What to Do If the Mother Is Unavailable to Breastfeed?

Morinaga Platinum ♦ 1 June 2017

What to Do If the Mother Is Unavailable to Breastfeed?

Breast milk is the best food for the child, as it contains various beneficial nutritional contents to fulfill their requirements. Mothers want nothing more than to give the best for their child. However, there are certain conditions or situations in the mother or the child that makes breastfeeding not possible to be done.

Conditions in Mother

Specific conditions present in the mother, for instance:

  1. HIV positive mothers, in order to prevent transmission of HIV present in the breast milk to the child.
  2. Mothers undergoing medications for certain conditions, such as epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, depression, and other conditions, where the medications consumed may affect the child.
  3. Mothers who are unable to produce adequate breast milk due to breast reduction surgery, hormonal abnormalities, and other conditions.
  4. Infection on the nipple of the mother by herpes simplex virus.
  5. Mothers with severe diseases, including eclampsia (a serious complication of pregnancy), psychosis (a serious psychiatric disorder), cancer, and other conditions.
  6. Mothers with dependency to narcotic drugs.

Contiditons in Children

Specific conditions present in the child, for instance:

  1. Children born with a genetic abnormality where the body does not have certain enzymes required to digest milk, such as galactosemia (a condition in which the child is unable to digest one type of sugar known as galactose), maple syrup urine disease (a disorder due to the lack of an enzyme involving amino acid metabolism), and phenylketonuria (a genetic disease causing the body to be unable to digest phenylalanine).
  2. Premature newborns who therefore require more calories, fats, and proteins compared to term newborns. Due to this condition, the child would require additional formula milk specifically for premature newborns.
  3. Children with a risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), for instance those with low birth weights and those with diabetic mothers.
  4. Children with dehydration.
  5. Children with a weight loss of more than 10%.
  6. Children with yellow appearance due to increased bilirubin levels.

If one of the aforementioned conditions is observed in the mother or the child, do not feel down at first. If mothers are still permitted to breastfeed, they may attempt to do so. Any amount of breast milk provided to the child will be beneficial for them.

Mothers can consult lactation counselors or pediatricians based on the condition that occur. If there are no other alternatives that can be selected for mothers to continue to provide breast milk or if the child requires additional intake, the pediatrician may recommend the provision of formula milk. The formula milk served to the child should contain important nutrients such as lactulose, Bifidobacterium, AA, DHA, and alpha-lactalbumin.

Generally, a three-day old child can consume 30 mL of milk per feeding session. The child can consume approximately 150 – 200 mL of formula milk per kilogram of body weight. The amount for each feeding session will increase as the child grows. Therefore, the heavier the child, the more amount of formula milk required.

When providing formula milk, it is important to ensure the cleanliness of the hands, spoons, milk bottles, and other equipments that may be used in the preparation of formula milk. Use drinking water that has been heated to its boiling temperature to prepare the milk. Failure to comply with these basic rules may increase the risk of infections for the child.