Breastfeeding is an important process in the life of every mother and child. There is no better way to be prepared for it than to know important breastfeeding tips ahead of time. Breastfeeding tips are known to educate mothers properly about the importance of breastfeeding and explain some of the myths that have been associated with the process in times past.
Breastfeeding tips also help to make known the many advantages of breastfeeding as against the supposed speculated disadvantages. In this article about breastfeeding tips, I am going to discuss how to breastfeed, breastfeeding newborn tips, breastfeeding tips for pain, how to breastfeed and pump, breastfeeding tips for producing milk, breastfeeding with a shield, how to feed a newborn baby by breast and I will be sharing with you some breastfeeding articles that have helped me in my journey as a mother.
I am particularly passionate about the subject of breastfeeding because, it didn’t happen spontaneously for me, as it might in some cases for some women by that I mean; after delivering my baby, even though my breasts were engorged and my baby was hungry, I just couldn’t feed him because breast milk wasn’t flowing.
But thanks to the advice I got from my doctor and some breastfeeding tips I read, I was able to go through this process and eventually breastfed my baby after 3 days. You too can successfully breastfeed your baby but bear in mind, there are some breastfeeding tips you have to know to make the process relatively easier for you.
How To Breastfeed
Breastfeeding like I earlier mentioned is an important process in the life of a mother and child because of the many advantages it has, which are :
1. Breast milk has an appropriate proportion of all the nutrients your baby needs and it is sterile
2. Breastfeeding allows mother and child to bond more compared to bottle-feeding
3. According to research, breast milk protects babies against infections and diseases and boosts their immune system
4. Breastfeeding is a more economical option compared to bottle feeding which requires mothers to buy bottles with teats, formula feed, and other items
5. Unlike bottle feeding that requires a lot of procedures like sterilizing the teats and bottles, mixing formula feed, warming the mixture, feeding baby, washing out bottles and teats and resterilizing them. Breastfeeding is more convenient because a mother only has to give her breast to her baby to suck.
For breastfeeding to be successful, the mother and child have to be comfortable. There are several comfortable positions a mother can take to breastfeed her baby, they are:
A. Sitting Up In A Chair To Breastfeed
This position requires the mother to sit upright in a chair, holding the baby in her arms in such a way that the child can nuzzle on the nipple and the surrounding area of one of her breasts. For this position, a chair with arms is more comfortable since she can put a pillow on the chair arm and has good support for her arm as she holds her baby.
While breastfeeding, a mother needs to use her fingers to press her breasts away from her baby’s nose, so the baby’s airspace is not choked.
B. Lying Down Position
In this case, the mother lies her baby in bed and lies down on her side facing it. She then adjusts so that her child can suckle on her nipple and the surrounding area comfortably. While adopting this position, the mother will have to be careful to make sure her breast does not block the baby’s nose.
Breastfeeding Newborn Tips
1. Look out for signs that indicate your baby is hungry
2. Instead of waiting for your baby to cry for food, you can look out for signs that indicate your baby is hungry. These signs may be :
- Sucking on whatever is available.
- Baby starts pulling at your dress
If you notice your baby is making these signs, don’t wait till she cries, offer her your breasts. This way your baby will get to know you understand her and she doesn’t have to be fussy when hungry. Also, it builds the bond between you two.
3. Be comfortable while nursing. Try to be as comfortable as possible while nursing your baby, cause you don’t know how long feeding time will take as it is not determined by you but the child. You can either decide to sit up in a chair holding your child comfortably to your breast or you can lie your baby on the bed and be close enough to feed her.
4. Nursing time and its duration should be determined by your baby and not you. Follow the needs of your child and allow her to feed as often as she wants and whenever she wants. Do not program your child to a predetermined eating schedule.
5. Be prepared, you will leak! Leaking while breastfeeding is natural. It is common for milk to sometimes leak from one breast while your baby is feeding on the other. Milk can also start leaking when your breasts are engorged. A good remedy for this leaking is to place a nursing pad on both sides of your bra to absorb the leaks.
6. Ensure good skincare. Protect your skin from getting cracked due to regular nursing, by ensuring you wash it gently with a mild cleanser twice a day. Also, try to moisturize it and allow your breasts to air out sometimes to prevent irritation from clothing.
7. Your milk production is dependent on your baby’s needs. When your baby sucks your breast, it stimulates the release of oxytocin and prolactin hormones, which are responsible for milk production. Hence, the more baby nurses, the more milk your breasts will produce to meet her needs
8. Avoid Engorgement. Engorgement is the swelling and hardening of your breasts when you produce more milk than your baby consumes. This condition causes a mother to feel pain on her breasts and her chests feel heavy because of her engorged breasts. A good way to prevent engorgement is to ensure your baby breastfeeds as often as she demands.
However if it persists, hand-express breast milk by gently pressing the areola between your fingers. If you can’t hand express breast milk, try using a pump
9. Drink water. Breastfeeding requires that you stay hydrated, this will help your body to produce sufficient milk. So drink water as much as you can.
Breastfeeding Tips For Pain
As a result of the shrinking back of the uterus to a smaller size, you may feel menstrual-like cramps when you breastfeed during the first two weeks after delivery. Pain could also be felt if your baby does not latch on properly during feeding. Infections of the breast like mastitis and yeast can also cause mothers to feel pain in their breasts.
Outside infections, if you have sore breasts with a lump from improper latching on of your baby to your breasts, you will feel pain too. The above causes of pain during breastfeeding have their remedies, they are :
1. Ask your doctor to recommend a cream you will rub on your nipples to moisturize them and hasten the healing process of your sore nipples.
2. Ensure your baby latches onto your breasts correctly every time feeding occurs
3. It could be helpful to nurse your baby for shorter rather than extended periods
4. Always start nursing with the less sore breast
5. If you have sore nipples, consider wearing breast shields between feedings, to protect the sore nipples.
6. When removing your baby from your breasts, break the suction by putting your finger in the side of your baby’s mouth and then gently use your finger to remove your breast.
7. Ensure your child feeds from both sides of your breasts by offering them alternatively during feeding. Also, change breastfeeding positions to help drain all parts of your breasts.
8. Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest
9. Massage the sore area gently before nursing
10. For Mother’s having breast infections, call your doctor or a lactation consultant.
How To Pump Breast Milk
Pumping breastmilk helps to give mothers, especially working moms the break they need from breastfeeding. Pumping also comes in handy in cases where the baby is premature, has special needs or even to encourage milk supply of new moms. Whatever the case is, pumping is very beneficial as it helps mothers express enough milk for their babies to consume, relieves engorgement and helps maintain their milk supply.
To pump Breast milk, you have to do the following :
1. Relax to encourage the flow of milk
2. Ensure a good sealMoisten the flange with water so the pump flange will slide easily.
3. Get your breast ready for let down: To achieve this, apply warm compresses to your breasts, massage and gently shake them.
4. Ensure the nipple is at the center of the flange before you start pumping
5. Start pumping: Fast bursts of suction will be sufficient to stimulate let down. You will initially only get drops of milk but after some minutes let down will finally happen.
6. Start at low suction and increase it when breast milk starts flowing well.
After using the pump, you must clean it to prevent germs from growing on it and harming your baby. To clean the pump, wash all its parts properly with liquid soap and hot water, scrubbing them with a cleaning brush, then air dry and put away the parts.
Breastfeeding With A Shield
If your baby has difficulty latching and as a result, your breast nipples become sore and breastfeeding is extremely painful, then breastfeeding shields are handy tools for you. They come in two forms: nipple shields and breast shields. While breast shields are dome-shaped covers that prevent nipples from rubbing your clothing and getting them irritated and help hasten the healing process of your nipples.
Nipple shields are thin pieces of silicone that are placed on the nipple to enable babies who cannot latch on easily, do so. However, nipple shields should not be considered a long term solution to sore breasts but should be used under the guidance of a lactation consultant. To use a nipple shield, wear it over your nipple before feeding your baby and ensure it fits properly. When a baby is latched on with a nipple shield, the baby will be able to feed successfully without causing the mother pain while breastfeeding.
Some articles have helped me to be successful in breastfeeding and I hope they will be resourceful to you too. They are :
When Breastfeeding Isn’t Beautiful – A Little Knick A Little Knack
Pros and Cons of Extended Breastfeeding – Brown Skin Mama
Mothering Through Mommy Milk – That Agape Family
How to Store Breast Milk Properly – Today Mommy
Breastfeeding Tips For New Mother – Pumping & Storage – Learning Mama
Breastfeeding and the Working Mama – Overwhelmed Mama
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