Congratulations on being the Proud Mother of a beautiful little baby!! So, have you started breastfeeding your little one yet? If yes, you have done just the right thing not only for your baby, but also for you.
Breastfeeding is a boon for the health of both, the baby and the mother. It is a natural way of nourishing the health of the mother and the baby. But, while you start breastfeeding your little bundle of joy, there are a few things you should learn for the optimal results. Here are a few facts and guide about breastfeeding that you must know. Read them and do as much as you can to nourish your angel.
Is Breast milk the best choice?
IF there is anything perfect for your baby, it is your breastmilk. The healthiest food, full of nutrition (at least 400 nutrients), necessary hormones and certain disease fighting compounds, breastmilk comprises them all. Moreover, as your baby starts drinking your breast milk, it adjusts itself based on the requirements of the baby, for her perfect growth. Not all of these characteristics are present in the formula milk, which is often preferred by most parents these days.
Make sure you only breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first 6 months. During this time, the cognitive development of the baby is enhanced, making her intellectual than other babies.
Babies breastfed by their mothers, often fall less sick as compared to those who are fed formula milk. Certain conditions like Gastroenteritis, Ear infections, Bronchitis and pneumonia can all be kept at bay, by simply breastfeeding your baby for the first year.
Also, the chances of developing eczema can be reduced by providing your baby breastmilk. And above all, it helps you connect better to your newborn, also ensuring long term health.
Here is a small survey comparing the health of babies that are fed breastmilk and formula milk. This is how, babies fed with breastmilk, superseded the later.
Lower blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
Less chances of become obese
Lower chances of conceiving type 2 diabetes
Apart from the advantages feeding your baby breastmilk, there are also ample of health benefits for you. These include:
Lowered risk of breast cancer
Protects you against ovarian cancer prior menopause.
Lowers risk of conceiving type 2 diabetes.
Until how long should you breastfeed?
According to the Health Department, it is recommended that you should breastfeed your baby at least for the first 6 months. After that, you may continue breast feeding your baby, but also start introducing solid food to her. Until her first birthday, she should be dependent on solids for her nutrition.
However, make sure you continue breastfeeding your baby while introducing solid foods to her. This will help her immune system stay stronger and also stay away form coeliac diseases. Above all, it is upto you to decide when you wish to stop breastfeeding your baby. Some stop after 12 months, while many stop after the baby has accepted eating solid food items.
Preparing for breastfeeding
If you are preparing to breastfeed your baby, it is most important that you stay healthy and learn as much as you can about breastfeeding before your newborn comes out into the world.
Read articles and topics that give you complete details about breastfeeding.
A baby can feed for a minimum of 5 minutes to a maximum of 40 minutes. So, make sure you sit in a very comfortable position. Also make sure the posture is right for your baby.
In case you or your baby, get distracted by noise, go to a silent room to feed your baby. Also make sure you carry with you your gadgets of entertainment, while your baby feeds slowly.
Try out different feeding postures and see which one works best for you.
Feed in a position that doesn’t cause a backache or pain in your hands. Use cushions, pillows or whatever support you need to stay comfortable. Try cradling your baby in your arms, raised by a pillow or cushion to help your baby feed with ease.
Before you start feeding, get yourself and your baby a relaxed position and pay due attention to your breasts, on how they feel when your baby starts sucking.
Make sure your baby latches well and takes in a big mouthful of your breasts when feeding.
For mothers with fuller or bigger breasts, the rugby position seems perfect.
When changing sides, don’t break the latching suddenly. Insert your little finger into the mouth of your baby and then remove the nipple. Change the side and start feeding again.
Is it easy to breastfeed your baby?
Breastfeeding comes naturally to most new mothers, while very few find it difficult and painful. So, if you are scared about breastfeeding your newborn, talk about it to your midwife or doctor. They can offer you with all the experience and suggestions to help you breastfeed your baby.
With a little practice and instincts, you can breastfeed your baby like a pro. However, it may take a day, a week or probably a fortnight to do it with perfection. Also, if you suffer from pain during feeding, make sure you talk to your doctor about it.
Can I Breastfeed my baby in the public?
It is the right of every mother to breastfeed her baby, irrespective of the place. However, you may feel shy doing so in the public. In such cases, you may always wear tops that help you feed your baby discreetly. Shirts with buttons may make your feel a bit exposed, but these stretchy tops can help you feed your baby easily in the public.
Draping a scarf, a blanket or a muslin cloth will further allow you more privacy while feeding your baby. Most shops and malls these days have a special baby feeding room to help new moms feed their baby comfortably.
Recommended Read: Health Benefits of Breastfeeding – A Baby Friendly Initiative
Buy yourself minimum 3 nursing bras that support your breasts well and are easy to use for feeding your baby. However, make sure your bra fits you perfectly and your zips are easy to open.
Make sure the nursing bra exposes a larger part of your breast, instead of a small portion, which may cause blocked ducts. Take help of bra experts to choose the right sized bra for you, after your baby is born.
Also choose disposable breast pads to avoid leaking. Use a light weight nursing bra for the night.
Work and Breastfeeding
Most moms nowadays, aim to get back to their work instantly after pregnancy. But, starting with work, doesn’t mean you have to give up breastfeeding your baby. Choose express milk for your baby by pumping your breast milk a few hours before your work. You may come back again to feed your baby when needed.
You may also choose to provide her formula milk during the day time and give her your breast milk at night. This way, you may easily maintain your work and also nurse your baby properly.