During the first hour that you hold your baby in the delivery room, you may already start breastfeeding. Initially, your body will produce a small amount of milk called colostrum, which can protect your child from infections. If your newborn is premature, though, you may not be able to start breastfeeding immediately. However, you may start pumping milk, and your infant will be fed through a bottle or tube until he or she is capable of being breastfed.
How Often Should You Nurse?
All babies need frequent feeding, which may be 8 to 12 times in a day. The more times you nurse your youngster, the more milk you will produce. Moreover, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that moms should detect signs of hunger instead of following a rigid feeding schedule. These basics signs include increased alertness of the infant, mouthing, or rooting around your nipple. Do not wait before your newborn begins to cry, as crying is a late indication of hunger.
When your infant is only a few days old, you may need to wake them gently before nursing. Your child may also fall asleep immediately while breastfeeding, so you should consider removing a layer of his or her clothing to keep them awake. You can be certain that your baby is getting enough milk when you feed your little one every four hours.
Breastfeeding Basics: Finding a Comfortable Position
Most breastfeeding sessions may last up to 40 minutes, particularly when nursing newborns. You should find a comfortable position, so you and your nursling would not feel stressed during feedings. Select a cozy location for nursing, and hold your newborn in a way that will not leave your back or arms sore. You should also support the back part of your baby’s head using your hand without causing you to strain your arms.
If you prefer to stay seated while breastfeeding your little one, a nursing pillow can be a huge help in keeping your child in a relaxed position. You may also want to use a footstool, so your legs will be able to stretch comfortably. Just make sure you are in the ideal position before you begin the basics of breastfeeding your baby.
Keeping Track of Your Diet
Naturally, you need to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle when you are breastfeeding your youngster. A balanced diet ensures the quality of milk you produce, and it will also help you feel more energetic. Instead of counting calories, just consider the basics of what you and your infant needs by eating the right foods. In addition, you should drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and nourished.
You also need to be aware of your caffeine consumption, and limit your intake to less than 300 mg in a day. Caffeine is not good for your baby, and you may end up passing this to your child with your breast milk. The component will accumulate in your little one’s system, which may cause problems such as sleep disturbance among several other negative effects.
While most food basics are safe for babies that are being nursed by their moms, you should avoid eating a particular food that might have caused discomfort to your child. For instance, if you have noticed that your child seemed irritable or gassy whenever you eat dairy products, then you should eliminate this food item in your diet.
Some Common Concerns You May Encounter
Some new moms may encounter physical pain during the initial weeks of breastfeeding their newborn. These problem basics include lack of sleep, sore nipples, engorgement or fullness of breasts, and mastitis. When you experience discomfort during breastfeeding sessions, you should contact your doctor or lactation consultant. You need to get rid of these hurdles, so your baby will be able to receive the right nutrition and keep you in excellent condition.
Furthermore, you may seek help from board certified lactation consultants when you need professional advice on breastfeeding basics. These specialists can support you and offer tips on how to breastfeed correctly, which can ensure your child’s good health. You may also consult your doctor or maternity nurse for expert advice instead of suffering in silence whenever you feel pain or discomfort while breastfeeding. This way, your baby will receive the much-needed nutrient basics that are crucial in ensuring their growth and development.
Our readers have highly recommended the 3 part video series Breastfeeding Help by Australian Midwife & Lactation Consultant Kate Hale, which is a must-see for mothers at all stages of breastfeeding. You can click here to check out Breastfeeding Help.