Breastfeeding is one of the pleasing experiences of motherhood. It makes the bond between mother and baby more special and intimate. The most predominant fact about breastfeeding is that it’s natural and as the baby arrives in the world, most of the mothers start feeling hardness and pain over nipples and breasts. However, the art of breastfeeding doesn’t come that easily and it needs to be learned.
When is the Right Time to Breastfeed Your Newborn?
The early the better! As soon as the baby is delivered, pediatrician examines the baby. After checkups and cleaning, the baby is handed over to the mother. Place your baby against your chest and make skin to skin contact. This gesture will make baby feel warm, loved, and cared. It’s the perfect time to start breastfeeding. Mother’s milk is very healthy for newborn baby and it helps to develop immunity.
Breastfeeding Tips For New Mothers
#1 Ask for Help From Nurse
The technique of Breastfeeding needs to be learned in the same way as baby learns sucking. Soon after delivery, doctors and nurse suggest breastfeeding the little one. First and foremost nurse cleans nipples with the help of cotton and luke warm water, clockwise and anti-clockwise. This procedure can be done at home also just a few days before your delivery to avoid dead skin on the centre of the nipples. Water is used because it is not advisable to use soaps or creams in breast. Consult a nurse or lactation expert (whichever) is available. Make yourself comfortable with back support and make use of nursing pillows or normal pillows. Hold and support baby’s head, neck, and full body and bring her closer to the breast. Ask the nurse to observe your breastfeeding technique and guide you in best possible way.
#2 Feed with Spoon and Bowl
This is one of the most prominent Breastfeeding tips for new mothers. If you are away from baby or facing latching issues, you may express your milk and feed your newborn with a spoon and bowl for initial months. You can also store the expressed milk in the fridge for up to 6 hours. Bottles require very less effort, therefore they makes the baby lazy and it becomes difficult for her to work harder (suck mother’s nipples). Nipple confusion is also quite a common phenomenon where the baby gets confused between mothers and bottle’s nipples. For all these reasons listed above my doctor advised not to purchase feeding bottle, when I visited her for the first baby checkup.
#3 Feed-in Every Two Hours & Observe Baby Hints
Feeding in a regular interval of two hours will not only set up your baby’s routine but will also boost milk production. Newly mothers have a misconception that long duration of breastfeeding leads to sore nipples. Sore nipples usually occur from improper positioning and poor attachment of the baby. Apply expressed breast milk for better results. Baby hints refer to cues which indicate whether the baby is ready for breastfeeding like moving head and opening mouth, taking tongue out, putting fingers in the mouth and finally crying! One should avoid the final stage of crying and feed early.
#4 Avoid Stress
A stressed mother raises a stressed baby. Tension or stress not only affects your milk supply but also results in a cranky baby. I would like to quote an example here of how unnecessary stress affected me. Post delivery, I went to the Paediatrician for my baby’s routine checkups. The doctor informed me that the baby weight had fallen from 2.98 kg to 2.75 kg but what he didn’t communicate was that a baby loses 10 percent of birth weight in the first ten days and then gains gradually. He assigned a nurse who answered queries and guided me with the breastfeeding technique again. Since I was stressed out, my brain received negative signals about my milk being inadequate to satisfy my little one’s stomach. These thoughts affected my milk.
#5 Follow your Baby
your baby is the best teacher. She will guide you throughout the process and will give signals when to switch sides or when to stop. Doctor’s advice is generally for thirty minutes per feed but mother’s feed has no time limit and one must not restrict herself. It can last for 5 minutes up to 45 minutes.
#6 Proper Posture during Breastfeeding
Proper posture and latching are required to prevent soreness and other breastfeeding-related problems. At the time of breastfeeding ensure back-support with pillows/ cushions. One can also use a belt or band to support abdominal muscles which help in easing back pain.
#7 Fore-Milk and Hind-Milk
It is recommended to feed on one side and keep a track from which side to feed next, to ensure that little one gets both fore-milk and hind-milk.
“In the 2-3 weeks following delivery, you will notice that your milk is becoming thinner, less yellow and milky which is called Foremilk. Hindmilk is the milk which follows foremilk during a feeding. It is richer in fat content and is high in calories. The high fat and calorie content of this milk is important for your baby’s health and continuing growth. Make sure to let your baby drain one breast before moving on to the other, to ensure that she receives all the benefits of both foremilk and hindmilk.” – Source
This is one of the most essential Breastfeeding tips for new mothers. Burping is very important after every feed. Hold your baby in an upright position for fifteen to twenty minutes and gently pat on her back. Burping is often confused with baby’s tummy being full or baby being well fed. That’s not the case. Burping means the milk is being digested and baby will not vomit out the milk. But in many cases, babies vomit little amount of milk like curd, which is natural.
Healthy Food Options during Breastfeeding
- Pulses – Pulses like chickpeas, pigeon peas, lentils, yogurt curry are a good source of protein and helps in boosting milk production.
- Dry Fruits – Almonds, Cashews, Raisins, Pista, Walnut can be kept as a munching option and eaten as morning and evening snacks.
- Milk, Eggs, Paneer – During breastfeeding, drinking milk is very important and it is a rich source of calcium. Similarly, a breastfeeding mother should include eggs in breakfast and dinner.
Soya Chunks during Breastfeeding
Soya chunks are popularly also known as soya nuggets, soya granules, Nutri nuggets. It has a high nutritional value and a very rich source of protein. Vegetarian mothers should include soya chunks in their meals. There are a lot of recipes in which soya chunks can be included like soya chunks tomato curry, soya chunks soup, soya chunks salads, soya chunk vegetable biryani, soya chunks salad.
Pista During Breastfeeding
Pista is a rich source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E. It is also a high source of fiber and unsaturated fat. Eating pista during breastfeeding helps to boost the immune system. It is full of antioxidants. Pista is good for the development of the brain of the babies.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
In a female body, breast is built up for an important reason i.e. feeding baby. If your baby is happy after feeds, gaining significant weight and have six to eight wet nappies then consider your baby getting sufficient breastfeed. For an infant, water is also not advisable to 6 months. Hence breast milk is the most healthy and nutritious food.
Benefits for Infants
- Breast milk helps in developing immunity and also prevents various infections, allergies, illness and stimulates brain development.
- It is also easy to digest than formula. Problems related to constipation and gas are rare scenarios in breast milk.
- It is 100% natural as it is prepared from healthy food intake by the mother’s body. It is always fresh, pure and natural.
- Breast milk is addictive – Once you have started feeding your baby breast milk, she will not like formula/ other milk which is the most healthy option for your little one.
Benefits for Parents
- Money Saving – Breast milk is absolutely free and always easily available with you, unlike formula which costs about 8$. And other expenses related to bottle, nipples, sterilization, types of equipment and cleaning supplies.
- Easily Accessible – Breast milk is always easily accessible. No worries of boiling water, purchasing formula, pouring scoops and maintaining hygiene. There are absolutely no chances of wastage in breast milk. As baby nods or removes her head from the nipples, the mother gets the sign that baby is done.
Benefits for Mother
- Facilitates Fast Recovery – Breastfeeding helps to shed postpartum weight by burning a lot of calories. It helps the uterus to shrink back to normal. When a person looses weight quickly and steadily, it has a positive influence on her personality, mood, and confidence. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer and diabetes to some extent.
- Develops a Special Bond between You and Your Baby – Eye to eye contact, skin touch, close cuddle and hug during feed helps to nurture the special bond.
Summing it Up
Undoubtedly breastfeeding is one of the magical moments of motherhood. It makes the bond stronger and special. Based on my experience, I have penned down my journey of breastfeeding. If you find this article relevant spread it with your friends, colleagues, and mothers-to-be. I am sure you have many more interesting breastfeeding tips and benefits. Share them in the comments below.