Breastfeeding. Sounds easy and natural right? It should be something that comes instinctly to all mama’s! However just like pregnancy and childbirth every mother experiences a different journey. One mama may have had a beautiful and easy experience and another mama may have had a difficult and horrible experience.
The important thing is to always be open to learning from good sources – educating yourself on the basics always makes a difference.
With all the information out there its easy to get confused and overwhelmed.Let’s go through the the process simply by focusing on the basics of breastfeeding. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
START AS SOON AS POSSIBLE :
If you are able – start breastfeeding as soon as possible after your baby is born. Experts recommend trying to feed the first hour after birth – this is because most newborns are quite alert and interested in nursing in the first two hours of life. Don’t be worried if they are only able to feed in short spurts in the early days – this is normal and enough for their small tummies and the frequent feeding will prompt your breasts to make more milk.
LEARN TO HELP BABY LATCH
The breastfeeding latch : is basically how a baby takes the breast into their mouth to feed.
This is an important step in your breastfeeding journey.
To help your precious newborn to latch correctly always takes some trial and error. So don’t be discouraged if your baby does not latch properly the first time. Your baby should be latching onto your entire nipple as well as some of your areola. Their lips should be turned outward (like fish lips) and their chin and nose should be touching the breast. This is usually a sign that the baby is latching correctly. This will help them to receive the milk from you efficiently and will also keep your milk supply steady and plentiful. Good latching can also help you to avoid sore nipples.
A GOOD POSITION
Learning effective breastfeeding position will also increase your success in breastfeeding and will also help with baby to latch. There are several positions and you can choose which one feels the most comfortable to you! Here are the most common breastfeeding positions :
- Laid-back breastfeeding or reclined position
- Cradle hold
- Cross-cradle hold
- Rugby ball hold
- Side-lying position
- Laid-back breastfeeding after a c-section
- Upright breastfeeding or koala hold
- Dangle feeding
- Nursing in a sling
- Double rugby ball hold
- Dancer hand nursing position
Its a good idea to try as many as possible so that you are able to find what is most comfortable and suits you and your baby the most! By also changing positions in each feed your baby can also drain milk from different areas of your breasts and you can avoid sore boobies.
BREAST MILK PRODUCTION
Breast milk is basically based on supply and demand. It means the more frequently your baby feeds – the more mil you will make to accomodate baby’s appetite.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE MAKING ENOUGH MILK
Its a common concern among first-time parents, whether mommy is making enough for baby. It is VERY RARE that a mom will not be able to make enough breast milk for their baby. If your baby is latching on correctly, and breastfeeding every two to three hours, your body should make enough breast milk. If you are still unsure – there are several signs that you can keep an eye on to see if baby is getting enough milk – baby should be steadily gaining weight, having about 8 wet diapers a day and good regular movements.
The truth is all you would need to breastfeed successfully: are your breasts and your baby. You don’t really have to buy any additional supplies. But sometimes if you need a little help in your journey they are many helpful breastfeeding products. If your baby has trouble latching on – nipple guards or shields may help. Many moms love nursing pads to protect clothes from leaking breasts. And a good nursing bra can help keep you comfortable! Some moms also take additional supplements such as foods that help to increase milk supply – in the form of snacks such as healthy cookies!
Most importantly TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
Recovering from childbirth while trying to breastfeed can be exhausting. If you have other children, it can be even harder. But to take care of your baby, you must take care of yourself, too. And for breastfeeding to come easily its really important to take the time to heal and rest. This includes nourishing yourself with healthy food, taking naps and just taking time to heal.
Till the next blog post, we hope you’re doing well and making good choices for yourself!