A GUIDE TO BREASTFEEDING
Although most women make breastfeeding look like a breeze, when you’re getting started it can be quite tricky. It’s helpful to find out all you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born. Breastfeeding is very beneficial to the baby and to you as well. Once you get past the initial trial-and-error days of finding the best system for you, nursing becomes one of motherhood’s most rewarding responsibilities. Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits too, and it is good and healthy for both you and your baby.
The first essential part is to have a proper latch, if you don’t get a proper latch then your baby might not get enough milk and you could develop cracked and sore nipples. To have a proper latch, you must ensure that your baby is lying on their side and their belly is pressed against yours. Next thing in order is to pick up your baby with a pillow and hold them up to your breast, make sure not to lean over towards your baby. Once that is done, use your free hand, and place your thumb and fingers around the dark area surrounding the nipple, which is called the areola, then tilt your baby’s head back only slightly and very gently place your nipple just above your baby’s upper lip. When your baby’s mouth is open wide, put your breast into their mouth, placing his lower jaw on first, well behind the nipple. Tilt your baby’s head slightly forward, placing his upper jaw on the breast and ensure that the baby takes the entire nipple and also some of the areola into their mouth.
Next in line is how often you should feed your baby. You should feed your baby when they are hungry rather than following a time schedule. A newborn must have at least 8-12 feedings a day, even if they don’t seem very hungry at first. It is usually the case that newborns aren’t very hungry in the first few days and therefore you might have to initiate in the earlier days, which might require you to even push at first. Do keep in might that breast milk gets more easily digested than formula-feeding or supplementing, therefore you might need to feed more often.
Once you’ve figured out a feeding pattern that works for your baby, then the next thing that might concern you is whether your baby is getting enough milk. In this case what you should look for is whether your baby seems satisfied and happy after most feedings, if so, then they aremost likely getting enough milk. If they seem to be crying and fussing or even sucking on their fingers, then they might not be getting enough milk. However, do keep in mind that this could also be signs of gas or infant colic. Another way to gauge if your baby is getting enough milk is to keep a count of diaper change. Newborns should be wetting the diaper around 8-812 times with clear to very pale yellow urine and at least 5 times soft , yellow bowel movements over 24 hours period in the beginning. Another way to understand if the milk intake is sufficient is to visit the doctor who very closely monitors baby’s weight to ensure proper growth.
All of this will help you kick-start your new life as a mother, with you feeling more confident, and you will be better prepared. It is useful to remember that breastfeeding can be tricky and sometimes might be daunting but it is not an impossible task. It comes with a little attention and a close bond with your newborn.