NORMAL BREASTFEEDING PATTERNS Answers to questions about breastfeeding patterns are rarely simple and straightforward. There is a wide variation in what’s normal. This is as true of breastfeeding patterns as it is of other areas of child development and growth. Two different—yet perfectly normal and healthy—children may walk, talk, and get their first tooth at different ages. Their nursing patterns may differ, too. One baby may breastfeed every hour while another baby may breastfeed only every four hours and both may thrive. Individual differences and variations must be taken into account when discussing breastfeeding, which is why breastfeeding is an art and not a science.Read More →

The breast—or mammary gland—is a complex and efficient organ. Development of the breast begins before birth during the early weeks of gestation, but the mammary gland doesn’t become fully functional until the onset of lactation. The breast continues to change under the influence of normal physical processes—such as menstrual cycles, pregnancies, birth, and weaning—through menopause, when the gland begins to atrophy. Knowledge of breast anatomy and function will be helpful in understanding how normal bodily functions and environmental influences affect breastfeeding. BREAST ANATOMY Composition of the Breast The breast is a secretory gland composed of the following parts: glandular tissue, which makes and transports milk,Read More →

Putting the mother at ease is as important as offering accurate breastfeeding information. Although accurate breastfeeding information is essential when a woman asks for breastfeeding help, she is also looking for reassurance. The breastfeeding counselor must find a way to put the mother at ease and establish a feeling of rapport. She listens carefully to show that she is really interested in helping the mother. She asks questions to help to clarify the situation. She helps the mother identify her feelings to help her focus on what is important to her. She offers information, makes suggestions, and discusses options, helping the mother weigh the prosRead More →