Top Tips for breastfeeding success for new moms
Almost every new mother expects breastfeeding to be natural and instinctive. After all, every other mother you’ve seen breastfeed makes it look so easy. Plus, aren’t all babies born with the natural instinct to latch on and the reflex to suckle?
However, easy is not always the case for most new mothers and their baby’s when it comes to breastfeeding. It often takes a little bit of time and effort to learn the basic techniques on how to properly breastfeed a baby. From how to correctly position and when to know when the baby is done feeding, it’s a learning process.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP), recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies from childbirth to about six months. However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), few adhere to this recommendation. According to them, three out of the four mothers start out well, only to stop before the six months are over.
In fact, CDC states that by three months of breastfeeding, the numbers often decrease to 33%. By the time six months are up, the numbers decrease to 13%. These statistics are extremely low and worrying. Yet, why do so many mothers fail to breastfeed their babies for the entire recommended duration?
As previously mentioned, breastfeeding takes a lot of time and effort. Below, are a few more reasons as to why mothers find it hard to breastfeed.
- Low breast milk supply
- Clogged ducts
- Inverted nipples
- Sore and cracked nipple: Mothers find it painful to breastfeed under such conditions.
- Lack of support: Not too many women are given the support they need as new mothers. The spouse, surrounding family and friends are advised to give her the support and help she needs in taking care of the child.
- Lack of informational support: As previously mentioned, most new mothers expect breastfeeding to be natural and easy. Healthcare facilities should ensure that women are prepared for the challenges that come with breastfeeding, and how to deal with them.
That said, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists together with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly support breastfeeding. In fact, they recommend that mothers breastfeed for a period of six months after the birth of the baby.
Why so? Numerous studies show that breastfeeding is not only healthy for the baby, but for the mother as well. Breast milk contains numerous nutrients that are extremely beneficial for the baby. It is said to contain vital vitamins, minerals and proteins, that help the baby grow healthy and strong.
Breastfeeding is essential in helping the mother shed off the pre-pregnancy weight. Also, it helps the abdomen return back to its original size as well as lower the chances of getting cancer.
There are numerous other benefits that come with breastfeeding, both for the mother and the baby. However, that is a story for another day. For the purposes of this article, we shall be focusing on some of the top breastfeeding tips. These tips should help make breastfeeding easier for mother and baby so that both can reap the necessary benefits.
Best Tips for breastfeeding success
Numerous health experts advise mothers to start breastfeeding immediately. If you feel strong and able enough, try to breastfeed the child within the first two hours after birth. Recent research confirms that this is when t newborn baby is most eager to feed.
It is essential that you stay hydrated as a breastfeeding mother. This allows you to replenish, maintain and, probably even increase your breast milk supply. According to Donna Murray, RN, BSN, water makes up for 90% of your breast milk.
However, you are not limited to just water, you can also drink milk or fruit juice. As long as the fluid will not pose a threat to the baby’s health.
Hold Your Baby In The Right Position
Finding the right position to hold your baby is the first and most important step. Have the baby’s body facing you and your breasts. Do this in such a way that the baby’s head is completely in line with the rest of the body.
This position is not only essential for comfort, but it helps make swallowing easier for the baby.
Touch or Tickle Baby’s Lips
After you have the baby positioned properly, the next step is to open the mouth of the baby. You can encourage the baby to do this by touch or tickling its mouth your nipple. If baby doesn’t open her mouth, try touching or stroking her cheek or placing some milk on her lips.
Let The Baby Latch On
As previously mentioned, babies are born with a natural instinct to latch on. Hence, mothers are recommended to let the baby latch by themselves, without you having to force it. To know if the baby has properly latched on, the baby’s lips will be splayed outward.
Make sure the baby’s lips are fully covering the nipple and areola. This way, the baby will be able to effectively suckle milk out of the mothers baby without a problem.
Let The Baby Breastfeed Until Full
Normally, babies breastfeed for at least 20 to 30 minutes, maybe even less. However, every child is different, and it is essential that you let the baby breastfeed until she is done. Some even feed until an entire breast is drained of milk.
You’ll know she’s done breastfeeding after her suckling slows down, or she stops completely. Carefully unlatch your breast and watch the baby’s response. If the baby doesn’t react, she’s done.
Tips on pain while breastfeeding
Seek medical advice on the way forward. More than likely, the doctor should give you some medication to help with the pain. Also, they should also advise you on the necessary steps to take in the easing the pain while at home as well.
Ensure That The Baby Is Properly Latched
Improper latching will end up causing a number of breast discomforts. Hence, it is essential that you ensure that your baby has latched onto your breasts properly. The baby’s mouth should cover the nipples as well as the areola to make suckling easy.
If you hear any suckling noises while the baby is suckling, the baby has not properly latched on. Breakaway gently by pressing a clean finger in the baby’s mouth, before trying again.
Moisturize Your Nipples
Nursing ointments are great for moisturizing dry and cracked nipples. The moisture should help ease the pain, as well as help the nipples to heal effectively.
Express Some Milk
This tip is extremely helpful for those that suffer from breast engorgement. Breast engorgement is often caused by too much breast milk. This then leads to the development of large and swollen breasts that are painful to the touch.
Try expressing some milk into bottles to help ease the pain. Also, try breastfeeding as much as possible, especially when the baby is hungry. Also, those that start breastfeeding immediately after childbirth are less likely to develop engorged breasts.