Breastfeeding is one of the most special aspects of the motherhood. Many new mothers find it astonishing to be providing nourishment to the baby. Although breastfeeding is a natural process, it is something new for new moms and can be difficult too for some. Breastfeeding requires practice and patience to do it right. It is essential for both the baby and the mother but it has to be a pleasant activity that is free of worries and tears. To make it happen that way, here are a few tips that might help you.
It is recommended to begin breastfeeding as soon as possible, i.e., within the first hour of delivery. If you are able to do so, it will help your uterus to contract and also provides the baby with colostrum, which is the first milk from your body. It is a thin fluid that contains antibodies and is considered to be the healthiest part of breast milk for the baby.
Positioning yourself and the baby in the correct posture before breastfeeding is important. You and your baby should both be in a comfortable position. A comfortable position will help to minimize the soreness in your breasts. Position your baby on your lap or in your arms and use a pillow to support the baby’s head. You can also use a pillow to support your back too.
Nurse on Demand
Newborn babies need to be nursed frequently but there is no strict schedule of nursing that has to be followed. Feeding your baby when he or she needs it stimulates your breasts to produce milk in large quantities. As the time passes, the baby will settle into a predictable routine.
Initially, as a new mother, your body will produce a lot of milk which will make your breasts large, hard and even painful. To relieve yourself of this engorgement, feed your baby frequently and on demand so that your body gets used to the baby’s needs and adjusts accordingly. In case of pain, you can consult your doctor about taking pain relievers. You can apply warm compresses to your breasts, before feeding, for a few minutes. This will stimulate the flow of the milk. Use an ice-pack before or after feeding for about 10 minutes to get relief from pain.
You may experience nipple cracking in the early postpartum period. Check with your doctor once, if this happens. Rinse your nipples with clean water post nursing, which should be followed by gentle cleansing. Repeat this procedure on a daily basis and you can apply an appropriate and safe ointment or cream to soothe irritation. Make it a point to consult your doctor if the condition does not improve and interferes in feeding routines.
Proper Diet and Rest
Take good care of yourself and remain fit and healthy, so that you are able to provide all the nourishment your baby requires. Breastfeeding mothers should eat a nutritious diet which includes an extra 500 calories a day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, and try to drink plenty of fluids. Rest and proper sleep are important so that you are fit and alert to attend to your baby’s needs when he or she needs you.
Breasts can get infected too. Symptoms of the same include fever, redness in the breasts and formation of painful lumps. Immediate medical attention is required in such a case.