Friday, July 10, 2009

Breastfeeding Tips: From Preemies to Worries about Baby Starving before Milk Comes In

Since there is a fatal risk of bacterial infections as a result of feeding susceptible preemies powdered infant formula, I thought it would be nice to share a link I found with tips on breastfeeding a premature baby.

"Breast milk is doubly important for your pre-mature baby, as he/she will be very susceptible to infections and it will provide antibodies, white blood cells and strong immunity to him/her, to resist infections. In addition, a regular supply of breast milk helps strengthen neurological growth. So, pump as often you can. You can even rent an electric pump, which will help you build your milk supply."

The confusion about milk production and the need to supplement formula prior to a mother's milk coming in upsets me greatly. I hear so many mothers that tried to breastfeed but turned to formula because they were convinced that they "just didn't make enough milk." It saddens me, and one of my main personal goals as a lactivist is to get the knowledge and support system out there about this myth in particular: The truth is, your baby will not starve before your milk comes in (~4 days after birth) and you do not need to supplement with formula. Every other mammal takes a few days for their milk to come in, it is a perfect design (regardless if you believe in creation or evolution). Here are some links that I found regarding this issue:
I absolutely love it is the online breastfeeding Bible!
The only other informative link I've found so far. Mostly, you come across forums and blogs about women who had difficulties breastfeeding. Most of their sad stories are proceeded by tales of birth difficulties, particularly c-sections typically caused as a result of inductions that led to complications (fetal distress, often caused by doctors on purpose by maxing the pitocin). Some stories come from mothers that chose to have medicated births and then are astonished when their drugged babies don't latch or nurse and I get so angry at the medical profession for their contribution to
Usually, I think Yahoo answers is a joke, but the majority of women on this thread are experienced breastfeeding mothers with useful insight and worth a read-through. is one of the best parenting resources I have found online.
So you don't think I'm completely closed-minded, this one has links to both sides of the breastmilk-formula argument. Mainly, LLL's concern is that early formula supplementation is detrimental to establishing milk production.

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