Tips for Breastfeeding
Embarking on the breastfeeding journey can be a beautiful, albeit sometimes challenging experience for many new mothers. Understanding more about the process can help make it a bit smoother. To assist you, we've compiled an expanded list of practical tips for successful breastfeeding.
Tip 1: Practice Skin-to-Skin Contact
Immediately after birth, skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby provides numerous benefits. It can calm both mother and baby, regulate the baby's heart rate and breathing, and stimulate the release of hormones that promote breastfeeding. This connection can also provide an emotional boost by bonding mother and baby early on.
Tip 2: Understand and Encourage Proper Latching
The way your baby attaches to your breast, also known as the latch, is crucial for comfortable and effective breastfeeding. An improper latch can lead to sore nipples and ineffective feeding. The baby's mouth should cover both the nipple and a large part of the areola. The baby's lips should be flanged out like a fish. It might take some practice, but don't hesitate to ask for help from a lactation consultant or midwife if you're having difficulties.
Tip 3: Nurse on Demand, Not on a Strict Schedule
Newborns don't adhere to strict timetables. It's important to feed your baby whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or sucking on their hands. This 'on demand' feeding helps to establish your milk supply and ensures your baby gets the nutrition they need.
Babies give signals when they're hungry. Early signs include licking their lips, sucking on their hands, or turning their heads towards your breast. Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it's generally easier to feed your baby before they reach this stage.
Tip 4: Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated
Producing breast milk requires energy. Try to eat a balanced diet to keep your energy levels up and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. While breastfeeding, you might feel hungrier and thirstier than usual – this is your body telling you it needs more fuel to produce milk.
Tip 5: Prioritise Your Comfort
Comfort is key when breastfeeding. Find a quiet, relaxing space where you feel at ease. Use pillows to support your arms and back, and to help position the baby at the level of your breast. Remember, each feeding session can last a while, so your comfort is important.
Tip 6: Take Care of Your Breasts
After each feeding, consider air-drying your nipples to help prevent soreness and cracks. Wear comfortable, supportive bras, and change your nursing pads frequently to keep the area dry. If you feel any pain or discomfort, seek help promptly to address potential issues like blocked milk ducts or mastitis.
To enhance your infant's digestion and contribute to their overall well-being, consider using a supplement like Baba West's Bifikalm Multibiotic Relief Drops 0-12 months. These drops are designed to balance an infant's gut microbiome, helping to alleviate common digestive discomforts. They can easily be added to formula, breast milk or water, making them a versatile and convenient choice for all mothers.