Having your first child has probably been the best thing you ever experienced. The nine months s/he spent in your tummy, giving sensations and feelings no one else can experience but you, that deep bond and unconditional love that you, and only you, share with your little munchkin - nothing can match it. From that first cry, which tells you s/he is alive and well, you know you are doing, and will do, everything you can to keep your baby happy and safe.
The first thing you learn as you step into this beautiful journey of motherhood is how your baby is dependent on you for just about every little thing. Breastmilk is the first and most important thing for your baby to become healthy and strong. Breastfeeding can seem very difficult at the start, but don’t worry, it will get easier as time goes by.
For mothers breastfeeding for the first, we have compiled a list of 8 useful breastfeeding tips.
1. Practice nursing in public
If your baby needs to be fed when you are out and about, don’t shy away from it. It is a beautiful and natural part of motherhood and you don’t have to be ashamed of it. If you feel like people are going to stare at you, don’t look at them. Just look at your happy healthy baby because that is all that matters. If you are concerned about how to do so, practice in front of a mirror at home. You will know what positions and clothing work for you.
2. Comfy clothes for breastfeeding
When you are nursing your baby, wear clothes that are both comfortable and convenient. It is inconvenient to pull your t-shirt or kurti over your head every time you need to breastfeed. So, invest in some zip-up nursing bras and tops that you can wear underneath a jacket, cardigan or a zip-up hoodie. Also, buy nursing pads, which will help soothe your breasts while you are not breastfeeding.
3. Practice makes you perfect
The more you practice breastfeeding, the easier it gets. It will seem hard during the first few weeks, but soon enough, your body will adjust to it. Also, as you increase the number of breastfeeding sessions, your body will produce more milk and thus, your baby will get enough milk.
Whenever you are not breastfeeding, you should moisturize your nipples. You can buy a nipple cream or nipple butter to soothe them or you could even use olive oil and your own breast milk to moisturize your nipple. Using a moisturizer that doesn’t require to be washed off before a feeding session reduces your work too.
5. Hydrate yourself
It is essential for you to stay hydrated when you are breastfeeding. One way to ensure you stay hydrated is to set up your own breastfeeding station at home. Keep water bottles, healthy snacks, a diary to keep track of your bf sessions and a couple of magazines or a TV remote by your side. Keep your nipple cream near you as well so you can reapply as and when required.
Eat, eat, eat
Ensure you are eating enough food during this time because your baby gets his/her nutrients directly from you. Also, you are burning a lot of calories by breastfeeding and you have to make up for this by eating properly. If you are not eating right, you will feel tired and sluggish and your baby may not get all the nutrients s/he needs.
6. Don’t compare
Avoid comparing yourself to other mums. Every mum has different nursing qualities. Some mums may produce too little milk, some may produce too much. Some mothers may not feel too much pain breastfeeding, and others may feel so much pain that they decide not to breastfeed. If you feel the pain is too much, but still want to breastfeed, try offering formula feed - there is no harm in doing so. Contrary to what most people say, you can give your baby formula and s/he will turn out just fine.
7. Get your hubby to help
Your husband can help you with more than just bottle feeding. You can ask him to massage your head or feet as you nurse your baby or fetch you water or food as you relax between feedings. He can even be your companion to talk to and help keep your sanity.
If you found this article useful and informative, do share with all the mothers you know and care about.