Congratulations! You are going to be a mom. Life is going to change. A precious bundle of joy will soon be with you. But are you anxious about feeding the baby? It is always difficult for new moms to get used to breastfeeding. Also, it is not always true that the child may take breastfeed of the mother easily in the first time. As we stress on the importance of breastfeeding for the mother and the child, the need for breastfeeding is essential for the baby to get a safety shield from several health issues. On the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week 2019, here are a few pointers to help you out.
Try breastfeeding as early as possible. It is always best to initiate the feeding within the first hour of birth-the golden hour. The baby is naturally inclined to suck well in the initial hours of life. For this to happen, initiate skin-to-skin contact with the baby just after birth.
Stay calm, be comfortable and cradle the baby close to your breast. This will prevent hunching down and will minimise backache.
Ask for help: If there is any confusion, doubt or problem, ask your gynaecologist to help out. Most hospitals also have a lactation counsellor to guide you these days.
Do not be upset: most mothers feel that they don’t have enough milk! The initial feeds are very small-this watery yellow liquid called colostrum and are very useful for the baby. It is rich in antibodies, and it boosts the baby’s immunity. After 3-4 days of breastfeeding, you will start having the thick white milk.
Demand feeding of the baby: feed the baby when she/he demands it. A baby will give an indication of hunger. Learn to recognise those signs-restless baby, crying baby, thumb sucking, rooting-that is they will turn towards the breast if they are being held, sort of trying to find the milk. Initially, the baby may require 8 to 12 feeds a day. This may decrease over time. The initial feed maybe 15-20 minutes at each breast. Try to feed on both breasts at the same time, start from the unused breast the next time.
Take care of your diet during breastfeeding period: have food, which is rich in whole grains, fibre and vegetables. Stay hydrated. Have enough milk, water and juices. Avoid tea and coffee. This will help in the production of milk.
It is important to get plenty of rest. Don’t ignore yourself. Follow your doctor’s instruction for the post-delivery period, which varies according to your health, route and ease of delivery. The best is to follow the baby’s cycle. Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Remember your baby is precious, and breastfeeding is the best way to bond with your baby. Enjoy the time with the cute little bundle!
About The Author – Dr Madhu Goel, Associate Director & Senior Gynaecologist, Fortis La Femme, New Delhi
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