Most expectant mothers wonder when is the right time to start feeding your newborn. Experts say that the beautiful moment when you hold your newborn for the first time in your arms, is the perfect time to start nursing. In the beginning, you will produce a small quantity of a particular milk type known as colostrum. This thick and yellowish milk helps the baby to fight against all kinds of infection. As time progresses, you will start producing more quantity of normal milk.
The Correct Postition to Breastfeed
You may have a little confusion about the correct position to breastfeed baby, but you will get accustomed to it gradually. You should pull the baby close to your chest and allow your nipple to touch her upper lip. As a reflex reaction, the baby will open her mouth and you must allow her to suck the nipple completely including the areola (the dark skin encircling the nipple). If you feel pain, put your finger in between his gums to make him release your nipple and adjust as per your comfort.
Nursing your baby every two to three hours is sufficient for normal growth. If your newborn tries to convey hunger through little gestures like opening her mouth or latching on to your breasts, you must feed her. Some babies have small sessions of feed and some have it till their tummy is full. Don’t wait till the baby starts crying for food as crying is the last resort for a hungry child. In a few days, you will recognize his cues of hunger.
Make Breastfeeding Relaxing
To feel more comfortable, you must pick a quiet and cosy corner in the house. Try to sit in a position that doesn’t leave you exhausted or leads to pain in your arms and back. Support your baby by holding her head in your hand for extra comfort. You can prop her up on a nursing pillow and bring her mouth to your nipples rather than bending to reach her.
Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers
Since you are feeding your baby 8-12 times a day, you must maintain a nutritious diet. Don’t follow a weight-loss diet yet, as only a healthy diet will ensure good quality and quantity of breast milk. You must drink lots of water and cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake while you are nursing. If you still face any problems related to breastfeeding, consult your doctor right away. For a newborn, breast milk is the only way of obtaining essential nutrients, so ensure a healthy diet for breastfeeding to let your baby feed on healthy milk.
Increasing Breast Milk Supply
If you are not producing enough breast milk to satiate your newborn, you should start nursing more often. The more you breastfeed your newborn, the more milk will be produced. You can also pump milk after nursing to increase the milk supply. If you are a working mother, take a break every 2-3 hours to express milk and store it in a refrigerator for later use. Also, you should drink lots of water and take a nutritious diet to maintain the supply.
Common Breastfeeding Problems
Some mothers can face problems in the initial months while nursing their newborns and it may take them some time to get used to the routine. You may feel tired because of the continuous feeding and sleep deprivation. However, you must try to set your newborn’s feeding and sleeping routine to find some time to relax. Apart from exhaustion, some mothers may witness other common problems such as:
This is normal to experience little pain during the first week, but if the condition persists, visit a lactation consultant.
Your breasts will feel larger and fuller after a couple of days of delivery due to initial milk production. However, your breasts will start feeling softer after the second or third week of delivery, even though the milk supply will keep increasing. In some cases, engorgement may continue and lead to pain and swollen breasts. This may sometimes hamper nursing of your newborn. In such a situation, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.
This is a kind of infection where the tissues in your breasts become inflamed leading to pain and redness. The symptoms include fever, exhaustion and chills. Consult a doctor immediately if you witness any of these signs.
As a new mother you might face challenges breastfeeding your newborn during the initial days. But hang in there as things are going to get better. Besides breast milk being the super-food for your baby, you’d find that the bond you form with your little one while feeding him is absolutely worth the trouble.