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Breastfeeding Breastfeeding
Breasts begin to develop at puberty. This is the most important organ where the hormones estrogen, progesterone and prolactin (link to glossary) play an important role. In pregnancy the glandular tissue matures completely for actual production of milk. The breasts lie over the pectoral muscles of the chest. It usually extends from the 2nd to 6th rib in mid–clavicular line. The size and shape of the breasts keeps on varying in women during different periods of life. It greatly depends upon each person’s constitution and genetic make–up. Breasts do not contain any muscles, they are made of glandular tissue and fat.

Various Parts of the Breasts are:
Nipples
The small muscular projection near the center of the breast. All the milk ducts join together at each nipple. While the mother is nursing the child, milk from the mammary glands reaches the nipple, allowing the baby to suckle. At other times, the nipple plays a sensitive role during love play. Breast is supplied with numerous nerve endings, which makes it very sensitive to touch. It is vascular hence becomes erect. It has 15–20 lactiferous ducts with their opening. There is no fat beneath the nipples.

Areola
It is placed in the center of the breast. It is a small ring of the colored pigmented area around each nipple. There are numerous sebaceous glands over it.

Milk Glands
Each breast is divided into 15–20 lobes which consists of fatty tissue. Inside each breast there are a number of milk–producing sacs. The milk production is same in every woman and does not depend upon the size of the breast.

Milk Ducts
These ducts (lactiferous duct) connect the milk glands to the nipple. The total number of ducts is anywhere between 10–100. They carry the milk to the nipples.

Breastfeeding is very vital for the infants’ well–being and for avoidance of infections. It should be avoided only in some rare serious conditions. Artificial feeding is safe only under good social environment, but if there is lack of hygiene the infant may suffer from gastroenteritis and malnutrition.

Advantages of Breastfeeding Preparations for Breastfeeding Tips for Breastfeeding
First Feed
A healthy baby is put to the breast 1–2 hours following normal delivery. Frequency of Feeding Time at The Breast
The initial feeding should last for 5 minutes at each breast. Thereafter, by the end of first week, about 15 minutes time is to be spent on both breasts. The baby should suckle for 10 minutes at the first breast and 5 minutes at the second one. The next feed should start with the second breast.

Night Feed
In the initial period, a night feed should be given at an interval of 5 hours. By doing this one can avoid excessive filling and hardening of the breasts and also ensures sound sleep for the baby. As the baby grows he gets set with the 3–4 hourly feed and has a good sleep at night without any feed.

Amount of Food
The average requirement of milk is about 100ml/kg of body weight for every 24 hours on the third day and is increased to 150ml/kg/24 hours on the 10th day. However, the baby can take as much as he wants.

Technique of Breastfeeding
The mother and the baby should be in a comfortable position. Feeding in the sitting position, the mother holds the baby in an inclined upright position on her lap, the baby’s head on her forearm on the same side as her breasts, the head being a little extended. The mother should bend slightly forward and then guide the nipple holding it between her first two fingers into the baby’s mouth. Feeding in side ways position either at night or during illness may be carried out by placing the baby along her side between the body and the arm.

Breaking The Wind
All babies swallow varied amount of air during suckling. To break up the wind, the baby should be held up right against the chest and the back should be gently patted till the baby belches out the air. It is better to break up the wind in the middle of suckling so as to enabling the baby to take more milk.

Difficulties in Breastfeeding
Due to Mother Due to Infant