Breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon, it’s an art and you can master it by trying, practicing, and time. It’s easy and convenient. It provides several benefits for both the mother and the newborn including nutrition, immunity, and bonding. It is the most recommended way to nourish your little one, especially the first 180 days of their life. But for some mothers and babies, the breastfeeding journey is not a smooth path to walk in. Here we will guide you to smoothen your path and solve your puzzling parenting challenges.
Tips for getting breastfeeding off to a good start: When it is about breastfeeding, getting off to a good start is very important. A good beginning of breastfeeding shows a healthy supply of it. Here are a few tricks that may help you for a smooth start to your breastfeeding journey.
Skin-to-skin touch is one of the most important steps to start your breastfeeding journey. If your baby is full-term and healthy, your doctor should be able to give you the baby immediately. In that way, a mom and a newborn immediately build a bond. Many babies instinctively crawl to their Mumma’s breast, find her nipple, and try to latch and suckle.
Breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after the delivery and make sure that your baby latches correctly from his first feed.
Feed your infant on demand As long as your baby latches on your breast properly and feeds frequently, it will maintain your milk flow and milk production.
First few days you might experience a low amount of milk production, but not to worry, that’s really all a baby needs. But do not introduce formulas unless it is an absolute necessity and prescribed by a neonatologist.
Finding a good breastfeeding position: Sitting in a comfortable position is the key to a trouble-free breastfeeding journey. Experiment until you find the perfect feeding position for you and your little one. Here are some tips in the same context.
- Cradle position: This is the most commonly used position amongst new moms. In this, the baby’s head will be on his mother’s forearm and the mouth will be opposite the nipples.
- Cross-cradle position: This position is also very helpful for the early days of breastfeeding and it is similar to the cradle hold. A mother should sit straight and assist her baby with her arm on the same side as her nursing breast. That means, use your left arm for the right breast and your right arm for the left one. Give support to the back of the baby’s head with your free hand.
- Football hold: Take your baby to your right breast and rest his back with the support of your right forearm. Your elbow should face downwards. This is a good choice of hold for a c-section mother.
- Side-lying hold: In this, support yourself with a pillow. Then pull your baby close to you and face your chest toward the baby. Offer your nipple to him, once he latches on your nipple properly, cradle his back with your open hand.
Finding a good latch: A proper “latch on” might need some guidance and practice for both the new mother and the newborn. It is very important for successful breastfeeding. Here are some tips on the same.
- Be in a comfortable position to make sure your baby’s head, neck, and spinal cord are aligned.
- Hold your baby close and hold the offered breast with your free hand.
- Put your thumb above your areola, and index finger under the areola to form a support at the base of the breast.
- Gently touch your nipple to your baby’s upper lip to encourage him to open his mouth wide.
- Once he opens his mouth wide enough, bring him closest towards your breast aiming at your nipples.
- A good latch shows a large portion of the areola into a baby’s mouth.
- Your baby’s tongue cups should be under your breast while a proper latch.
How often to feed: The feeding routine should be an enjoyable activity for a mother and a baby. The feed routine shouldn’t run around the clock, rather it should give satisfaction to both the mumma and her munchkin. Let your baby be the guide of their own. Encourage his demand for feed. The demand and the routine may vary with a baby’s growth during the exclusive breastfeeding period. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that the feed should be on demand.
- First few days are very crucial to practice a feeding routine for both the new mom and the newborn. For most newborns feed every 2-3 hours or 8-10 feeds a day. Their little tummy can be filled with a little amount of your breastmilk. Frequent breastfeeding can stimulate a new mom’s milk production.
- After the first few months of exclusive breastfeeding, a gap between the two feeds might increase a little as they will start consuming more milk at one time. For a few the gap might be for 2-4 hours or for a few it may have a sleep interval even for 4-5 hours during their last few days of the exclusive feeding process.
How to understand your baby is full: The most common thought amongst new moms is if their baby’s little tummy has been filled with her breast milk. It takes some time to be a confident breastfeeding mom from a novice, which is absolutely understandable as every mom wants the best nourishment for their little ones. Here are a few guidelines from experts to understand whether he is full or satisfied.
- Baby will start suckling rapidly with a rhythmic sound and swallows with an occasional pause. Slows down suckling during the end of his feed.
- Baby’s mouth, including his lips, looks moist after his satisfactory feed.
- Baby will come off your breast by himself once he is full.
- Baby should feed 8-12 times a day and should pee 6-8 times.
- Baby is relaxed, calm, and happy after feeding.
- Make sure to burp the baby.
- A healthy baby who is feeding adequately gets hiccups often.
- A mother should also be relaxed and her breast should be softer after every feed.
Having doubts, feeling not confident, going through mixed emotions, difficulties in the feeding process are absolutely understandable and common in new moms. But always remember one thing, a mother’s body is exclusively designed to produce breast milk to nourish her baby. Keeping this thought in mind, and with the help of these tips and tricks just go with the flow. Enjoy your motherhood with your little bundle of joy, make memories, and be confident in your art of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be a challenging experience for new mothers, and it’s not uncommon for difficulties to arise. However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and there are resources available to help you through this journey. If you’re experiencing any issues with breastfeeding, we encourage you to reach out for support on our toll-free breastfeeding helpline, which can be reached at 1800-419-2199. Our trained Lactation Consultants are available to provide guidance, answer questions, and offer encouragement to help you achieve your breastfeeding goals. Whether you’re struggling with latch issues, milk supply, or any other breastfeeding-related concern, we’re here to provide the support and assistance you need to navigate this important and rewarding experience.