It is not to be assumed that breast feeding is without troubles. Given that the mother is perfectly healthy, a child put to the breast every four houra (or every three hours up to the fourth or fifth month) and allowed to suck for a quarter of an hour at each feed should ideally obtain just the nourishment necessary for perfect health, normal growth and development. But actually baby may get too much or too little, or the milk may be too rich or too poor. Health and a normal increase in weight are sure signs that the milk is satis-factory. Underfeeding and Overfeeding
Erery effort should be made by the mother to breast feed her baby because this is his natural food, and the liability to digestive trouble is far less than in any form of artificial feeding. Breast feeding is often given up because it is thought either that the milk is not satisfying or is not agreeing with the child.
It is well to make quite certain that this is actually so; in the first case baby can be given more by being put to both breasts at a feed, or be fed at slightly shorter intervals. In the second he may simply be overfed. In either case he may be crying from stomach-ache. Even if for any reason breast feeding cannot be persisted in for nine months, the longer it can be the better. Its importance to the child is greater in the earlier months.
A month before confinement, sponge the nipples daily with brandy or eau-de-Cologne, and work them between the thumb and fingers to render them soft and supple. The child should be put to tha breast from six to twelve hours after birth to stimulate secretion of milk.
Needless to say, nipples should be kept scrupulously clean, being washed before and after each feed. Apply glycerine and borax mixed with an equal quantity of brandy after each feed. The breast should be held back so that the babys nostrils get a free current of air. Rest, plenty of good food and abundance of milk are required by the nursing mother.