Breastfeeding is one of the most amazing acts of motherhood, yet the most undermined by many. The first taste of nourishment that a new-born baby gets is the mother's milk. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the importance of breastfeeding and the correct way of feeding your baby.
Though breastfeeding is a natural act, many new mothers are unaware of the proper way to hold and breastfeed their babies. Nowadays many hospitals provide a crash course in breastfeeding right after the baby birth. However, for many, this first-time instruction might not be enough. Here is a stress-free guide to breastfeeding your newborn.
- Breastfeeding right after you have given birth is a great idea. It is this point that the baby's sucking instinct is strong. Even though you might not be producing enough milk yet, the first thin fluid, colostrum is of immense importance for baby's immunity since it contains antibodies.
- The proper positioning is very important for both baby and the new mother. The baby should be in mother's arm with one arm supporting the baby from beneath and the other one positioning the nipple towards the baby's mouth. A nurse or pediatrician will guide you to find the comfortable nursing position.
- Make sure that you nurse on demand. Babies need frequent feeds around every 2 hours. This gap is important for your breasts to produce ample milk. When you are feeding on demand, your breasts tend to produce more milk till you set up a routine for the feeding.
- New mothers make a lot of milk which might make their breasts hard, big and painful. To relieve this, breastfeed your baby frequently and on demand. You can talk to your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers or warm compresses to your breasts 5-10 minutes before your breastfeed. This will ease the flow of milk and relieve you of the pain.
- If you are no producing enough milk, do not consider giving any other supplements or sugar water to your baby. This may interfere with your baby's appetite. The more you feed on demand, the more your milk supply regulates. Talk to your concerns over breastfeeding.
- It is not a good idea to introduce pacifiers early. Delay artificial nipples as long as possible. Sucking at an artificial nipple or a bottle requires different sucking function, which might confuse your baby.
- If you are producing too much milk, use nursing pads to prevent embarrassing leakage between feedings.
- While spitting up during or after a feeding is common among babies, if the baby is not gaining weight of vomiting too much, consult your doctor.
- Nipple cracking is a common factor among many mothers during an early post-partum period. Talk to your doctor if you can use any nipple cream or ointment. Also, clean your nipples with warm water and cotton after every nursing.
- Infection symptoms such as fever, redness in breast and painful lumps are a reason for concern. Seek for immediate medical attention.
- It is very important for breastfeeding mothers to take ample rest and eat nutritious and balanced meals. Give up caffeine and alcohol completely as it may affect your breast milk. Drink plenty of fluids and take quality rest to maintain a good health.