Breastfeeding provides an array of benefits for the mother and infant alike. Many new mothers have a little difficulty getting into the swing of breastfeeding, so it can be particularly beneficial to obtain tips for breastfeeding when it becomes necessary. At My Family Birth Center, we are passionate and dedicated to protecting both your health and the health of your child. Here are a few of the top tips to help simplify breastfeeding for new mothers.
Nutritional Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are multiple nutritional benefits to breastfeeding as opposed to formula feeding. For one thing, beneficial bacteria cultures help to increase the infant’s immune system’s capabilities. This culture is specific to the mother and the baby. It can’t be replicated through the use of formula. Breast milk is easier for a baby’s delicate system to digest and is a much less expensive method for feeding a newborn. Breastfeeding requires a substantial amount of energy, which means that it tends to burn quite a few calories. Mothers who breastfeed tend to return to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.
Tips for Breastfeeding
The right tips for breastfeeding can go a long way toward simplifying your process. Here are a few of the best tips for breastfeeding to ensure the most comfortable, effective process possible.
Ask for Assistance
Keep in mind that reading about breastfeeding and actually breastfeeding are extremely different things. Though we can provide you with advice to simplify your breastfeeding process, it is important to obtain in-person assistance. The first time you breastfeed, you should ask your health care provider for help. They will be able to talk you through the process and ensure that you experience how it feels when the baby latches correctly prior to breastfeeding.
Let your Baby Choose when to Stop
In general, you will produce the necessary amount of milk for your infant’s nutritional needs. However, your baby will know their needs better than you will. Offer them a breast until they are done eating. Don’t worry if they take less or more time than the “average.” Every baby will eat at a different pace, so one feeding can be less than 10 minutes or more than 45 minutes. Pay attention to your infant and learn the signs that he or she requires feeding or is done feeding for the session.
Have the Baby Sleep in your Room
Many experts recommend that you have your baby sleep in your room until they are a year old. Ensure that you have a crib, or a surface intended specifically for the baby where they will sleep. Having the infant sleep in your room can reduce the likelihood of SIDS. It can also make it easier to breastfeed your baby whenever necessary throughout the night.
Hold Off on Pacifiers
Introducing pacifiers or bottle feeding too early can make it incredibly difficult to breastfeed effectively. In general, the nipple of a bottle will allow milk to flow more freely than a breast, so the infant may prefer a bottle if they are introduced to it too early. If you introduce a pacifier or bottle before breastfeeding has successfully been established, it is possible that nipple confusion will occur.
Avoid Nipple Irritation
Breastfeeding is often required at incredibly frequent intervals. This can cause strain or irritation to the nipples. It is important to care for your nipples when you are breastfeeding to reduce pain and ensure that you are able to breastfeed consistently. The skin around the nipple area is incredibly sensitive and fragile. Don’t exfoliate or rub your nipples to dry them, as this can lead to excessive irritation. The appropriate products can help to keep the skin moisturized and comfortable.
The nipple should be air dried for 10 minutes after a feeding. This helps to prevent soreness. It is normal for them to be very sore the first week but then it should improve. If not, there may be other things going on such as a lip tie, tongue tie or an incorrect latch. Contact your midwife or a lactation consultant.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The food that you eat will correspond directly to the nutrients that your baby consumes. It is as important to implement a healthy diet while breastfeeding as it is to maintain a healthy diet while pregnant. The right foods can ensure that your baby obtains all of the nutrients they need to maintain optimal health.
Creating milk takes a substantial amount of water. It is important to ensure that you remain hydrated while you are breastfeeding. In fact, many experts recommend that you drink a glass of water every time that you breastfeed. This will help you to stay hydrated.
Take Care About What you Put in your Body
It is incredibly important to be careful about what you put in your body while you are breastfeeding. Refrain from smoking. Some studies have linked smoking while breastfeeding to an increased risk of SIDS. Ensure that you consult with your medical professional regarding any medications that you take to eliminate the possibility that you will take something that can be harmful for the baby. You may also wish to discuss adding a vitamin D supplement to your baby’s diet, because breast milk often doesn’t include adequate levels of vitamin D.
Know When to Consult a Professional
There are a few times in which you may want to consult a professional. Ensure that your baby regularly has wet diapers, as this will indicate that they are obtaining enough milk. If feedings are consistently painful, you may want to consult with a professional to ensure that everything is going as it is supposed to. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to be painful, especially after time. This may indicate that the baby isn’t latching correctly or that there is another underlying issue. If the baby isn’t gaining weight, you should also consult with a professional. This will help to ensure that the baby is obtaining the nutrition that they need.
Burp the Baby
Burping the baby after breastfeeding provides many benefits. It prevents the regurgitation of the milk, helps to release gas bubbles, and aids in the digestion process.
Breastfeeding can take a lengthy amount of time. It is important to ensure that you choose a comfortable position when you breastfeed, as squirming and moving around during breastfeeding may interrupt your infant’s feeding.
If you tense up while breastfeeding, your infant will sense your anxiety. This can make it incredibly difficult for them to feed. Take a few minutes to prepare yourself before breastfeeding to ensure that you are relaxed throughout the session.
There are many benefits to breastfeeding and, though it can be difficult at first, it is worth it. Our professional team are passionate about ensuring that your baby can maintain optimal health.These tips for breastfeeding can help to streamline your process. If you need assistance with breastfeeding, or would like to learn more about it, contact our experts at My Family Birth Center today!