Breastfeeding Tips and Tricks for New Moms…
Breast milk is definitely best for babies. Moreover, the benefits of breastfeeding actually extend well beyond basic nutrition for babies. In fact, this contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs for the first six months of his or her life. Moreover, this is packed with disease fighting substances that help protect your baby from diseases. This is one of the reasons why the pediatric health care providers all over the world recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Aside from this, breastfeeding offers health benefits to mothers, as well.
Breastfeeding is Best for Both Babies and Mommies
Breastfeeding protects your baby from illnesses including stomach viruses, ear infections, and lower respiratory tract infections. These diseases occur less often in breastfed babies. However, when they do happen, they are less severe. Pediatricians recommend that exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, as this offers the most protection.
Aside from the benefits that breastfeeding offers to the baby, this can benefit mothers as well. For instance, this helps the uterus return to is pre-pregnancy size and reduce the incidences of postpartum bleeding. With breastfeeding, mothers can easily lose those pregnancy pounds. This is also believed to reduce the risk of postpartum depression as well as ovarian and breast cancer. Lastly, this can help save money since you do not need to buy expensive milk formulas.
Breastfeeding as a Learned Process
Breastfeeding is considered a learned process. Thus, you must do your homework to improve the chance of success.
Here are some tips on how you can make breastfeeding successful:
- It is recommended that mothers breastfeed their babies within the first hour of birth. This is beneficial as this can help the uterus contract and prevent postpartum bleeding. Early breastfeeding ensures that your baby is able to get colostrums, which is an important component of breast milk.
- While the baby is latching on to you during breastfeeding, you should have a nurse check if you are doing it the right way.
- You should also prepare for your milk to come in. Milk production boosts around the third or fourth day after giving birth. You should make sure that have nursing bras available and packed.
- You should try to breastfeed your baby 8 to 12 times within a 24 hour period. You should also make sure that you observe your baby for any signs of hunger like nipple searching, hand sucking, and becoming increasing alert. You should always feed on demand.
- You should stay hydrated all the time, as this can make sure that your body can make ample amounts of milk for your baby.
Basic Positions that Ensure Effective Breastfeeding
Proper positioning is also essential for effective breastfeeding. Learning how to hold as well as support your baby in a comfortable position requires patience as well as coordination from you. There are several ways on how you can comfortably hold your baby while breastfeeding.
- Cradle Hold. This is considered a classic breastfeeding position. This requires you to cradle your baby’s head using the crook of your hands. You should sit comfortably in a chair that comes with an arm rest or a bed with a lot of pillows. You should hold your baby in your lap and position her in a way that your baby lies on his or her side with her stomach, face and knees directly facing you. You should extend your forearm and hand down your baby’s back to support his or her spine, neck and bottom.
- Crossover Hold. This type of hold is also known as the cross-cradle hold. This position is different from the cradle hold as you do not support your baby’s head using the crook of arms. Instead, you use your left hand and arms if you are nursing from your right breast and use your right hand and arms if you are nursing from your left breast. Using your thumb and fingers on your baby’s head, you can guide his or her mouth towards your breast.
- Clutch Hold. This is also known as the football hold. In this position, you are tucking your baby under your arm. The first thing that you have to do is to position your baby at your side and under your arm. Your baby should be facing you with his or her nose in line with your nipple and his or her feet pointing towards your back.
- Reclining Position. In this position, you are nursing your baby while lying on your side in bed. You have to make sure that there are several pillows placed behind your back for full support. A pillow may be placed under your head and shoulders. Another pillow should be placed between your bent knees. You have to make sure that the baby is facing you. You should draw your baby close and cradle his or her head with the hand of your arm at the bottom.
Common Challenges in Breastfeeding and Ways to Prevent Them
There are several problems associated with breastfeeding. However, you can avoid them if you know what they are and you know what to do with them.
- Sore and Cracked Nipples. To avoid this problem, you have to make sure that your baby is positioned properly when breastfeeding. You can also place lanolin over your nipples after each breastfeeding session. In addition, you should alternately switch each breast when nursing your baby.
- This problem is also referred to as overly full breasts or blocked milk ducts. To avoid this problem, you should apply warm compress over your breast or you can try pumping milk in between feedings.
- Breast Infection. This is also called mastitis. This is characterized by hot, red and sore breast. An antibiotic medication may be prescribed for this problem. To relieve the pain associated with this problem you should pump on the side as much as you are able to.