12 Breastfeeding Facts You May Not Know
Breastfeeding is one of the wonders of motherhood. Here are some breastfeeding facts and benefits you may not know.
We’ve collected some of the more unusual facts about breastfeeding that you may or may not know.
Did you know:
- The flavour of breast milk changes depending on what you eat
- It’s possible to breastfeed from one breast only – and breastfeed twins, and even triplets!
- Breast milk is digested in one and a half hours, which is why some babies feed so frequently (it’s not because your supply is low)
- You make more watery or thirst quenching milk in the morning, and less volume but fattier milk in the evening. This is why your baby may want to cluster feed or fuss feed in the evenings.
- Your milk producing hormone prolactin is highest in the middle of the night. This spike helps make more milk for the next day and why you should try to avoid skipping the 2am feed/cluster feeds.
- Let-down can be faster in one breast and can result in baby preferring that breast
- Breastfeeding helps your uterus return to its normal size after childbirth
- Expressed breast milk separates into milk and cream when stored (you just need to swirl it before use)
- Feeding baby in an upright position, if the mother’s milk supply is rapid, can prevent wind by slowing down the speed at which baby swallows the milk
- If baby is refusing one breast, try the slide-over position – simply slide baby across from the preferred breast to the other breast, in the same position
- Some mothers experience a slight drop in milk supply when they have a period but supply will increase again afterwards
- When a baby is teething, sore gums may make him or her feed differently, which can cause sore nipples – make sure the baby is positioned correctly to prevent damage
Putting your plan in place
- Work out how much milk per feed – a breastfed baby typically takes around 150-200ml per feed. Prepare feeds in these volumes and consider freezing them in separate bags or storing in the fridge.
- Prepare separate bottles for each feed – you’ll need a fresh bottle of milk for each feed, so work out how many feeds your little one will need in your absence, and prepare enough bottles for the day ahead. Remember, some days your bub will be more hungry than others – it’s a good idea to have a little extra in separate bottles or bags so the caregiver can provide extra if needed.
- Pump at your regular feeding times – while you’re away from your baby, aim to pump at around the same time that you’d feed. Follow the guidelines for safe storage of breast milk to make sure it remains safe for your baby to drink.
- Transporting the milk – think about how you’ll get your pumped breast milk home from work. A cooler bag and small ice packs are great for the commute.
- Fit in extra feeds at home – many breastfeeding mums who work will squeeze in extra feeds with their bub at home, to help with bonding and milk production.
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