Breast milk refers to the milk produced by the breasts of a female for feeding her instant offspring. During the first six months of life, a baby is expected to breastfeed 10 to 12 times a day exclusively. Once solids have been introduced at about six months, mother’s milk still remains the primary food until the baby turns one year of age. Therefore it is important to know the introduction of solids is a supplementation and not replacement to baby feeds at mother’s breast until one year of life. A unique property in breast milk promotes gut bugs that give infants greater immunity from infections than any infant formula.
Certain herbs like sage, peppermint and certain medications such as over-the-counter medications for common cold, contraceptive pills can reduce milk supply and should be avoided during breastfeeding. Concerns about low milk supply are the most common concern of a new mother. Learning to recognize perceived milk supply issues from true milk supply issues is essential for a mother to gain confidence. It is often essential to know the signs of good milk transfer once positioning and latch is established with the baby. Certain signs which could indicate adequate feeding include a good amount of urine output (7 to 8 really wet cloth diapers or 5 to 6 heavy disposable diapers), regular bowel movements (3 to 4 per day) and adequate weight gain (approximately 150 to 200 gm per week).
Breastfeeding can be initiated and established for many adoptive mothers. This is called Induced lactation. It is a good idea to plan ahead of the adoption process as this helps to follow lactation induction protocol to initiate and to increase milk supply by the time baby is ready to join your family. Frequent breast stimulation along with supportive herbs or medications is used to induce lactation.