Welcoming a newborn requires great care, attention, and happiness. Though you may learn how to care for a baby along the way, there are many things you need to know beforehand. Breastfeeding is one integral part of nurturing the child as it provides the required nourishment to the babies till they start having other food. WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies be initiated breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and should only be breastfed for the first six months post birth. This article lets you learn about breastfeeding and all you need to know before breastfeeding your newborn.
Facts To Know About Breastfeeding
It is important to know that breast milk composition changes every week, and each lactation stage of breast milk generated is designed to meet your baby’s growth requirements. The formation of breast milk has three stages:
- Colostrum: Colostrum is a thick yellow substance produced at first as breast milk. It is rich in nutrients and provides sufficient antibodies and antioxidants to help the baby defend against infection or disease.
- Transitional milk: Transitional milk is formed when the mature breast milk slowly replaces colostrum. It is generally formed during the second week of delivery till up to five weeks after delivery. It appears in a combination of blue and white color and will be thicker when compared to mature milk. It supports the ongoing growth of your baby.
- Mature milk: Mature milk is the final composition of breast milk that usually comes between the tenth day or the start of the third week. It will be white and slightly watery, assuming the form of skimmed milk, and may appear bluish at the beginning.
How To Breastfeed
It takes a few days of practice for most mothers to master how to hold their baby and get used to the breastfeeding position. First, get comfortable in a chair or sit upright with your back supported by a pillow. Your baby should be held against your tummy, elevated to nipple height. Use a nursing pillow if you find it difficult to carry your baby in your arms until breastfeeding is over.
Direct your baby into place by placing your nipple around his lips. Your baby might be moving back and forth and so wait patiently before the baby starts feeding. Bring the baby toward the breast instead of leaning forwards as it would lead to back and neck pain due to discomfort. Check whether your baby follows the proper pattern for extracting milk from the breast through a suck-swallow-breathe pattern. Consult your doctor if there’s any problem with your baby latching on. The doctor may suggest other breastfeeding practices, like using a nipple shield.
Breastfeeding And Pumping Tips
- Breastfeeding duration: Newborns need to be breastfed every 2 to 3 hours in the early weeks, and the intervals may take a while as time goes on. Each feeding would be around 15 to 35 minutes. Your baby will be done with breastfeeding when one breast is completely drained.
- Tips to stop breastfeeding: Feeding is not required if your baby is sleepy. If the baby is crying, breastfeeding may be required. It can be checked by holding the baby in the appropriate breastfeeding position. If the baby is pulling away, it might not be hunger. Look for other signs of injury or irritation. If the baby latches on, wait until your baby sucks four times for every swallow, after which the breasts are likely to become empty.
- Breastfeeding clothing tips: Wear a comfortable, soft, cotton nursing bra day and night which opens through the front for easy wear and pulling off.
- Seek lactation consultants, an online breastfeeding class, or join a new mom group to understand how to overcome challenges and what are the best breastfeeding practices to follow.
- Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated: Include protein, calcium-rich food, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily. Drink 8 glasses of water daily to keep you from dehydration and ensure a consistent milk flow. Don’t skip the vitamin tablets prescribed by your doctor.
- Breastfeeding and pumping tips: Be aware of breast inflammation or diseases like Mastitis or blocked milk ducts. You must avoid feeding your baby at these times and consult a doctor who will prescribe medicines or antibiotics.
- Breastfeeding in public tips: Don’t be overly anxious if your baby starts to cry and is hungry when you are out. Loose fitting clothes with hooks in the front is preferable. Find a breastfeeding room if you are not comfortable to breastfeed in public. Mother care rooms will be available almost everywhere you go. Nursing covers are the easy way for breastfeeding in public places creating a cosy and private nook for you and your little one
- Check your baby’s weight at each doctor visit and mark it on the growth chart. Don’t panic if your baby loses a little weight, as it will be gained back within 10 to 14 days through proper breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding: A Bonding Experience With Your Little One
Making sure your baby is well-fed is important but making sure the process is comfortable for
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