Breastfeeding: advice and difficulties
Frequent breastfeeding on demand (infant-led feeding) during the first days is important for the success of breastfeeding: frequent breastfeeding promotes milk production. When estimating the success of breastfeeding the following should be considered: the frequency and duration of feeding sessions, the infant’s positioning on the breast, the latch-on technique, the efficacy of sucking, swallowing sounds and the mother’s experiences about breastfeeding. An exclusively breastfed neonate is at risk of developing hypernatraemic dehydration if the amount of breast milk is not adequate. The parents should be advised to observe how often their baby feeds, the frequency of urination and defecation and, if necessary, to keep a close eye on the baby’s weight. If a newborn infant feeds less than 6 times in 24 hours (the feeding interval repeatedly over 4 hours) during exclusive, on-demand breastfeeding, enhanced monitoring of the infant’s weight is indicated. If complementary feeds are needed, the breast should always be offered first followed by a complementary feed. The complementary feed of choice is the mother’s own expressed milk. Skin-to-skin contact will improve the success of breastfeeding .