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close this bookInfant Feeding in Emergencies: A Guide for Mothers (WHO, 1997, 48 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWhy is breastfeeding so important?
View the documentAre commercially-made baby milks as good as breastfeeding?
View the documentWhy are commercially-made baby milks not so good?
View the documentBut can every woman breastfeed?
View the documentBut why don't the experts tell us this if breastfeeding is so important?
View the documentDo babies also need tea and water?
View the documentWhen do babies need more than just breast-milk?
View the documentSo a sick baby should go on breastfeeding?
View the documentDo breastfed babies get fewer diseases?
View the documentBut my friend's baby got ill and he was breastfed
View the documentSo breastfeeding is like a medicine?
View the documentPeople say that stress stops the milk, so during stressful times how can we breastfeed?
View the documentWhat about women who have lost a lot of weight? Can they produce milk?
View the documentDo we need special nutrition for breastfeeding?
View the documentBut what about anaemic women? Does breastfeeding drain their strength?
View the documentSomeone told me breastfeeding stopped you getting pregnant, but isn't that just a story?
View the documentHow does breastfeeding work?
View the documentWhat about women with small breasts or flat nipples?
View the documentYou said the baby has a part too. What can he do?
View the documentWhy is the baby's suckling-action important?
View the documentHow does a baby stimulate the milk?
View the documentThe first principle of breastfeeding: good attachment
View the documentWhy does good attachment not always come naturally to the baby?
View the documentWhy does the baby not always get this right?
View the documentSometimes it is hard to get a baby close because he is swaddled and his clothing gets in the way
View the documentEven if my baby attaches well, how can I be sure there will be enough milk?
View the documentYou said earlier that milk changes during a feed. Can you explain that?
View the documentBut I thought you must feed from both breasts?
View the documentYou said earlier that confidence was important but not everyone has that. What can we do?
View the documentI know women with breastfeeding problems. Can they be helped?
View the documentMy mother told me that you always get sore nipples and you just have to put up with them
View the documentWhat about special creams for sore nipples? How can we get them during an emergency?
View the documentWith this baby-led feeding how can I be hygienic and wash my nipples?
View the documentSo if I get my baby well-attached, I will never get sore nipples?
View the documentYou say breastfeeding should not hurt, but what about the engorgement that every woman gets a few days after the birth?
View the documentYou mentioned blocked ducts, mastitis and abscess. Are they common and how can we treat them?
View the documentAll these problems make breastfeeding look too difficult
View the documentYou said earlier that you can breastfeed even if you have stopped completely. How can this be done?
View the documentFood supplies can be precarious. How can we feed the babies over 6 months who need more than breast-milk alone?
View the documentWhat about premature or very small babies?
View the documentI can see the reason for expressing milk for sick or premature babies, but must all women learn to express?
View the documentHow do I express milk?
View the documentI can see that breastfeeding is possible in most cases, but we still have to face the times when it is not possible: emergencies create orphans, abandoned babies and severely ill or wounded mothers
View the documentIs it possible to feed a baby artificially without a bottle?
View the documentHow do you cup-feed a baby?
View the documentA final word

But can every woman breastfeed?

Most women are able to breastfeed, but unfortunately a lot of common practices make breastfeeding go wrong. In this century, breastfeeding skills have been lost. Mistaken ideas went into medical textbooks and training. Separation of the mother and baby after birth, feeding to a timetable, giving extra bottles of artificial milk or any other fluid, and other common practices can all make breastfeeding go wrong and reduce a mother's breast-milk supply.

The following practices can make breastfeeding go wrong

Separation of mother and baby
Delaying the first feed
Restricting the frequency of feeding
Washing the nipples before or after a breastfeed
Feeding to a timetable
Taking the baby off the breast before the baby is finished
Giving other fluids before the first breastfeed
Giving supplementary feeds of artificial milk
Giving plain water, dextrose, glucose or sucrose water or 'teas' between feeds
Saying anything which makes a mother doubt her ability to produce milk
Giving free samples of commercial baby milks
Isolating the mother from those who support breastfeeding
Using nipple shields, bottle teats and dummies (pacifiers)
Using drugs during childbirth which sedate the baby

The following practices can help breastfeeding go well

Breastfeeding soon after birth
Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby
Good positioning and attachment of the baby at the breast
Frequent baby-led feeding
Letting the baby come off the breast spontaneously
Exclusive breastfeeding2
Building a mother's confidence through kindness and encouragement
Having contact with people who give emotional support
Avoiding bottle teats, dummies and nipple shields
Avoiding creams and ointments on the nipples
Avoiding soap on the breasts and washing them only during normal daily bathing

2 Exclusive breastfeeding means feeding the baby frequently, on demand (baby-led) day and night, without giving bottles, dummies or other foods or fluids, but allowing for essential medicines.