Motherhood truly is one chapter in our lives that most mothers struggle with doing. This is because it entails a lot of caution and gentleness, especially when handling a baby. Motherly things like breastfeeding, milk let down, block feeding, milk supply, and so much more concepts have to be learned to be able to understand the proper flow of things and avoid having to deal with our baby choking over much milk in the most crucial stage of their lives.
To breastfeed is one of the most essential methods to ensure milk flow for a baby when feeding. This ensures the utmost survival and growth of a baby and one of the alternative ways of feeding. Through proper knowledge of handling one breast per feeding, milk and its flow can be monitored properly.
Further Reading: How To Keep Baby Awake During Breastfeeding
Basics of Breastfeeding
What some mothers aren’t familiar with the first time around they start breastfeeding would be the breastfeeding letdown. Some call this the milk-ejection reflex but in essence, this refers to the natural response of mothers’ bodies when they start to give milk for their baby per feeding.
When letdown in breastfeeding happens, the baby starts to suck on one breast, signals are sent to the brain so one breast per feeding can start to produce more milk through hormones. Once we understand the basics of letdown breastfeeding that affects the baby, mothers can properly control their flow of milk through different techniques that can help in managing their supply of milk.
Given that feeding and nursing is one very essential aspect of motherhood and crucial to the First 100 Days of a Baby, knowing these basics are very much important to ensure health and nourishment which is an all rights reserved for our young humans.
Signs of Milk Oversupply
When new moms start to breastfeed their baby, there are instances where hormones can really be imbalanced and this can lead to forceful let or milk letdowns. Prior to these occurrences happening, it’s essential to probably foresee possible signs of milk feeding becoming oversupplied and abnormal. What exactly are these signs?
While breastfeeding, it is possible for mothers to observe the following in their baby:
- Baby choking while feeding on milk from the breast of the mother
- Start spitting the milk they feed on upon finishing
- Rejecting to be breastfed when it is nursing time
- Coughing while feeding on the mother’s breast
- The baby starts to gain more weight than usual
- The baby is unable to catch all of the milk pumping out of the breast
- Frequent clamping of the baby to the breast to avoid more milk coming out
- The baby starts to make gulping sounds more
- The breasts are starting to leak and it is not being sucked on by the baby
When these things happen, it is important to be very cautious because you might be experiencing an oversupply of milk through a let down. When let down is being experienced, proper techniques can be taken by the mother so that both the baby and the mother does not experience any more inconveniences, struggles, or pain while conducting nursing activities. Through this, the baby also gets the proper nourishment needed and does not refuse any food being given because of the letdown milk being too much for him or her.
Tips When Experiencing Milk-Ejection Reflex (MER)
When the baby starts to choke, knowing what to do can be very beneficial and can even save lives. In the case of a milk-ejection reflex or letdown, applying these tips for the baby can result in something better. Be very careful though! Understanding the proper way of conducting these tips are also very important because if not, it might just make things worse. We can divide the MER into two different aspects – one that is good for the baby and another that can be too much already. In the tips below, determine which is more applicable in your case and make sure to approach the actions with care.
If you start seeing signs in yourself and even in your baby that you, indeed are going through providing oversupply, try these tips out to support yourself and your baby in this very challenging time. The tips below are for mothers who would like to give more supply:
- Ensure that breasts are moist by wiping a warm towel around it or taking a warm shower before you start to breastfeed your child.
- Before you breastfeed, gently massage the breasts by putting a reasonable amount of pressure onto your fingertips and going around the area of the nipple.
- Apply skin-to-skin contact with your child so the letdown can be stimulated.
- Before you breastfeed, take some time bonding with your child more and stimulating your other senses as well including your sense of touch (touching your child), sense of smell (sniffing your child gently), and sense of seeing (looking at your child more and playing with them for a bit).
- Sticking to a routine if the problem occurs more often than usual.
Now in contrast to this, if you’re someone who wants to lessen the tendencies of your breasts to provide oversupply, these tips can be done to support your baby and your body in these kinds of events:
- If your breasts leak too much, you can try to wear medically-approved breast pads that also help stop liquid from coming out of your breasts in unwanted situations.
- Help your child burp more so that air can be released
- Try adjusting your breast’s pace by using your hand to pump or hold to avoid your child choking
- Assist your child in handling the oversupply through basic position-related tips such as:
- Cradling child while proceeding to breastfeed
- Place the child in a side-lying position
- Sit up your child facing you and make them breastfeed in that position
Motherhood As A Mission
True enough, everything related to motherhood is difficult but rest assured, it is a life-long mission and vocation. Hopefully, through the tips provided, we have inspired more mothers to see each struggle as a challenge that can be overcome through community support and gentle compassion towards our younglings. No matter how difficult being a mother can be, always remember that we can always find a way together and like what they say: mothers know best!