Women’s Interests

A Quick Guide to Breastfeeding for New Moms

One of the most blissful acts you do as a new mother is breastfeeding your infant. As natural as breastfeeding is, you probably have many doubts about how it all works and how to do it correctly. If you are a beginner, here are some helpful tips related to breastfeeding.

How Often Should You Nurse?

The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce, and so you must breast you’re your baby frequently. You must nurse for at least 10- 15 minutes per breast 8- 12 times a day.

The latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommend that you should breastfeed your little one whenever she shows signs of hunger. Increased alertness, rooting, or mouthing around for your nipple also indicates that your baby is hungry. You should also start breastfeeding the baby before she cries, which is a sign of late hunger.

You might have to begin by waking the baby every few hours for nursing, and she may fall asleep again in the middle of feeding. After the baby becomes alert for longer periods, your nursing routine can remain fixed every 1-4 hours, depending on the baby’s requirements.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Several benefits can result from breastfeeding, including:

  • Incidence of diarrhea, lower respiratory illnesses, and ear infections are much lesser in breastfed babies and are less severe when they occur. Giving only breast milk for the first six months offers the most protection.

  • Various immune factors exist in colostrum (the first milk your body makes). This protects against invading germs by creating a layer on your baby’s mucous membranes in his nose, throat, and intestines.

  • Secretory IgA (immunoglobulin A) is present in large amounts in colostrum, and that’s why it is imperative to start nursing your baby right after birth. Colostrum is found in lower concentrations in mature milk.

  • Another benefit of nursing is minimizing your baby’s risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) later in life. There has also been a link between a lack of breastfeeding in infancy and the development of Crohn’s disease and colitis later in life.

  • Breastfeeding for at least half a year will help prevent the onset of respiratory or food allergies in children. This protection can also last till adolescence, and it has also been found to prevent asthma in children.

  • The fatty acids and immune factors such as IgA in breast milk prevent allergic reactions by preventing foreign bodies from invading a baby’s system. Breastfeeding has also been linked to higher IQ rates among children who are breastfed. Breastfed babies have a lesser chance of being obese in adulthood.

  • Breastfeeding can also guard against type-1 diabetes and the development of acute myeloid leukemia. It also reduces the incidence of childhood cancers and gives your baby’s immune system a boost.

  • It also reduces the baby’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother include helping to shed weight as she burns more calories when she breastfeeds.

Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Despite the benefits, some new mothers give up breastfeeding reluctantly because of initial difficulties. Below are a few helpful breastfeeding tips that will help new mothers enjoy the pleasure of breastfeeding their babies blissfully.

  • Breastfeeding allows mothers to bond with their babies. Studies have shown that the baby finds difficulty feeding if the mother is tensed or unwilling to breastfeed. Therefore you need to relax and enjoy breastfeeding the baby. Holding your baby in the correct position is also crucial. Ensure that you comfortably hold your baby while breastfeeding. It is also good to wear cotton feeding nighties with side zippers and buttons to make breastfeeding easier at night.

  • Another breastfeeding tip is to make sure that the baby latches on correctly. A correct latch-on provides comfort to mother and baby while feeding and helps prevent sore nipples commonly related to breastfeeding. As most of the dark areola region is in the mouth, the baby will also be able to drink satisfactorily. You can use comfortable nursing pillows to latch the baby on your breast correctly.

  • Avoid using artificial nipples while breastfeeding your baby to avoid nipple confusion. In case you suffer from engorged breasts or develop sore nipples, do not hesitate to use some form of relief. There are several medications, creams, and natural remedies that can provide you relief in this condition.

  • Initially, babies require being breastfed more often; hence you must feed your baby before being hungry. Usually, the baby cries and screams when hungry.

Crucial Things to Remember

  • Do not panic if your little one seems to have trouble finding or staying on your nipple. You have to have a lot of patience to make breastfeeding a success. You cannot be an expert at the beginning itself and seek the nurse’s assistance while in the hospital. In this way, you can learn the fine art of breastfeeding.

  • Nursing will not be painful once you get started. You must be guarded as to how your breasts feel when your newborn suckles. The baby’s mouth should cover a large part of the areola below the nipple, and your nipple should go deeply into the baby’s mouth. You can endure breaks between suction if it is painful for you before continuing again.

Final Words

Motherhood marks a milestone in every woman’s life. The joy of nursing and bringing up your precious baby cannot be described in words. Mothers desire to give their babies the best possible beginning to their lives. Breastfeeding is among the greatest things that new mums can provide to infants. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and the child, and breast milk is highly nutritious and protects the baby from allergies and infection.

Do not restrict your feeding and feed your little one close to its feeding time as correct latching on becomes difficult with a screaming baby. Following a good and healthy diet is equally vital while breastfeeding your baby. You can also consult a lactation specialist or attend a breastfeeding class to educate yourself on essential breastfeeding basics.

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