Breastfeeding your baby should be a natural process. However not everyone finds it easy to breastfeed their newborn baby.
Even though a baby is born with the natural instinct to breast feed, as a mother, you should be able to guide the baby to start breastfeeding the right way.
There are some breastfeeding secrets that all mothers should know to have a good start in feeding the baby. Below we look at these baby breastfeeding basics.
Top Breastfeeding Secrets
- Immediately after delivery the baby is placed on your chest, the nurse should let the baby stay on undisturbed, unless they need immediate medical attention. This allows the baby to rest and naturally develop a readiness to breastfeed. Signs of the baby’s readiness include sucking on their fist, fingers, and mouthing as they look for mummy’s breast to latch on.
- The baby will show readiness to breastfeed in about twenty minutes after birth. The nurse should ensure that the baby is with the mother by around that time so that they can breastfeed just as they develop hunger instinct.
- In the first week of a baby’s life, the baby seems hungry all the time and cries a lot. The baby is still trying to adjust to this new environment. Breastfeed your baby often in this week, this will also encourage your body to make more milk to meet the baby’s demands.
- Do not schedule your baby’s feeding time, instead watch out for the hunger signs. Let the baby be the gauge of the feeding times not the clock. Babies hold small amounts of milk in their tummy at a time, so you may find that your baby wants to feed some more within the same hour.
- For the baby to breastfeed properly, they must latch properly on the breast. Hold the baby close to your breast and stroke their lips with your breast nipple. This will make the baby open its mouth. Allow the baby to open its mouth wide then put the nipple in until almost all the areola is in the mouth.
- Allow the baby to feed on one breast for a long time. The consistency in the constitution of the milk varies through out feeding. This allows the baby to benefit from the various constituents of the breast milk. The hindmilk or the breast milk that comes out last from one side has higher fat content which helps the baby gain weight. So if you change the side the baby is feeding too soon, they may take longer to add weight.
- Change your baby’s diaper before a feeding session. It will allow the baby to be more relaxed while feeding.
- Learn to watch out for signs of contentment as the baby feeds, know how to tell that your baby is well fed. Listen out for swallowing sounds as the baby feeds, this helps you your baby is actually feeding.
- To make more milk, nurse you baby often and for prolonged periods on each breast. Drink hot liquids such as milk, drinking chocolate and porridge.
- Before pick your baby to breastfeed, wipe your breast with a warm clothe. This is not only hygienic, but will also increase the flow of milk just as the baby latches on.
Additional Breastfeeding Tips
- ·Should you feel pain while breastfeeding, it is an indication the baby is not latched on properly and is instead suckling on the nipple. this may result to soreness. Ensure the baby is always latched on properly. In case of soreness, apply a lanolin based ointment after feeding. If this soreness persists consult your doctor.
- Eat well, balanced diet with high fiber to increase the quality of milk your baby takes. Breast milk is made form the food you eat, so also avoid fatty/oily foods and junk food since these have no nutritional value for both you and the baby.
- Avoid giving the baby a bottle or a pacifier for a while. Ensure your baby is feeding consistently before introducing the plastic nipples as this confuses the baby and will affect the feeding process and the baby’s development.
- When breastfeeding be calm and relaxed, this will encourage your body to produce more milk. Your baby is able to pick on your mood; this can also affect their feeding.
Exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months of their life: The Breast milk contains enough water to meet the baby’s needs, so do not give the baby extra water. Let the baby be solely dependent on breast milk. The pros of breast feeding outweigh any other source of food for the baby. Breastfeed your baby often, it will become easier and more natural for you.
Breastfeeding creates a strong bond between you and your baby. Fathers are also encouraged to sit with the mother as she breastfeeds to natural bond with the baby too. Go on and continue breastfeeding your way to a happy motherhood and a healthy baby.