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Look, Donita Rose’s breastfeeding her baby! |

Health And Family

Look, Donita Rose’s breastfeeding her baby!

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
August is breast-feeding month, which is why I thought of sharing some precious facts about why every mother should consider breastfeeding her baby. I have been blessed to have had the chance to breastfeed all my four children and the rewards are countless. Lately, I’ve had the joy of exchanging text messages and phone calls with my dear friend Donita Rose who recently gave birth to John Paul, her son with husband Eric Villarama. I’m so happy about her decision to breastfeed her baby. Each time she updates me on what she has learned and practiced, I get so excited for her. I hope more and more mothers will opt for this practical, healthy, optimum quality milk that they can offer their babies. Here’s why – I gathered some of these myths and facts about breastfeeding from Norma Escobido of the NCDPC Department of Health:
Nursing Essentials
Mothers can’t just produce milk. They must feed as often as needed and use both breasts during feeding. Nursing mothers must eat a balanced diet and get enough rest and sleep.
Frequency Of Feeding
For the first few days, a nursing mother would feed approximately 2-4x a day. On the third day onward, 10-20x a day; the second week, 5-10x a day; and on the third week onward, one feeding every 3-4 hours.
Signs Of Adequate Breastfeeding
You know your baby is getting adequate milk when he is satisfied and feeds for around 15-20 minutes. A well-nourished baby sleeps after each feeding between three and four hours interval. Normal weight gain is 1/2 kg/month for six months, doubled by the next six months and tripled by the first year. Try the wetness test. If your baby urinates 6x a day, that’s a sure sign he’s getting enough breastmilk.
Myths About Breastfeeding
Myth: Breast-feeding causes the breast to sag.

Fact: Sagging can be caused by poor physical support during pregnancy and lactation, lack of breast exercise and incorrect feeding position. Mothers can prevent sagging by wearing a nursing brassiere.

Myth: Small breasts produce less milk.

Fact: The size of a mother’s breasts does not determine the quantity of milk. The frequent suckling of the baby is what stimulates milk production.

Myth: Mothers must not breastfeed when tired or sick.

Fact: It is safe and best to breastfeed even when exposed to infection.

Myth: One breast has sour milk.

Fact: Breastmilk never gets spoiled and the quality is always the same.

Myth: Colostrum is dirty.

Fact: Colostrum is the first milk (yellowish in color, produced in the early days after birth). It contains antibodies against illnesses. It also has a mild laxative effect on babies (dark green or blackish waste material).
Cancer And Breastfeeding
Today, breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women. Studies show that breastfeeding greatly reduces the chances of a woman having breast, uterine, or cervical cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more you reduce your risk of cancer. In fact, mothers who have lactated for two years total are 50 percent less likely to have pre-menopausal breast cancer. This should make mothers seriously consider breastfeeding their baby. Since extended breastfeeding is best for babies and for mothers, too, you might as well breastfeed as long as you can.
Handling And Storing Breast Milk
Breastfeeding didn’t hinder me from doing most of the things I would normally do without a newborn baby. What helped me a lot is having a system of storing my milk. This allowed me to breastfeed my child completely without the need to substitute with formula. It was more economical and convenient for both me and my baby. Hope this helps you, too. In order to assure the highest quality and safety for your child, you must properly handle and store your breast milk. Take these tips:

• Wash your hands at all times before pumping or handling your breast milk.

• Pour your expressed breast milk into sterilized glass or plastic bottles with caps. You may use plastic bottle liners as well. Make sure you don’t fill it up completely and leave some room at the top for expansion if freezing milk in any type of container.

• If you plan to use your breast milk right away, you may leave it at room temperature for 6-10 hours. Do not use the unfinished milk for the next feeding as this will not be safe for your baby.

• If you plan to use your breast milk within 72 hours, you may keep it in the refrigerator. If there’s no refrigerator available, place it in a container surrounded by ice until you find the chance to refrigerate or freeze it.

• If breast milk is to be stored longer than 72 hours, freeze it as soon as possible after collecting it. A good place to put it is in the back of your freezer. For safety, it is better not to store milk in the door of your freezer because opening and closing the door causes thawing and refreezing. Also, inform everyone that you have stored breast milk in your freezer so that they are sensitive with what kinds of food they put in the freezer and they will more or less remember to keep the freezer door shut!

• Label each container of breast milk with the date and time. Use the oldest first.

• If using bags, place it in a plastic container to prevent the plastic from sticking to the freezer.

• Once your frozen milk thaws, you must use it right away and not freeze again.

Breast milk can be stored for varying lengths of time:

• Eight hours at room temperature

• In a refrigerator for 72 hours

• Freezer compartment inside refrigerator for two weeks

• Freezer above/below refrigerator for three months

• Upright/chest freezer at less than 0°F for six months

Only freeze amounts of 3-4 ounces at a time, as freezing large amounts can result in wasting unused milk.
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Mommy Summit: "Gatas ni Mommy, Buhay ni Baby," 24th floor, Philamlife Tower, Makati. Admission is free for all mothers. E-mail me at

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