quinta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2012

o tamanho não é tudo!

Encontrei este texto no meu facebook. Achei muito bom pois geralmente não se fala sobre este assunto e muitas mulheres pensam que o tamanho das suas glândulas mamárias vai influenciar na quantidade e qualidade do leite que venham a produzir. Como ex-mamas tipo "ovo estrelado", posso afirmar que foi uma preocupação minha antes de engravidar, mas que logo durante a gravidez percebi que ia ser bem sucedida, da maneira como "elas" cresciam ;)

It is the amount of fatty tissue that makes some breasts bigger than others. In other words, the milk producing apparatus is about the same in both small and big breasts. Therefore breast size is not linked to the ability to produce breast milk and breastfeed per se. Even flat-chested women, who don't have practically any fat cells in their breasts, can breastfeed. Besides, you really don't know your final breast size until after your first pregnancy, because the milk-producing cells and milk ducts grow and branch out a lot during the third trimester.

However, breast size does affect the breastfeeding relationship in at least two different ways. First of all, many times the babies of large breasted women have some difficulty in latching on in the beginning because they have such a tiny mouth in comparison to the areola they are supposed to take into their mouth and suck on. This problem usually goes away as the baby grows older. A lactation consultant can help with the initial problems; for example, the mother can pump the milk during the early weeks while the baby is learning a proper latch, and the pumped milk can be fed to the baby in a bottle.

Secondarily, the research of Peter Hartmann has shown that the milk storage capacity varies a lot between women. Breast milk is produced continually and it accumulates in the milk ducts between feedings. During feeding, a baby typically empties about 70-80% of the milk in the breast. Hartmann found in his studies that some women had 3 times as big a storage capacity than others - but that all of them produced the same amount of milk over a 24-hour period. In general, bigger breasts of course would have a bigger storage but it was noted that breast size was not always a good predictor of production or storage capacity.

In practical terms it means that women with small storage capacity breasts need to nurse more often, and the babies take in less per feeding. Women whose breasts have a larger storage capacity can 'deliver' more milk in one feeding, and so the baby needs to nurse fewer times per day. This further confirms the need of cue feeding or demand feeding where the baby sets the frequency of breastfeeding - and not the clock or the pediatrician or the grandmother.

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