Choking occurs when your baby takes more milk into its mouth than he can swallow at a time. Excess milk can spill into the airway and block the flow of air, which leads to choking. It can be a frightening sight for any mother to see her baby coughing and sputtering milk while struggling to breathe. However, with a good understanding of how it occurs, it is possible to avoid this problem while feeding your baby.
Since it is a bit counter-intuitive, many mothers wonder, can a baby choke on milk? They definitely can, under certain circumstances, and it is more common than one might think. Excess milk coupled with poor feeding positions is the most common reason why babies choke while feeding. Here are two ways that this happens:
Although some nursing mothers consider having excess breast milk better than having insufficient milk supply, it carries its own set of discomforts for both the mother and the baby. An oversupply of milk means you will need to try different positions for a comfortable feed.
Excessive milk supply also leads to forceful let-downs in some women who have what is called a fast Milk Ejection Reflex. The milk releases from their milk ducts in a forceful, almost explosive manner. Look for these signs in your baby while feeding:
When you find your baby choking on milk, there are first aid methods that can be used to dislodge the milk from blocking the airway. Since babies have delicate bodies, it must be done with caution. Here are some tips for when babies choke on milk:
It’s important to note that if the baby doesn’t recover and becomes unconscious, he should be rushed to the nearest hospital, while still being administered the dislodging procedure.
There are several ways in which you can control an oversupply problem and prevent the baby from choking. Here are some tips for the same:
It is important to understand that excessive milk can harm your baby as well, so even if you have an oversupply of milk produced, all of it need not be fed to the baby. You can always pump out the excess, if required. Feed your baby as long as he is satiated. Look out for signs of hunger in your baby, which are usually if he:
An ideal amount of feedings is between 8-12 feeds a day, each lasting 30-40 minutes. However, this number may differ for each baby, based on growth spurts, metabolism, etc. Let your baby feed until he is satisfied, which happens when the baby automatically let’s go, rather than limiting sessions. As long as your baby is healthy and not hungry, you’re feeding him enough.
Precautionary measures taken before and during feeding can avoid choking in babies, while they are being nursed.
This post was last modified on February 3, 2021 6:13 pm
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