it helps you get to know your baby and this close contact helps with demand feeding and establishing lactation.
How Do I Breastfeed?
It is very important that both you and baby are comfortable, relaxed and free from distractions when you are learning to breastfeed. The correct technique is very important in getting your baby on and off the breast to prevent damage to your nipples. Also, good attachment and successful breastfeeding causes hormones to be released to maintain breast milk production. We encourage you to ask for help as often as you need to in the first few days. You baby and you will soon learn the skills and feeding will become much easier.
For good attachment:
- Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Unwrap baby, s/he will stay warm next to you.
- Your baby should be supported on his side with his head tilted back a little, baby's chest facing your chest, mouth directly opposite your nipple.
- When baby's mouth is wide open, bring baby on to the breast so that the entire nipple and most of the areola (the dark area around the nipple) are in the baby's mouth. When correctly attached baby's chin will be tucked firmly against your breast, his nose will be clear.
- the nipple will be right at the back of the baby's tongue where it can't get damaged. It should be comfortable to feed, if there is increasing pain you will need to stop and start again.
- Ask your midwife or someone experienced to show you how to release the suction and how to reattach the baby correctly.
- Painful feeding is a sign that the baby is not attaching properly. If you find feeding painful or find the nipple is getting squashed, baby needs to learn to take a bigger mouthful. Compressing the nipple may not be particularly painful at first but if the baby continues to compress the nipple it will soon become damaged and very painful. It is important to achieve a better attachment.
- Check the shape of your nipple after every feed initially. It should be round and not distorted. If your nipples are compressed or distorted after a feed, baby needs to take a bigger mouthful of breast. Ask for assistance as compressing the nipple very feed will soon lead to damage and pain.
Your baby will want to feed frequently in the first few days. This is their way of building up your milk supply.
What Do I Do between Feeds?
Normal hygiene is sufficient; don't use soap or a drying agent on your nipples. At the end of each feed express a little milk, apply this to your nipples and let it dry. This will keep your nipples healthy and help to reduce tenderness. Change your bra and breast pads if they are wet to keep your nipples dry. Try to rest as much as possible between attending to your baby's needs.
Is My Baby Getting Enough?
Although it is not possible to measure the amount of milk taken by the baby from the breast, it is assumed that they are getting enough if they are content and are passing a normal amount of urine and faeces.
Do I Need to Give My Baby Any Other Food?
Healthy babies do not need any extra artificial formula or water. If the baby is small, sick, premature or jaundiced it may be medically indicated to give formula. In these cases the formula will be provided by the hospital on a doctor's order. It is not unusual for a newborn to be unsettled after a feed, especially in the first few days before the milk comes in. Thy settling with a cuddle, a nappy change or maybe another feed after a short break.
credit to: http://www.babysnowdrop.com