How does breastfeeding actually work? How is breast milk actually created?
It’s quite a complex and intricate process, but the principles are fairly simple.
A rhythmical cycle of hormone stimulation that creates milk production. A growing concern for new mothers is the belief that they are not producing enough milk for their babies. From the time the baby and placenta are born, milk volume gradually increases over the first 72 to 96 hours. Low volume is normal to start with. Colostrum is low in volume, thick in substance, high in nutritional and immune properties. Maintaining milk volume and sustaining breastfeeding begins with the first breastfeed soon after birth. High or low milk volume, can be assisted by regular, rhythmical feeding from both breasts each feed to regulate hormone release. It is also important to observe Face to Breast Symmetry, to assist the baby to use full potential oral function to draw milk from both breasts.
(See below for an explanation of Face to Breast Symmetry) Once your milk volume has peaked, it is preferable to feed your baby to satisfaction from both breasts each feed. This means the baby demonstrates cues when the stomach capacity with milk volume is comfortable. Sometimes you may observe a fine tremor at the lip area, the baby’s signal that the stomach has reached capacity but may not be ready to relinquish the breast until emotionally satisfied. Feeding from both breasts each feed also ensures regular flow of milk through both breasts. This maintains regular maternal hormone release, which assists adequate volume and reduces the risk of milk pooling in the ducts, resulting in breast engorgement and possible early mastitis.
Face to Breast Symmetry is when all four facial points (nostrils, chin and both cheeks) are in symmetrical contact with your breast. Symmetry means your baby is 'snug' at your breast with both nostrils resting gently on your breast, the chin bone massages deep in your breast tissue. The tongue inside is joined to the chin, they both work in harmony with the lower jaw movement.
Both cheeks remain snug against the breast – no visible gaps all around. Observing and maintaining face-to-breast symmetry improves your baby’s potential to draw the nipple and adequate soft pliable breast tissue along the upper surface of the tongue. With adequate drawing the nipple rests as far back as the soft palatal cleft where it is protected by the soft circular space. The remaining tissue molds to form the unique shape of your baby’s oral cavity between the upper surface of the tongue, the cheeks and the curved hard bone in the roof of mouth, to the gums and lips that seal the mouth against the breast. A unique shape for every baby. It's important to frequently observe that your baby is in symmetrical contact with at your breast. Symmetry provides the best possible chance for your baby to gently draw to best, individual oral potential. The unique shape provides the baby with best ability to rhythmically stimulate your breast to create hormone release, your milk to flow and to maintain milk volume.
Face to Breast Symmetry is also essential in preventing or relieving painful nipple damage. Enjoy, ♥ Dr Robyn
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