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Difficulties in Br**st Feeding

Dr. Indu Vaid

Mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition for an infant. It provides immunity to the child from many infections. It is seen that children who have been fed on mother’s milk are less likely to suffer from infections than the children who have been unfortunate to not get mother’s milk as their fodder. A mother is unable to feed her babies with her milk due to many problems related to br**st. Here, we discuss these problems with the possible ways to avoid them and the homoeopathic treatment for the same.

Br**st-feeding is a wonderful way to give your baby the best possible nutritional start in life. It is one of the best ways of preventing your child from developing illnesses.

Human milk is secreted for the use of the human infant and under normal conditions, in healthy mothers, will be secreted in sufficient quantity, and proper quality and over a sufficiently long period of time, to supply the entire milk-needs of the infant.

The secretion of the br**sts during the first few days after birth is somewhat different to ordinary milk and is called colostrum. It is scanty in amount, thicker than milk and of a deep lemon-yellow color. Its chemical composition differs greatly from that of the later secretion. It is supposed to have a laxative effect upon the child.

Colostrum changes gradually into true milk which is thinner and bluer. The flow of milk is usually well established by the end of the first week while the complete change is finished by the end of the second or third week.

As the child grows the secretion of milk gradually increases in response to his demands. Much of the milk is actually formed while the baby nurses and is secreted in proportion to the vigor, strength and persistence with which he sucks.

The complete emptying of the br**st each time he nurses is the most effective means of increasing the production of milk. If the br**sts are not emptied each time, the secretion of milk gradually decreases. Farmers and dairymen have known this fact, with relation to cows, for ages. Some women like cows, give more milk than others, but aside from this the amount of milk secreted depends very largely upon the demands of the baby-- Increasing when more is consumed and decreasing when less is taken.

Much inability to nurse the baby is sheer unwillingness to do so. Many mothers can find the greatest number of flimsy excuses for not nursing their children. Much inability to nurse the baby is due to carelessness, neglect or to ignorance. I have tried to emphasize the necessity for the complete emptying of the br**st each time the baby nurses. Too many mothers allow their babies to nurse one br**st for a few minutes and then give it the other br**st. Neither br**st is ever fully emptied and they both rapidly dry up. The child should be given one br**st at one feeding and the other br**st at the next feeding. See that it completely empties each br**st before giving it the other br**st, if one br**st does not supply enough milk for the feeding. It is a terrible thing for a mother to fall down on the duty of nursing her baby.

Grief, worry, anger, fear, great excitement, rage, etc., may greatly diminish or completely suspend the secretion of milk; or, these may so alter the composition of the milk that the baby will be made ill. I often wonder if some women don't fail to nurse their children due solely to their fear that they cannot and to their worrying that they cannot. Nervous and excitable women are liable to have too much protein in their milk, and this will derange the baby's digestion.

It becomes necessary for a woman to take care of her br**st especially after the birth of her child for normal lactation. Problems related to br**sts are a nuisance for the mother as well as for the infant. The common problems during puerperium or after delivery are br**st engorgement, cracked and contracted nipples, mastitis and failing lactation, all of them leading to difficulties in br**st feeding.

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