Breastfeeding your newborn baby is one of the most precious gifts and its also the perfect time to bond. However keeping up with a breastfeeding journey can be daunting. I have included 5 tips to help you understand breastfeeding better.
The most important thing regarding breastfeeding is that your baby must latch correctly. This is so that your baby can drink enough milk. A correct latch will be when you position your baby so that his nose is in line with your nipple. He will then turn his head upwards and open his mouth wide enough so that it will cover your whole nipple. You shouldn’t see the areola. This is the soft part around of your breast. If you can see it then that means that your baby isn’t latched correctly and your nipples might become bruised and bleed.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
During your breastfeeding journey you need to make sure that you stay hydrated. The more fluids you drink the more milk your breasts will produce. You will notice that during breastfeeding you suddenly get very thirsty. This is caused by the chemical oxytocin that is released. This happens to alert you that your body needs more fluid. Try to stay away from drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, coke and green tea. Caffeine is not always safe to consume during breastfeeding, but you can ask your gynecologist if you are allowed one cup per day or not. Ideally the best is to drink plenty of water.
Express In Between Feeds
If you have decided to continue with your breastfeeding journey and to build up stock for your baby when you return to work, you can start expressing breast milk. Expressing can be done with either an electronic breast pump, a manual breast pump or with your hands. You can decide which one works best for you. Another benefit of expressing breast milk is that it keeps your supply going while you are way from your baby. The best ofcourse for a good supply is to nurse as often as possible and whenever you are with your baby. When your breasts is hard and full you can also express to relieve the discomfort.
Nurse As Often As Possible
It is advisable to nurse your baby whenever he wants to. Take note that babies nurse for many reasons besides being hungry. Some babies will breastfeed when they are looking for comfort from their mother, have an illness or pain, out of boredom or just because that is what babies do.
Newborn babies also tend to cluster feed. Cluster feed is when your baby take feeds soon after each other for a long period of time. They can spend hours on the breast and this usually happens late in the afternoon or at night. Don’t worry this phase blows over eventually. When your baby is going through a growth spurt he will also spend a lot of time on your breast as he needs the extra breast milk.
Massage Your Breasts
Massaging your breasts is very beneficial. Sometimes your milk flow or “let down” won’t be that fast and you might get concerned, but this is nothing to worry about. Simply take a hot shower, apply a warm washcloth or massage your breasts to stimulate the blood flow. When your baby is struggling with drinking from you you can do breast compressions during a nursing session. Gently squeeze and release your breast to keep the milk flow going, help your baby feed longer and emptying your breasts better.
Breastfeeding is really a special time in a mother’s life and it can be a success.