If you are a new mother, chances are that you will be inundated with advice on breastfeeding from all quarters, which might leave you all the more confused. Here are some proven tips on breastfeeding that will surely be helpful for you.
Start breastfeeding your baby immediately right after he/she is born.
Colostrum is the breast-milk produced during the first 2-3 days post-delivery. Even though the production may be scanty, it is highly nutritious, protective and also sufficient for the baby.
Breastfeed after every two hours. Even if the flow of the breast-milk appears to be slow or completely blocked, keep on trying.
Always keep your baby with you in the same bed. This is called ‘bedding -in’.
Give your baby only breast milk till the he/she is 6 months old. This is called exclusive breastfeeding
Breastfeed your baby after you have taken a nice warm bath as it helps to improve the milk flow.
Ask for privacy when you need to breast feed your baby in public. Do note that if you are uncomfortable, stressed out or disturbed by too much noise, your baby won't get the feed properly.
Be punctual about your baby’s feeding time. Never delay. Even if your baby is not crying for the feed, you should proceed as per the schedule. Making a feeding routine helps a lot in the long run. Crying indicates the last and final sign of hunger. Early indications may include one or more of these activities: your baby starts to push out his/her tongue; lick his/ her lips; bring his/her hand near the mouth and licks it; or opens the mouth in left and right directions.
Always change the diaper before starting the feed. Studies have revealed that new-born babies take the feed better when they are wearing a clean and dry diaper. They are more comfortable.
Place the areola, the dark area around the nipple, inside your baby's mouth along with the nipple. Your baby's tongue movement on the areola is said to create a stimulus to expedite the flow of milk.
If you place only the nipple in your baby’s mouth, it will end up becoming and eventually bleed. Remember that breastfeeding is not supposed to cause you pain and discomfort except during the first few weeks when you are new to it.
Keep yourself clean. It is advisable to wash your hands and wipe the breast region with a damp cloth before and after each breast-feeding session. Sometimes carelessness on your part could be the reason behind your baby's health issues.
Sterilization is not just for feeding mothers but also for breastfeeding ones who use breastfeeding accessories such as breast pump and breast shields that need to be properly sterilized after every use.
Drink plenty of water. Before sitting down with your new-born baby, make sure you drink a glass of water, juice or any healthy hydrating fluid. It is believed that drinking a glass of water or juice right before breastfeeding helps increase your milk flow.
Express and freeze breast-milk if you feel that you need to go somewhere without your baby. Instead of leaving your baby with a nanny and formula milk, your baby could always use the breast milk in bottle.
Take care of your diet. Make sure you do not eat anything that causes gas or constipation in your baby’s stomach as what you eat may affect your baby’s digestion. Make sure you include all sorts of proteins and vitamins in your diet. Make a habit of drinking milk regularly. Your breast milk may slightly have the taste of the food you eat. So, make sure you do not eat anything too spicy or having a very strong flavor. This is one of those important breastfeeding tips that many mothers tend to ignore. Like adults, babies can also sense flavour, and may not like it.
Before discharge from the maternity home, learn the holding positions so that you can breastfeed your baby properly. In addition, also learn how to express breast milk and store it.
If you have a premature baby, you may find breastfeeding more challenging. Preemies may take some time to properly latch on. Patience is the key word here.
Don’t give up on breastfeeding your new-born no matter how hard you find it. Give your baby and yourself time to understand each other and cooperate. After all, breastfeeding is a new process for both of you.
Do not ignore your pain if you are experiencing sore nipples. Talk to your doctor and ask him/ her about the right ointment for your nipples, and meanwhile use a breast-shield.
Don’t eat any painkillers or medicine unless your doctor prescribes it.
Don't start breastfeeding when you are feeling angry or depressed. This is one of the most important tips that are ignored. Your mood plays an important role in this process. Even your baby can sense your low mood, and this can directly impact your milk flow.
Do not give glucose, jaggery, sugar, plain water or honey before the first breastfeed (No Prelacteal feeds).
Do not give your baby gripe water, balkadu, glucose water or tonics for teething.
Do not make a backup bottle. Never get too impressed with the convenience of any bottle-feeding mom. You are going for a better option so stick to it.
Do not eat anything too spicy or that which has a very strong flavour as your breast milk may be affected. Caution: In case your doctor advises you not to breastfeed your new-born due to certain medical issues, use formula milk.