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Developing a Care Plan for Women Who Have Difficulty Breastfeeding

written by: Sherrell Icon • edited by: BStone • updated: 11/30/2010

There are many factors that prevent mothers from adequately breastfeeding. These problems include diet, poor sleeping patterns, stress, and breastfeeding infrequency. Find some help in setting up a plan for ineffective breastfeeding.

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    Breast feeding is the best method for feeding your newborn. It is viewed as the healthiest sustenance for babies and can be used to strengthen the bond between mother and child. When done properly, breastfeeding is truly a rewarding experience. However, there are many factors that prevent mothers from breastfeeding. In such instances, it is necessary to develop a nursing care plan for ineffective breastfeeding.

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    Causes of Ineffective Breastfeeding

    Many mothers get discouraged or feel as if they are doing something wrong or that they just can't breastfeed. This is not the case. Many factors play into ineffective breast feeding.

    According to Janet Talmadge's article, Maintaining Your Milk Supply, diet, poor sleeping patterns, stress, and breastfeeding infrequency, are all factors that negatively affect sleeping patterns. All of the previous mentioned problems can cause milk production to slow or even completely stop. Even if the milk completely dries up, there are things one can do to rejuvenate and increase milk supply.

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    Remedies for Ineffective Breastfeeding

    Nurse frequently. As babies get older, it is normal for them to sleep longer throughout the night. However, Talmadge says that smaller and more frequent feedings are ideal for the baby, as they prevent him from spitting up. Frequent feedings are expected because milk is completely digested and out of the baby's system in two hours. Also, it is ideal for the mother because she is better able to maintain an adequate milk supply.Nurse as long as your baby will nurse. Do not cut the feedings short.

    Avoid pacifiers and bottles when possible, although this may be harder to do if you have to return to work. Infants can get "nipple confusion" if introduced to bottles and pacifiers too soon. Mothers should allow sucking needs to be satisfied at the breast. As the baby becomes older there is less of a concern for this.

    Insure hydration. Dehydration is a factor in decreasing milk supply. You should always have a tall glass of water handy when pumping or nursing a baby. A good rule of thumb is, if your are frequently thirsty it is the body's way of saying you are not drinking enough water. Also, avoid drinking caffeine. According to Tara Gidus's Myth and Fact of Increasing Breast Milk Supply, caffeine is proven to stimulate milk supply. However, it also stimulates the baby. This causes fussiness and can upset the baby's stomach.

    Increase calorie intake. Gidus writes in her article Nursing Nutrition "Most women need about 350-400 extra calories for the first six months and 400-500 extra calories for the second six months." Also, empty calories should not be counted as eating. It is good to eat a well balanced and nutritious diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 1,800 to 2,000 calories of quality calories a day is ideal for nursing mothers.

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    The Plan Dosn't Work

    If all else fails supplements may be needed. Breastfeeding Basics states that the most common are fenugreek, red raspberry and Blessed. Additionally there are prescription medications that can be taken to quickly increase milk supply such as Metoclopramide (Reglan).

    One thing to remember is that every mother is different. Some mothers breast feed for twelve months, and some do it for twelve weeks. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can't base your experience off of other mothers. If tried and you find that breastfeeding is not for you, you have every right to stop and do what you feel is best for yourself and your child.

    Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

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    Sources

    Lactation Innovation: Maintaining Your Milk Supply

    Breastfeeding Basics: Increasing Your Milk Supply