Breastfeeding- The best healthy and nutritious gift a mom can give to her baby. Breastfeeding is nothing but feeding your newborn baby with your breast milk. It is the normal way of providing young infants with nutrients for their healthy and proper growth. You must follow some breastfeeding Tips and guidelines for both.
Breastfeeding is important and beneficial for both baby and mother. Breastmilk has the right amount of nutrients for the infant, which he can easily digest, and it is also readily available.
To breastfeed a child is totally a mother’s choice. But as beneficial it is for babies, it helps even women’s in reducing their weight and also avoid the chances of breast and ovarian cancer. For some women, it is very easy to breastfeed a child, but for some, it gets difficult.
So, let us have a look at the complete guideline of breastfeeding tips, position, benefits.
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What is Breastfeeding:-
Breastfeeding means feeding your newborn baby through your breast. The milk the breast produces after delivery is the best nutritious food for the newborn baby for six months. The first milk which comes from the breast for your baby is called colostrum. It is very nutritious and healthy for the baby.
As your baby starts drinking the milk from your breast, it helps you recover from the delivery. The oxytocin hormone makes the uterus contract, and also it helps to reduce blood loss.
Types of Breastmilk-
Colostrum: This is the thin, yellow substance that comes out after you deliver. It cannot be considered as milk, but it is a vital blend of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that protects the baby against harmful diseases.
Transitional Milk: This is the milk that comes between Colostrum and Mature milk. It contains more lactose, fat, and calories.
Mature Milk: It comes between 10 days and two weeks postpartum, it is thin and white and is packed with all the nutrients a baby needs to grow.
Best Breastfeeding Tips For Newborn
Breastfeeding and child:-
Many women find it difficult to breastfeed their newborns, and it is true. Even if you decide to bottlefeed your child, it is difficult to understand how to hold the baby and how to make the baby and mother comfortable. First, let us see what proper latching is
A Good Latching:
A proper and good latching involves your baby’s mouth should cover both your nipple and areola area, baby’s mouth, tongue, and lips should be properly there, in this way, baby’s lips massage the areola area, and mouth and tongue help in sucking it.
If the baby just sucks the nipple, the baby is left hungry, and also the nipples get sore and cracked.
Following are the ways you can help the baby to latch, also the breastfeeding tips for newborns-
- Hold your baby- First, properly hold your newborn, your hand should support her (baby) head, and both your tummy should be touching.
- Tickle- Baby wouldn’t know at first about the breast, so tickle her lips with the nipple and then wait for her to open her mouth wide open. Don’t push your breast on her; let her do the initiative.
- Watch the suckling- When the baby starts to drink the milk, just have a look at the baby’s mouth; that is, she even sucking her lower lip.
One Breast at a Time-
Make sure you drain out one breast first and then move to another breast. Do not keep switching the breast, and you will not be able to keep track of how much your baby drank. When one breast is drained out, then offer your baby the other one; if she refuses it, that means she is full.
Get an early start-
When babies are born, they are ready for breastfeeding. So, do not wait for any moment, try to breastfeed them as soon as possible after they are born. It helps them with proper nutrition.
Talk to a lactation consultant-
If you have any personal doubts, about your milk production or anything related to breastfeeding and formula feeding, it is good to talk to the lactation consultant.
It is very necessary that you relax while breastfeeding. When you are outside, you cannot help it but when you are at home, make yourself comfortable while breastfeeding.
Quench Your Thirst-
When you are breastfeeding, drink fluids like juice or water to replenish yourself. This helps you to get relax and you also do not feel tired while breastfeeding the baby. You can also have a snack if you had a meal before.
Every mom has got their fav. side for breastfeeding. But it is good to keep switching sides every time you breastfeed. So, you get comfortable with both sides and also you get to keep track of your baby’s feeding.
Keep it up-
Sitting in the same position while breastfeeding is tough. You may feel like stretching your body a little while breastfeeding, but try to avoid it, as it affects milk production.
There is no particular food that you need to eat while you are breastfeeding. It’s all about eating healthy and nutritious food so that you can produce enough milk and are healthy too.
See more- How to increase milk supply naturally
Benefits of Breastfeeding For a Child
What is the correct position for breastfeeding?
Now, after knowing a proper latching, let us see the different positions of Breastfeeding.
This is a popular position, it works best with a breastfeeding pillow and a feeding chair. You will have to sit with the baby lengthwise, put on a pillow to make the baby rise to breast height.
If you wish to feed the baby with left breasts, the baby’s head should be on the left side and vice versa. Your elbow should support the baby’s head and the same hand to be used to support the body. On the other hand, you can press the breast so that it gets easy for the baby to suck the milk.
The Cross Cradle-
This is a similar position to The Cradle, and it is best used for premature and small babies. Many moms prefer this position, as it allows them to have more control over the baby.
In this position, if you are feeding the baby with left breasts, use your right arm to support the baby’s body and left arm to support his head, and with left fingers, you can support the left breasts.
This position is for the night feedings in the bed. It is best if you are recovering from an episiotomy, this will help you to relax. Put a pillow under your head so that you are comfortable, snuggle the baby closer and then with your free hand try to put your nipple into the baby’s mouth; once the baby has to hold on it, you can support the baby’s head and body with your free hand.
The Football Hold-
This position is great for moms who delivered through C-section or moms having larger breasts. Line your baby’s back with your hand, now if you chose the right breast, support the baby’s head with your right hand and tuck the feet and legs under your arm. Then lift the baby to your breasts.
Back Lying Position-
This is also a good position for C-section moms. In this, you lay down on your back and keep the baby above you, so the baby’s head can reach the breast. Try laying down properly, so that the baby does not get choked out on milk.
Why Breastfeeding is Important?
Breastfeeding is helpful for both child and mother. Let’s have a look at it more deeply as to how breastfeeding helps-
- Provides Ideal Nutrition for Babies- Breast milk is the best food for the newborn until the baby starts eating. It contains perfect nutrition for the growth of the baby, even the composition of the milk changes according to the baby’s need.
The first milk is yellowish and thick and is loaded with proteins and beneficial compounds. Slowly, the mother’s body starts to produce more milk to meet the baby’s growing stomach.
- Contains Antibodies- Breast milk protects the baby against allergies, sickness, and obesity. It helps the body to fight off viruses and bacteria. And the first milk called colostrum is rich in it.
When the mother’s body gets exposed to bacteria and viruses, it starts producing antibodies, which reach the baby’s body through breast milk.
- Reduces Risk of Disease- Breast milk is loaded with health benefits for the child. Some of them are- Middle ear infection, Respiratory tract infection, Colds and infections, Diabetes, and Leukemia. Breast milk contains antibodies named immunoglobin A which protects the baby.
- Promotes Healthy Weight- When a baby is born, it needs extra love and care. Breast milk is one such way to keep a baby healthy and prevent it from obesity. Breastfeeding helps the baby to healthy weight gain. It also helps to regulate their appetite.
- Makes Children Smarter- Yes, this is something new but true. Breast milk helps children to be smarter. It is researched that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and proper behavior when they grow up.
Breastfeeding Benefits For Women
- Helps to Lose Weight– Yes, after delivery, you may be carrying that extra weight on your body and must be worried about it. Don’t worry, and even breastfeeding will help you lose some of your delivery weight. Breasting feed a child takes around 500 calories per day. Breastfeeding weight loss is one of the best benefits a woman can achieve from breasting feed a child.
So, after three months you will notice a great difference in your weight.
- Helps to Contract Uterus– Obviously, after a human comes out of your uterus, the uterus area inside gets empty, filling up an entire space of your abdomen. After delivery, your uterus starts the process of involution, which means your uterus is returning back to its original size.
- Lower Rate of Depression– Postpartum depression- a depression that happens right after childbirth affects around 15% of women. But it is researched that women doing breastfeeding have a lower rate of depression than women who do not breastfeed.
During birth and breastfeeding, a women’s body produces more amount of oxytocin, which promotes care, relaxation, and bonding between mother and baby.
- Reduces Disease Risk– The mother who breastfeeds is less likely to develop ovarian and breast cancer. Women who breastfeed their child for 12 months have a 28% lower risk of chances for both ovarian and breast cancer.
- Prevents Menstruation– Continued breastfeeding helps to postpone ovulation and menstruation. According to science, it is a way to stop the women from conceiving and just concentrate on the baby and not worrying about that “time of the month.”
- Breast milk is easily available.
- You do not need to store it in the bottle.
- It is fresh, and there is no wastage.
- It is always at the right temperature and clean
How long does the average woman breastfeed?
This is a very normal question of how much breastfeeding for newborns? In the starting, the baby does not understand whether he/she is hungry or not, so for starting three days, you will have to push your breast onto the baby to drink milk.
Later, after three days, she develops hunger. A newborn has to be fed at least 8 to 12 times a day. If you break this down, it will be breastfeeding the child after every 2-3 hours.
Feeding patterns for every child may vary; some babies are more hungry than others. Your time of feeding may also change, but all this is temporary as your baby grows; the feeding interval increases.
Never take out the breast from your baby’s mouth; let her give you the sign that she is full. And always breastfeed the child, when she is hungry not because it’s been 2 to 3 hours of gap. After a few months, you will understand when to stop breastfeeding.
How to understand the baby is hungry?
Everyone goes through this phase, as no one is skilled in understanding the baby’s language. Every new mom needs to know when the baby is hungry so she can feed him. There are some signs baby does, when he/she starts to feel hungry:-
- Opening his eyes in the sleep
- Sucking the finger
- Trying to eat his hand
- Making the pout lips
- Starting to whine
- Turning the head when he feels something on his cheeks
Crying is the last stage, and after that, it gets a little difficult to handle the baby. So, look for the above other signs to understand that your baby is hungry.
Myths about Breastfeeding:-
Every person is different, and when you are pregnant and after you have delivered the baby, you will get lots of suggestions regarding your baby and breastfeeding. There are many myths associated with breastfeeding. Such as-
M- There is not enough milk just after delivery. The milk comes after 3-4 days-
T- Your body has been preparing milk since you were 17 weeks pregnant. Milk production depends on how frequent and effectively your baby is feeding.
M- After breastfeeding, give the baby top-up formula milk to ensure the baby is full.
T- Baby will stop sucking automatically when he/she is full. Feeding a baby with top-up milk may lead to overeating.
M- Breast milk is light, and the baby may not feel full at night.
T- Breast milk is full of nutrition, and your baby does not need anything else after you have breastfed him.
M- Have Pro-lactation supplements to increase the milk supply.
T- You do not need to drink milk to produce milk; you just need to make sure that you are eating healthy and properly. Milk production is automatically taken care of by your body.
M- Do not breastfeed if you are sick.
T- Even when you are sick, if you continue to breastfeed, it will protect your child from illness as the antibodies produced helps to fight the infection. So no matter what nursing a baby should not be stopped.
So, these are the complete guidelines about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding a child is one of the most beautiful things you can ever imagine. Just enjoy the moments before your child grows up and you have to stop breastfeeding. If you have any queries related to it, please share them with us in the comment, and we will try to answer them. Happy Breastfeeding!!
Is Breastfeeding Painful?
Breastfeeding is painful in the kind that it gives you sore, tender nipples. And yes breastfeeding can be painful if your baby does not latch properly. So, it is very necessary for a baby to latch properly.
For breastfeeding which side to start?
There is no particular side, from which you need to start breastfeeding. You can start it from any side you are comfortable with. Just make sure you use both sides equally for breastfeeding.