Whether or not you are a new mother, breastfeeding can be a real challenge…
Every baby is unique and has their own specific needs.
Here are some breastfeeding tips to make nursing a bit easier.
Breastfeeding is not only a great way to bond with your baby, but it has many health benefits as well. It will help build up your baby’s immune system to fight off many childhood diseases, may aid in preventing them from developing allergies and reduces the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding has benefits for you as well. It helps reduce post-delivery bleeding and aids in returning your uterus to its normal size, it helps you lose your baby weight as it can burn up to 500 extra calories daily, it reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and may decrease the risk of postpartum depression. And as added bonus, it can delay the return of your normal menstrual cycle.
You probably have plenty of questions as a new mom so this article will give you information on the basics of breastfeeding, mainly breastfeeding tips to make breastfeeding your newborn as easy as possible.
Diet And Nutrition
While you are breastfeeding, you obviously need to make sure you are taking care of your diet for your baby as well as yourself. You will need about 400-500 more calories a day to keep up your energy while nursing. You should choose foods high in nutrients such as a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter or an apple or banana. As far as your overall diet you want to continue to eat pretty much the same as you did while you were pregnant. Eat a lot of whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Make sure you are getting enough fiber, iron and protein and continue to avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol while breastfeeding. You want to make sure you are getting enough nutrients so you will want to talk to your doctor about either continuing your prenatal vitamins or adding additional supplements to your diet.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Every new mother feels anxious or nervous about breastfeeding. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help. Find support amongst your peers who have breastfed in the past, find online support, talk to your prenatal doctor and pediatrician or consult a lactation specialist. You can begin to search for a lactation consultant early in your pregnancy. You may only need an initial consultation or you may need several visits, depending on your individual situation. A lactation specialist can give you expert information and advice and even observe you while nursing so they can offer suggestions. In addition to the above, many women opt to take breast-feeding courses while pregnant to learn the basic of breastfeeding.
Make Sure You Have The Proper Supplies On Hand
You have put a lot of time and effort into purchasing or acquiring all of the items you will need for your newborn, but don’t forget to stock up on the essential items if you chose to breastfeed your baby. Make sure to purchase plenty of nursing pads and a comfy nursing pillow for your baby.
Also make sure to buy both daytime and night time nursing bras; the night time nursing bras are made of softer cotton with less support and are mainly designed to hold the breast pads in place so you don’t leak while you are asleep. You also might want to purchase button- down shirts to make it easier to breastfeed in public, as well as shirts and pajamas with built-in nursing panels. You also need essential items like a burp cloth and bibs for your baby. A life-saver for new nursing moms is a good lanolin cream for cracked, sore or tired nipples. Another great purchase for a new mother is a comfy rocking chair or glider to provide comfort for both mom and baby.
For breast pumping it would be wise to purchase both an electric pump and a hand pump, for pumping while on-the-go, and don’t forget milk-collection bags and bottles. You definitely want to purchase a cooler to transport the milk as well as the proper supplies to clean both the breast pumps and the bottles.
General Breastfeeding Tips
Now that we have covered the basic, here are some tips that will help you as you prepare to breastfeed your baby. Again, do not hesitate to seek help and support whenever needed.
- Start breastfeeding as soon as possible after your delivery. There is an ideal window of alertness before your newborn falls into a deep sleep. You want to bond with your baby as soon as possible by initiating the breastfeeding process as early as possible. Don’t be discouraged if the baby does not latch immediately, but rather simply licks the nipple at first. It may take a few attempts before your baby successfully latches to your breast.
- Don’t be surprised if you feel some pain at first, this is normal and will ease over time.
- Relax your shoulders and bring the baby to your breast, holding the baby tummy to tummy and make sure to support the baby’s neck and shoulders. Use four fingers to support your breast. Try to feed the baby before s/he starts crying as it is harder to calm get a crying baby to calm down enough to breastfeed.
- Scheduled feedings are for formula-fed babies, not those who are breastfeeding. It is best to nurse whenever you notice that your child is hungry, not according to a set-schedule. For newborns 8-10 feedings a day are usually adequate.
- Nighttime feedings are common with newborns. You should keep your baby in a bassinet close to your bedside for quick and easy access when the baby is ready to nurse.
- It is important to remember that babies often nurse for reasons other than hunger and that this is perfectly acceptable. They will often want to nurse for comfort, boredom or loneliness. Use this time to bond with your newborn.