The first weeks of breastfeeding can be painful, tiring, frustrating and yet, rewarding. Here are a few tips to prepare yourself.
You should be comfortable
Each breastfeeding session can take some time, up to 40 minutes. So, pick a cozy spot when you want to feed the little one. Hold Your Child in a position that won’t leave your arms and back sore. Always choose a position that is comfortable for you.
Use a nursing pillow to support Your Child. Hold Your Child skin-to-skin, wearing only a diaper, against your bare chest.
Latch on properly
There is no one way to start breastfeeding as long as Your Child is not latched on well. These are simple things you can try to make sure your baby gets a good latch:
- Hold your breast with your hand with your thumb on top and your fingers at the below, keeping them far enough from the areola so that Your Child has enough of the nipple and areola (the darker circle of skin around the nipple) to latch onto
- Gently glide your nipple from the middle of Your Child’s lower lip down to the chin to help prompt the little one to open mouth
- When Your Child opens mouth wide and the tongue comes down, quickly bring the little one to your breast. Your Child should take in as much of your areola as possible
- Use both breasts at every feeding so as to maintain comparable milk production in both breasts. If Your Child is satisfied after one breast, you may experience fullness in the other breast. If necessary, hand-express or pump to soften that breast and relieve the fullness. You can use a sticker on your breast to remember which was used last.
When you’re feeling hurt or you want to switch sides, break the suction by inserting your little finger between Your Child’s gums and your breast.
Don’t miss the hunger sign
When Your Child cries, puts hands in the mouth or makes sucking motions, that means the little one is probably hungry. It is the best time to start breastfeeding.
If you miss these cues or wait too long, Your Child will likely cry or become frustrated. This will make the baby tired and can make feeding more difficult
The more often you breastfeed Your Child, the more milk your body will produce. Nursing 8 to 12 times every 24 hours is pretty much on target. According to guidelines from experts, rather than nursing according to a rigid schedule, you should feed Your Child whenever the little one shows early signs of hunger, preferably before crying starts.
During the first few days, you may have to gently wake Your Child to begin nursing to make sure the little one is eating often enough.
All you need while you’re nursing is a normal healthy diet. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Also, limit the amount of caffeine. Drinking one or two cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages is not harmful, but too much can affect Your Child’s health or sleep.
If every time you eat a particular food (dairy products, for example), Your Child seems more gassy or irritable, stop eating the suspected food for a while to see if Your Child’s better off without them in the breast milk.
Nothing but milk until 6 months
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies are not given any foods or liquids other than breastmilk, or formula, for the first six months.
Some people may encourage you to feed little Your Child with mashed banana or water, but we don’t recommend you to do so. In the first 6 months Your Child’s digestive system is still not fully functional and the immune system is still weak. Hence exclusive breastfeeding is very strongly recommended. If you have to use formula, make 100% sure that the water is clean.