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Nursing Infant

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- Benson.A.R,
Nursing Infant
 Normally the secretion of milk in the breast becomes abundant from the third to the fifth day. Before this, however, a watery fluid known as colostrum is secreted and the baby may be placed at the breast as soon as convenient after birth.
 Frequency of Nursing : The baby should nurse every two to two and a half hours during the day and twice during the night. Strong babies may frequently nurse at intervals of two and a half hours, while those who are weak and small may have to be nursed every hour and a half at first.
 Regularity in Feeding : It is wise to establish regularity in feeding from the start. Sleeping infants should be wakened at the nursing time. In a few days the infant will waken naturally and nurse at regular intervals. Such a method is not only more convenient for the mother and the nurse, but prevents an infant from overloading its stomach, a frequent result when it is allowed to nurse at will.
 The period of nursing should be about fifteen to twenty minutes. One or both breasts may be used at each nursing, according to the amount of milk secreted.
 Care of Breasts : The nipples should be cleansed with warm water and a bit of cotton after each nursing. Pieces of linen should be kept over the nipples between nursings to protect them from the clothing and to absorb any overflow from the breasts.
 Sore Nipples : Sore nipples are a serious complication. They frequently become so cracked and fissured when neglected that nursing becomes impossible. For this reason they should receive careful medical attention at the first indication of soreness. Early treatment is essential to prevent trouble. It is never wise to use local applications, unless prescribed by a physician, on account of the danger of drug poisoning to the nursing infant. A nipple shield should be used at the first signs of soreness.
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