Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blast from the past

I came across this early 1960's parenting book called "Modern Mothercraft" and thought I would share it with you.

"Time at the breast

     The time required for the average baby will be between ten to twenty minutes.  Both breasts should be offered at each feeding.  Ten minutes on both breasts, or ten minutes on the first and five minutes on the second, may be required, but babies do not take the same amount of breast milk at every feed, nor will the same amount be available in the breasts at each nursing, because there is more milk present in the early morning than later in the day.

     It is important to make sure that baby sucks well at the breast and that he does not dawdle, play or go to sleep.  The actual sucking time should not exceed 30 minutes."  

Well, at least they mention that it is important to make sure that baby sucks well at the breast.  Thank heavens that we no longer give this advice and the evidence suggests that, letting your baby feed when he/she wants for as long as they want will stimulate the release of the hormone prolactin which builds up the milk supply.  

Your baby will comfort suck and play at your breast, the eye contact and hormonal feedback mechanism between you and your baby is phenomenal.  It is the same hormones that are released when you fall in love, you and your baby are falling in love, we call it bonding.  Your baby is helping you fall in love with him that you cannot put him down because he is dependent on you for survival.  I tell mums that babes require three things, food, warmth and love.  Breast feeding and mummy and daddy give baby all three.

     Royal New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children (incorporated) Plunket Society.  (1964).  Modern Mothercraft.  Coulls Somerville:Dunedin.

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