Breastfeeding has many benefits for both the mother and the baby. Breast milk contains the required nutrition for your baby’s healthy growth and development. It is easily digestible by your baby compared to commercial formulas and contains antibodies which helps build and boost the immune system of your baby. Breastfeeding is to be practiced and perfected as it cannot be learnt in a day and you would need to be patient.
After the delivery of your baby, your breasts produce a thick yellowish substance called colostrum which will not only meet your baby’s nutritional needs but helps build immunity. Do not get anxious if you or your baby is unable to start the process of breastfeeding, it needs practice and patience from your side to learn it. Seek help from your nurse in the correct method of breastfeeding by positioning your baby right and latching your baby correctly. Breastfeeding should not be painful; your breasts should feel comfortable when your baby latches on. If you experience pain, you are probably not doing it right; you need to break the suction by gently prodding your little finger between your baby’s gums and trying again. Learning the correct technique will prevent pain or sore nipples.
You would need to frequently breastfeed your baby which would be like every two to three hours. Feed your baby on each breast for ten to fifteen minutes. The more you breastfeed, the more your breasts will be stimulated to produce more milk. Watch out for an early sign of a hungry baby as crying is a ‘late’ sign of hunger. It will be easier to soothe a cranky and fussy baby if they are breastfed on time. Signs of early hunger include stirring or movement, sucking or lip movements.
You need to be in a comfortable position for your baby to feel comfortable. Look for good arm and back support, so that you do not tire easily and experience any body aches. To avoid backaches you need to cradle the baby closer to your breast and not the other way around. Provide support to the baby’s head while you feed him.
After you have found a comfortable position for yourself, use your other hand to pass the breast near your baby’s mouth.
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