Breastfeeding tips for new mothers focused on educating them about the best ways to breastfeed their babies. Based on scientific and sound practices, these tips help multiply the benefits for the mother and her child facilitating the joyous celebration of motherhood.
Breastfeeding is the only source of safe feeding for a baby for the first six months. The infant finds the mother’s milk readily available and easy to digest. A perfect blend of dietary requirements, your milk provides a child with ample and optimal nutrition to grow. The overwhelming presence of antibodies in it secures the baby from infections and allergies. Mother’s milk, according to research findings, lowers the risk of serious diseases throughout the life. Breastfeeding is also directly related to the physical and mental development of a child.
Many benefits of breastfeeding tips for new mothers go beyond the nutritional aspects. It helps mothers burn extra calories added during the pregnancy. Breastfeeding is known to contribute to the reduction in the future risk of breast and ovarian cancers, arthritis, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases. Breastfeeding brings in a closer bond between the mother and her child. Successful breastfeeding also constitutes an important component of essential care for a one-week-old baby.
Though breastfeeding is natural, there are many aspects to learn and do it skillfully. The following are a few important breastfeeding tips for new mothers.
Breastfeeding Tips #1: Start Right After Child Birth
Welcome your baby to the new world and start breastfeeding. The first few hours after the birth are very important for breastfeeding. It reduces the risk of post-partum depression while supplying nutrition to the newborn. Colostrum in the milk soon after childbirth has plenty of nutrition and other essentials that facilitate the development of digestive tract in your baby.
A baby usually seeks the breast as you cuddle her with skin-to-skin contact for the first time. Allow the baby to lick your breast and feed. She may have trouble finding the nipple. Ask the caregiver, family members, or nurse to help the baby to get the nipple in her mouth.
Breastfeeding Tips #2: Find Out The Right Position
There are many positions to breastfeed your baby. You may try side-lying, holding the baby across the lap with support from the breastfeeding-side arm, cradle holding using the opposite-side arm, or any other position that allows you maximum comfort. Also, ensure the child is comfortable enough to get the feed without any physical disturbance.
Usually, mothers do laid-back breastfeeding immediately after the childbirth. However, the child may not feel comfortable as it grows. Thus, you have to find out the most viable position for both or change positions depending on the situation to breastfeed the child.
Breastfeeding Tips #3: Watch the Baby, Not the Clock
New mothers often make a mistake when they plan the breastfeeding schedule. A newborn requires breastfeeding 15 to 20 times a day and there is no definite time for it. The baby may feel the pinch of hunger without any regular time interval. Thus, it is important to be guided by hunger cues of your baby instead of scheduled feeding, at least for the first few weeks.
Look for hunger cues, such as crying, sucking noises, rooting, putting hands in mouth, and the facial expression of a baby. She may open mouths and lick lips when feeling hungry. Breastfeed your baby as soon as these signs are visible and don’t allow the baby to become restless for want of milk.
Breastfeeding Tips #4: Don’t Be in A Hurry
Breastfeeding is a sacred duty and must be performed with apt attention and to the fullest. Avoid being in a hurry. Sit or lie down comfortably and with relaxed shoulders. Use pillows to support your body posture. Get your baby closer to your breast. The best position is your baby’s nose touching your nipple and chin resting on your breast. Provide adequate and comfortable support to the neck of the baby while breastfeeding. Use your four fingers to elevate your breast and feed the child.
Allow the breastfeeding to continue until the baby stops sucking on its own. Don’t forget to burp the baby after every feed.
Breastfeeding Tips #5: Switch between Breasts
Switch breasts while breastfeeding your baby. Keep feeding the baby from one breast for 20 to 30 minutes during the first four months and 10 to 15 minutes thereafter. Repeat the procedure, until the baby is fully satisfied.
Switching breasts allows a better supply of milk and adequate nutrition to the child. When the baby starts taking long pauses while sucking the nipple, take it off and burp. Then offer the next breast.
Breastfeeding Tips #6: Don’t Shy Away Even If It Hurts
At the beginning, many new mothers complain of pain during breastfeeding. Their nipples are raw and boobs are sore. The burden of the new responsibility and fear of not producing enough milk may also play a part. Inconvenience and fear of letting down add to the pain psychology too. But as you progress, you feel comfort and enjoy breastfeeding your baby. After all, practice makes one perfect.
Keep the nipple moisturized and only think of your baby. Just think about the responsibility and try to become the most wonderful mother. Talk to friends breastfeeding or visit a lactation consultant. You can also read guides online for support and skill. Don’t shy away from breastfeeding in the public, as this is the most natural and sacred job of a mother.
Breastfeeding Tips #7: Feed You, Feed Baby
A mother’s health and wellbeing are vital for the safety, health, and proper care of her baby. Unless you are in good health, your child will be deprived of adequate breastfeeding and care. If you are not fit and fine, you may not be able to breastfeed ample milk to the little one. So, it is essential to take care of yourself.
Eat healthy food complete with nutrients and increase the intake of fluids. Good pregnancy diet also plays a part in breast milk generation. Regular exercise and sound sleep help in reducing the daily emotional roller coaster ride linked to the nervousness of being a first-time mother. A relaxed feeling is conducive to improved breast milk secretion. Fall back on family and friends when you need help. Never avoid visiting lactation or medical experts even at the slightest hint of discomfort.
Breastfeeding Tips #8: Do I Make Enough Milk
A generalized perception among new mothers, it is often lead to many misgivings. Until the baby is fine and active, there is no problem with the milk supply. Milk secretion usually starts increasing a few days after the childbirth and it augments as you nourish the baby.
There are certain factors that influence milk productions. Lack of sleep, stress, alcohol intake and dehydration are most common cause of the reduced flow of mother’s milk. Avoid these from impacting your ability to breastfeed the baby. Play with your baby to stay relaxed. Take care of your diet and do breast to nipple massage to enhance the milk volume. Research also shows breast massage by husbands promotes to the milk secretion in new mothers.
Remember, weight loss of a baby in the first week of birth is natural and it is no way associated with reduced supply of breast milk.
Breastfeeding Tips #9: Breast Care is Important
Unless you take adequate care of your breasts, you may experience pain and inconvenience during breastfeeding. The baby may also suffer from inadequate nourishing. Mothers must keep themselves hydrated and moisturize their breasts often. The size of breasts could cause a lot of inconvenience for breastfeeding mothers. The best solution lies in buying comfy nursing tanks and bras. These provide god care and support to breasts and are tailor-made to facilitate breastfeeding without any inconvenience.
Breastfeeding Tips #10: Wait To Use Bottles
Avoid milk pumping and bottle feeding the baby at least for the first few days until the milk supply is fully established. Let the baby have the milk by sucking breast nipples. Nourishing boosts milk supply while direct feeding is better placed to empty your breast than a pump. It improves milk supply and makes you feel more relaxed too. Simultaneously, you are saved from the daily retinue of bottle sterilizing and cleaning while recovering from the childbirth.
Once the milk supply is normal, you can use pumps and bottles to supplement the breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Tips #10: Foods, Meds, and Breast Milk
Contrary to suggestions, eating certain food does not increase the milk supply in breastfeeding moms. Milk supply improves with nourishing the baby. The more a baby suckles, the better is the milk secretion and supply.
There is not exclusive food that can boost your milk production. But a balanced diet with a variety of nutritious elements and a large amount of fluid intake helps.
Avoid foods that make your baby gassy. Breastfeeding could be a reason for colic in infants.
Research shows certain foods, such as garlic and mint, add to the taste of mother’s milk and entice the baby to suck nipples more frequently. This, in turn, improves milk secretion.
There are certain medications that pass to the baby through breastfeeding. Avoid having these drugs and consult your doctor for alternatives.
Breastfeeding Tips #11: Working and Breastfeeding
Working mothers should take leave until the milk supply and breastfeeding are fully established. When you rejoin your job or start attending classes, pump out the milk and store it in the refrigerator. Instruct the caregiver to warm up the milk by mixing hot water before feeding the baby.
Remember, it is safe to store the breast milk in the refrigerator for a maximum period of 3 days. You can keep it in frozen condition for six months. Avoid heating up the breast milk using a stove or microwave, as it may diminish the nutritional and antibiotic properties in it.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com