When you breastfeed your baby for a few initial days or weeks, the fluid your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. Colostrum is the root of antibodies that protect your baby against disease. However, if you've never breastfed before, you may think of it coming naturally to you and your newborn baby. Nursing (breastfeeding) is a learned process. None of us, not even babies, know how to do it.
To increase your chance of success, have a look at the given breastfeeding tips:
Try breastfeeding your newborn within first few hours after birth. It helps in the contraction of your uterus and provides the valuable colostrum to your baby.
Have a lactation consultant or nurse while you're in the hospital to check how your baby latches on during breastfeeding. While it may get uncomfortable for you when Baby latches on but it won't be painful. Even if it gets painful and makes you grimace every time, then you may not have the right position.
Get ready for your milk to come in. It happens on about the third or fourth day after delivery. You'll get aware of it because your breasts will suddenly increase several cup sizes! Speaking of which, invest in several well-fitting nursing bras and do remember to pack one in your hospital bag.
After birth, plan to breastfeed your baby at least 8 to 12 times in every 24-hour period. Your baby knows how to give you hunger signals, such as he/she will be searching for your nipples; put hands in the mouth, and look increasingly alert. Thus, always feed on demand.
Try not to use a bottle or other nipples like pacifiers until the baby has established.
Breastfeed in a peaceful environment to help your milk let down. After a while, the process will get comfortable. All it will take for your milk to come is unhooking your bra for the baby, or even seeing any infant crying.
But, you should know that breastfeeding your baby not only benefits him/her but you, too.
It can help your uterus to take its pre-pregnancy shape and decreases post-delivery bleeding.
Breastfeeding helps you burn those extra pounds you've gained during pregnancy. You burn up to 500 calories when breastfeeding.
It can reduce the risk of postpartum depression, and breast and ovarian cancer.
It saves money!
Prevalent Breastfeeding challenges and tips to tackle them:
1. Sore and Cracked Nipples
Check the position of your baby when she latches on; smooth lanolin over your nipples after each breastfeeding session, and let your nipples dry first post each nursing session. Also, swap which breast you start on for every session.
Initially, try limiting nursing sessions to 5 to 10 minutes for each side until your nipples toughen up. If you hear any clicking or sucking sound, it might be possible that you aren't breastfeeding your baby in a right way. In addition to this, keep your baby close to you, and hold her head firmly so that her mouth conceal as much areola as possible.
2. Blocked milk duct
Letting warm water run over your breasts in the shower, warm compresses, or even laying cabbage leaves over breasts can for sure help release some of the pressure. Also, you can try pumping some milk between breastfeeds.
3. Breast infection or mastitis
If you have the symptoms of flu and one breast is red, sore, and hot, you may have mastitis. You'll likely need an antibiotic to diagnose the infection. Meanwhile, you need to breastfeed with the other side as much as you can. To help cure mastitis, make sure you empty your breasts. If you do want to take antibiotics, supplement with a probiotic, or consume a container of live culture yogurt every day, to prevent the next possible complication, thrush.
4. Increasing the supply of milk
Breastfeeding is a supply-and-demand process. The more you breastfeed, the more your body makes milk. So, when your baby is under a growth spurt and seems like breastfeeding all the time, it's baby's signals for your body to up the milk supply for her new nutritional requirements.
There are plenty of advertisements out there saying that to breastfeed your baby is the best, natural thing. They all lie! In fact, breastfeeding is an adjustment and can take a lot of time. The real beauty of breastfeeding is when you and your baby figure out how to latch, how to hold, what to drink, what to eat, and how to sit. So, make use of the mentioned breastfeeding tips in this article to realize you're doing something amazing.