Many new mothers find breastfeeding to be one of the most amazing acts of motherhood as, for the first time, they provide nourishment for their baby. Having said that, it's important to be honest about breastfeeding: although it is a natural act, it does not always come naturally.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
In the past, new mothers had older generations of mentors to provide them with breastfeeding tips and help ease the process. Nowadays, many new moms get a crash course on how to feed new-born baby at the hospital right after their baby's birth. Unfortunately, this one-time instruction might not suffice!
Breastfeeding takes patience and practice. If you are having trouble with, for example, getting your baby to latch on, or you find that the process is causing you pain, you could probably seek help. Talk to other mothers, your nurse, paediatrician or take a course at the hospital on how to breastfeed new-born. Breastfeeding is essential to you and your baby, but it needs to be a pleasant activity and not one that is filled will worry and tears.
Get an Early Start
A good time to begin breastfeeding is soon after delivery, when your baby is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though you won't be producing milk just as yet, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains antibodies. Starting early is one of the most valuable breast feeding tips that new mothers might miss out on. Keep this in mind to avoid complications in the future that might prove stressful for you and your new-born.
For new moms it is important to know how to breastfeed properly. Your baby should be positioned comfortably on your lap or in your arms. Perhaps you could also use a pillow to support her head, or use one behind your back to make sure you are at ease. A comfortable seating and nursing position will minimize soreness on your breasts. Ask a paediatrician, nurse or other knowledgeable person around you if you are unclear about the process. The process might take some time in the beginning, but eventually with help from experienced mothers or nurses, and also your own maternal instincts, you will settle on a position and routine that’s comfortable for you and your baby!
Nurse on Demand
Newborns need to be nursed frequently (about every two hours), but not necessarily on any strict schedule. Feeding your baby on demand will stimulate your breasts to produce plenty of milk. Later, your baby can settle into a more predictable routine. However, because breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breast-fed babies usually eat more frequently than bottle-fed babies.
As a new mother you will usually produce a lot of milk, which can make your breasts big, hard and painful for a few days. To relieve this engorgement, look up on some infant feeding guidelines, and read about experiences shared by other women who might have gone through something similar. Ideally, you should feed your baby frequently and on demand until your body gets acquainted with her needs and adjusts accordingly. In the meantime, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain relievers in case of pain or discomfort. You can also go for these simple home remedies: apply warm compresses to your breasts for a few minutes before feeding to stimulate milk flow and use an ice-pack on your breasts for 10 minutes before or after feeding for additional pain relief.
If you are concerned about your baby not getting enough to eat, talk to your doctor. Don't give your baby sugar water or other supplements if you feel that you're not producing enough milk. This may actually interfere with your baby's appetite for nursing, and that can lead to a diminished milk supply. Remember: The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce.
Delay Artificial Nipples
Almost any newborn feeding guide would suggest you to delay artificial nipples! It's best to wait a week or two before introducing a pacifier, so that your baby doesn't get confused. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than real ones. Sucking at a bottle can also confuse your baby, making it hard for her to be breastfed.
Use Nursing Pads
Use nursing pads to help absorb any leakages and avoid embarrassing situations when you’re out in public.
It's common for babies to spit up during or after a feeding. Most babies will outgrow this by their first birthday. Although run-of-the-mill spitting up is common, consult a doctor if your baby is not gaining weight, is vomiting quite frequently (versus just spitting up), or simply refusing feeding.
In the early postpartum period, you may experience cracking. If this happens, check with your doctor to get practical advice. If your nipples do crack, rinse them with clean water after nursing, followed by gentle cleansing. Do this on a daily basis, and apply a safe, appropriate nipple cream or ointment to soothe any irritation. Be sure to talk to your doctor if the condition continues or if it interferes with your daily breastfeeding routines.
Watch for Infections
Symptoms of breast infection include fever, painful lumps and redness in the breasts. These require immediate medical attention.
Eat Right and Get Rest
Any baby feeding guide will tell you to take good care of yourself, so that you are fit and healthy to provide your baby with all the nourishment she needs. Breastfeeding mothers should eat a balanced, nutritional diet which should generally include an extra 500 calories a day. Consider giving up caffeine altogether and avoid alcohol. Also be sure to drink plenty of fluids (6-8 glasses) each day. Rest and quality sleep are also essential to stay alert and refreshed in order to attend to your baby and spend quality time with her.
As a new mom you could be stressed out about a multitude of things, feeding your baby could be one of them. We at JOHNSON’S® understand your worries, and aim to rid your fears with a host of breastfeeding tips for new moms. With such handy solutions, we hope to make motherhood a memorable journey full of love and affection!
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