Top Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding feeding should be the most natural thing in the world for a mum and her newborn, but in practice, it can be very different. Traumas during childbirth, lack of proper guidance, stress and lack of support can all contribute to difficulties in implementing and continuing breastfeeding.
As a mum of 2 children who were all breastfed for differing amounts of time, it proved both rewarding and easy or difficult and stressful at different times. My firstborn was fed for 6 months as I introduced an expressed bottle too early to allow dad to feed the baby and he suffered from nipple confusion and hence screamed every time I tried to breastfeed him. Over time we managed to overcome this issue and I breastfed my baby for a year and a half. My second was never offered a bottle and fed easily and successfully for one year. He was much happier, and I was much less stressed!
I write this article to encourage new moms to do their very best to breastfeed their babies as the benefits of breast milk are proven and well-known, but also to let other moms know that it isn’t always plain sailing and it is OK to give up after a fair trial. That sort of statement doesn’t sit well with breastfeeding enthusiasts, but the truth is that for some moms for one reason or another it just becomes too difficult.
Do you know that one of the best times to start breastfeeding your child is when you hold the baby for the first time in the delivery room? During early breastfeeding moments, your body naturally produces minute amounts of special milk, which is known as colostrum, to protect your baby from infection. Your newborn’s tummy is very small, and these small amounts are enough to fill it up. As your child’s tummy grows, your milk will also change regarding quantity. Now that you have understood the usefulness and pertinence of early breastfeeding, here are some essential tips to help kick start your breastfeeding journey well:
Get in touch with a lactation consultant
After knowing the official date for your delivery, you should find out with your doctor for details on how to stay in contact with a lactation consultant. Make sure you do this before you leave the hospital as you will need all the additional resources and support when you are back at home.
Do not use a pacifier right away
In most hospitals, they will not recommend that you use pacifiers for babies right away. If pacifiers are given too early, it may harm the results of breastfeeding. It is pertinent that you only give a pacifier two to four weeks after delivery when it is certain that the breastfeeding is going well. Click here to read more about the proper use of pacifiers in newborns.
Avoid formula milk if not necessary
It is normal for most mums to worry that they might not have sufficient breast milk to give to their child. Keep in mind that your child’s tummy is tiny. The weight of your baby will also be checked daily, and your health specialists will determine whether or not it is necessary to provide formula milk in addition to breast milk. There are risks that your breast milk supply will drop if you give formula milk to your baby when it is not necessary at all.
There should be no pain when breastfeeding
One way to find out if your baby is properly latched on is to take note of pain. There should be no pain. Otherwise, there may be an issue with the positioning of your infant’s mouth. Ensure that your healthcare team is informed if you experience pain and allow them to help rectify the problem. Here you can find top tips to avoid getting sore/cracked nipples caused by incorrect breastfeeding techniques.
Sleep in the same room with your baby
Research has shown that new mums have difficulty falling asleep when their infants are in a separate room such as a nursery. What’s more, they find it harder to start a smoother breastfeeding session when they don’t sleep in the same room with their newborns. Sleeping with your baby in the same room or sharing a bed with your baby is called Co-Sleeping. If possible, try to request to sleep in the same room with your baby so that you can create bonding through the early days.
Request that your baby is placed skin-to-skin on your chest
Ask for this to take place immediately after delivering the baby. You should take advantage of what experts call the “Golden Hour.” The nurses can still check your newborn while you hold and bond with him or her. You can stay in this position for a full hour or until the first breastfeeding session is completed.
As you can see, the different factors above are important and can affect the outcome of your overall breastfeeding experience. If you are not sure at any point in time, you should contact your lactation consultant for help.
So, if everyone you meet is suddenly giving you breastfeeding tips, remember the ones I just shared with you. At a time when you are learning so much new stuff, you want to make sure that the advice you listen to is helpful and being provided by someone who knows what she is talking about. In any case, you should always remember, this is your baby and you know the best what is good for your baby. Trust your natural mommy instincts.