August 6, 2019
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Welcoming a baby in your life is an overwhelming reality and it numbs your senses for good. However, this newborn comes with loads of responsibilities. Right from thinking of a name to making sure he/she gets all the vaccines done and more and more.
Amidst all this, there is one more thing that a new mother must be completely aware of, i.e. is Breastfeeding. This process is a very personal choice. But if you decide to breastfeed your baby, you should know everything about the process. You should be in an environment where you get the required support and have all the answers to the questions related to breastfeeding.
We hope the following tips on breastfeeding will help you in your journey of being a new and helpful mother:
- It is very helpful to read books on breastfeeding to clear all your doubts and fears.
- Take guidance from other breastfeeding mothers.
- It helps if you have a network of mothers who have the same mind make-up as you. Having similar mindsets eases the process a little.
- If you are not sure at the time of birth about breastfeeding, take a one month trial to understand your comfort with the process. You can always switch from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding but reversing it will be difficult for the young ones to adjust.
- It is stated that the first month is the most difficult time for breastfeeding, if you get through that, rest assured you are good to go.
- It is essential that you stick to your decision, so if you have started to breastfeed, take your time. Be resolute.
- Develop a strong breastfeeding support system by consulting a lactation expert long before your baby is born.
- Browse through all the breastfeeding essentials and buy them beforehand.
- It is very helpful that you buy a good breastfeeding pillow. It will help you in positioning the baby comfortably and you can smoothly swift positions without hampering the process.
- Keep nipple creams and breast shells handy. Nipple creams help you treat the soreness and breast shells assist in collecting any leaking milk while feeding on one breast and milk starts pouring down from the other.
- Buy a good nursing bra as it will keep you comfortable and supported when you breastfeed. Also, it will help you in holding the breast pads intact.
- Make sure you start nursing early. Initially, there will be just a few drops of colostrums that will turn into more detectable milk after a few days.
- If initial days are a bit tough and you do not have much of a supply, try pumping and breastfeeding remedies to encourage the flow.
- We as mothers have to be more responsible for our health. As soon as you discover about your pregnancy, make sure you start eating a healthy and balanced diet. It will help you to produce the healthiest of breast milk.
- There is no one better than a well-learned mother who knows all the benefits, issues or problems she is going to face while breastfeeding. So, mothers educate yourself from the early onset of your pregnancy. Know what you are getting yourself into and stay diligent.
These are some of the tips that can help a first-time mother to cope with the new process of breastfeeding.
Now, you should also know the kind of problems one faces when breastfeeding for the first time.
- Sore or cracked nipples: Sore nipples happen when your child is not held in the right position or has issues latching on. However, it is necessary that you take help from your midwife or breastfeeding specialist.
- Not being able to produce enough breast milk: The initial days of breastfeeding are a little difficult and you might worry that you are not producing enough milk for your baby. Though you do not need to worry, you will start producing enough milk in a few days and you might try to stimulate the milk flow by switching from one breast to other from time to time.
- Breast engorgement: It happens when your breasts are too full of milk, they start feeling heavy and painful. It generally happens in the early days as your body and your child are still getting used to the entire process of breastfeeding.
- When the baby is not latching on properly: Breastfeeding is a very personal and new kind of feeling both for the baby and the mother. As natural as it sounds, both of you need to learn it together. Try reading on various latching on techniques through books or other moms to help you through this time.
- Producing excess breast milk: Sometimes it so happens that the mother produces more than the baby can consume. Thus, you need to take help from your midwife or health specialist to help you see through this problem. Also learning how to make your child to cope up with large amounts of milk can be extremely helpful.
- Breastfeeding and thrush: Occasionally the mothers can develop a fungal infection on their nipples when they become cracked or damaged. It is advised to see a health visitor or a GP.
- When the milk duct gets blocked: If you ignore the breast engorgement, it might lead to blockage of the milk ducts. You will feel a small lump in your breast if the duct is blocked. To ensure this problem does not persist, try to frequently feed the baby through the affected breast.
- Mastitis(inflammation of the breasts): This is a condition that develops when the blocked milk ducts are not relieved. If you feel the breasts are hot and painful and you have developed flu-like symptoms, it is essential that you see a doctor.
- When your kid is constantly nursing: It is extremely normal for the kids to be hungry very often. You have to understand that infants have a very small stomach and thus they need to be fed frequently.
- Baby won’t stay awake while nursing: In the initial days of breastfeeding, both you and your baby will be sleep deprived. It is completely normal if he sleeps but will eventually form the habit of getting the tummy full.
All these problems stated above have no major consequences. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that breastfeeding is not just a natural process but it marks the onset of good health of your baby. Thus, it is of paramount importance that you seek solutions at the right time and do not prolong your health issues if any.
Breastfeeding has been a kind of tradition in our culture; however, we have found that the rate of breastfeeding is as low as 30% in some groups of women. Yes, it is a personal choice but one should always make a well-informed decision. Studies show that breastfeeding has major health benefits, both for the kid and the mother.
For the babies
- Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for the baby: Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients that your kid will need in the first 6 months. The first milk, Colostrum is thick, rich in protein and is loaded with a lot of nutrients. It helps in developing the digestive system of your newborn.
- Breast milk contains important antibodies: It is loaded with antibodies like immunoglobin A, which prevents your baby from falling ill.
- Protects your kid from Diseases: Breast milk protects your infant from a number of infections, and diseases including allergies, celiac disease, and diabetes.
- Breast milk promotes a healthy weight: It is found that breastfed babies have lower obesity rates than bottle-fed babies.
- Breastfeeding might make your kids smarter: It is believed that breastfeeding affects your child’s brain development and reduces the risk of future behavior and learning problems.
For the mothers
- Breastfeeding helps in weight loss: It is seen that breastfeeding moms lose weight easily after the first 3 months.
- Breastfeeding helps in contracting the uterus: Breastfeeding increases oxytocin production, a hormone that helps in contracting the uterus to its previous smaller size.
- Breastfeeding reduces the chances of suffering from depression: Breastfeeding helps the mother and the kid to have a bonding time. The post-delivery days are hard for some mothers and it might lead to depression if they do not have anything better to hold onto.
- Breastfeeding saves a lot of time and money: You save a lot of time and money by not indulging into buying or making a formula for the baby. You do not have to worry about heating up the bottle or to measure your baby’s food needs.
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding is a completely personal choice but one should make this decision only when one knows what she is getting into. Thus, make sure you have an excellent breastfeeding support team that might include a midwife, a health visitor, a lactation expert, a nutritionist, and other breastfeeding moms. Read as much as possible or attend classes to make sure that you have full knowledge about the process.
Happy breastfeeding mothers!
Tags: breastfeeding guide, world breastfeeding week