Suddenly feeling 'fluey'? Emotional and teary? And you have a hot sore breast?
Feeling 'fluey' any time when you are breastfeeding is a warning sign that you could be coming down with mastitis, an inflammation of the breast that may or may not also be infected. Symptoms of mastitis can hit suddenly and hard: one minute you feel just fine and the next you feel shattered and aching all over with chills and a fever. Sometimes flu-like symptoms come on even before you get a fever or notice breast tenderness.
There is no use crying over spilt milk, goes the old saying. But if you are a mum expressing your precious breast milk, you don’t want to see even a drop get spilled or wasted. So, what is the best way to store your precious ‘liquid gold’ and how long will it keep?
Yes, breastfeeding can be challenging at first – it’s natural but it’s also a learned skill like riding a bike or driving a car. And you wouldn’t simply hop on a bike or get in a car and expect to cruise off without any instruction or preparation, would you? By preparing for breastfeeding you give yourself a much better chance of beating the ‘booby traps’ and getting through the early days more easily.
There are magical chemicals in breastmilk that help baby fall asleep. However if you want to gently wean your baby from breastfeeding to sleep, it's important to make changes 'gradually with love' , without upset and tears. See Pinky's gentle 'baby steps' strategy to wean baby off breastfeeding to sleep when you and baby are ready.
For some partners, the desire to enjoy a closer connection with their baby can mean offering or even insisting that they give the baby a bottle.Unfortunately, this can cause unnecessary stress to a mum who is learning to breastfeed. So what's a loving partner to do?
Learning to breastfeed so it becomes natural and easy can take a few weeks or longer, just like learning a dance with an inexperienced partner who also needs to learn the steps (coordinating sucking, swallowing and breathing). Soon, breastfeeding is mostly a sweet interlude in your days and nights, as you snuggle together and drink in that sweet baby breath and stroke his fine skin as he fills up on your mama milk. But, at the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer, even when breastfeeding is going pretty smoothly, there are a few things that suck, big time ....
You’re stuck on the couch having the life sucked out of you by the tiny person latched onto your breast as though his life depends on you (actually, it kind of does right now!). Being needed so intensely is making you feel overwhelmed, and now you’re totally confused by the unhelpful comments being tossed at you, including, ‘He’s just using you as a dummy’. And you wonder, am I really just a human dummy? Should I just give my baby a ‘real’ dummy?
The thing is, if your baby is feeding directly from the breast, you probably wouldn’t notice what colour your breast milk was and, as long as your baby is happily feeding, it’s unlikely there is a problem or that your baby is at any risk, regardless of the colour of your milk. But what does it mean if your breast milk is green, blue, pink , watery or creamy?