Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to build a bond with your baby. The skin-on-skin contact not only provides comfort to the baby but also helps you communicate with the baby because the baby directly looks into your eyes while breastfeeding. Babies breastfeed when they are thirsty, hungry or in need of affection and comfort. It helps them relax, wind down and sleep. They need the milk to protect their immune system or receiver from illness.
It is very important that the baby gets her/his initial colostrum within an hour of birth as the baby’s reflexes are very strong at this time. Also, colostrum is rich in protein but lower in fat and this makes it easier for the baby to digest it.
Ensuring a proper latch, eating nutritious food, drinking enough water, resting, asking for help and pumping, for times when you need rest can help make the breastfeeding journey smoother. It is a journey that needs patience. Take your time to find what works best for you and the baby.
Here’s are a few breastfeeding tips for beginners to help:
1. Ensure perfect latch. An improper latch can make nursing difficult for a mom. Most babies latch onto their mother’s breast within an hour of their skin-to-skin time with their mom. The way the baby latches onto the mother’s breast can impact the amount of milk the baby gets. It is important to ensure that the baby sucks not just the nipple but also the areola. When you do this, the baby’s nose should almost be touching your breasts. An improper latch can cause nipple pain and soreness.
2. Milk supply varies from mother to mother. Ensure that you feed your baby within the first hour of delivery and feed often after that. The more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will produce. It is important to ensure that you eat well & get enough rest so that your body can convert your calories to milk. Choose a balanced diet that is rich in protein, iron, and calcium to make up for the extra calories that are required during breastfeeding.
3. It is okay to ask for help. While you are overwhelmed with the baby’s arrival and taking on new responsibilities, you might feel tired and get little to no sleep. It is very important to ensure that you get rest so that you can do your best to take care of your baby. For such situations, speak to your partner and ask them for help. You can pump breast milk and refrigerate it. Your partner can help feed the baby while you are getting your much-needed sleep.
4. Keep breastfeeding essentials handy. While we spend a lot of time setting up the baby’s crib, finding the right products for the baby, we might miss out on certain essentials. One of the best breastfeeding tips for beginners is to ensure that you keep the basics ready- a feeding bottle, pump, breastmilk storage packs to refrigerate milk, heating pads, nursing pillow and nipple butter. These mom care products can help make the journey easier. The Moms Co. Nipple Butter helps soothe cracked & sore nipples. It is Lanolin free and you do not need to wipe it off before feeding the baby. All The Moms Co. products are Australian-Certified Toxic-Free™, Certified Made Safe™ by Safe Cosmetics Australia, Australian Allergy Certified™, and PETA certified cruelty-free. Our products are created with experts from India, Australia, and Switzerland. We’re trusted by over 1 million consumers across India.
5. Find the right breastfeeding position. Another best breastfeeding tip for new moms is to find the right position. The baby might not be able to find the right position and hence it is very important for the mother to hold the baby in a comfortable position. There are a lot of breastfeeding positions. Some of the common ones are- laid back or resting position, lying down, sitting on a chair & side-lying. Using a breastfeeding pillow can also be helpful.
6. Don’t be in a hurry to offer the second breast. While it is important that you feed the baby from both the breasts, don’t be in a hurry to do that. Some babies take one breast at some feeding and both at some. It is okay. Let the baby come off on her own and then offer the second breast. This process needs patience.
After practicing these basic breastfeeding tips, if you are still struggling with breastfeeding, we recommend that you consult a lactation expert. Also, it is okay to feed formula if you do not have enough breast milk. There is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Hope these breastfeeding tips helped you.