Everything is purely raw for new mums. In light of this, breastfeeding is no different. Sure, breastfeeding is natural but it takes efforts. I’m kidding, How to breastfeed a newborn baby… isn’t as hard as I’m disguising it.
Breastfeeding, coupled with this whole motherhood journey is the most natural way to bond with your new little human. It’s isn’t effortless but still is beautiful.
By the same token, this experience varies from mother to mother. ‘How To Breastfeed’ can be effort taking for some mother and might differ for others! Nonetheless, you can outdo the art of breastfeeding with time and a little practice.
1. Initiating Breastfeeding For The First Time.
Start breastfeeding in the hospital if that’s possible at your end. Your midwife, nurses, doctors will help you in initiating the first feed. The key factors that express an accomplished breastfeeding session are — a proper latch & nursing position!
Your midwife/nurses will guide you into a position that works for both you and your baby. Though babies act on instincts when it comes to breastfeeding, they can get confused while breastfeeding for the first time!
That is, their lips not sitting perfectly on the nipple. Or continuous broken link between your baby’s lips and the nipples, etc. The perfect link between your baby’s mouth and the nipple that allows breast milk to flow is called latching.
1.1 The Perfect Latch
A perfect latch accounts for the better connection between your baby’s mouth & the breasts that facilitates a good milk flow.
Key factors that call for a better latch:
- Your nipple and the breast’s position should not hinder the milk flow. That is, its flow should be down and closer to your baby’s reach.
- Your baby should not be forced onto the nipple. Instead, pull yourself closer to the baby.
- Check for your baby’s comfort and if they have the nipple rightly positioned.
How To Initiate A Good Latch:
- Get yourself and the baby comfortable. The best position for your baby is one that makes both of you comfortable. Try keeping your baby close to you in the side-by-side sleeping position. Their back and head supported by pillows and your arms.
- To get the nipple right in the baby’s mouth, hold your areolas between your forefinger & thumb.
- Gently rub your nipple on your baby’s lips for them to open the mouth.
- Let your baby lead into it and assist them in taking the whole nipple in.
Getting a proper latch for the first time can be hard but you’ll soon get it!
1.2. Breastfeeding Positions
A good breastfeeding position automatically leads to a good latch. Follow up the same procedure written for ‘a good latch’
Also remember, never choose a position that is hurting for you. This can result in many underlying problems that aren’t good for yourself & the baby.
Look for a position that’s comfortable for you and the baby. Some of the most comfortable positions are cradle position, lying down, and many more breastfeeding positions to facilitate a good latch.
2. How To Breastfeed Like A Pro?
Along with that, breastfeeding comes with many latter issues like milk supply, engorgement, breast pain, sore nipples & whatnot. These are easy hurdles to look after and cure. But never ignore these concerns! Pain is not normal, don’t avoid it!
Some of these problems can be easily sorted while others require your doctor’s assistance. All in all, don’t be discouraged, don’t be scared. Just take care of yourself & your baby!
2.1. A Little Summary On What To Buy!
- Nursing Bras & tanks: Allow you to breastfeed without undressing or the clothes difficulties. You can just unhook the strip and give easy access to your baby.
- Nursing Pillow: Nursing pillows help you to keep your baby close to you and your tummy. It gives your arms rest by cupping the baby on your lap!
- Nursing Cream: Cracked nipples are no fun. These nursing ointments/creams help you heal these cracked & chipped nipples for a better breastfeeding session.
- Haakaa/electric/manual Pump: Either of them is a great choice! These breast pumps allow you to collect milk when your baby doesn’t feed on you. You can build up milk stash for later use through these pumps!
- Nursing Pads: Allow you to wipe off the few drops of milk that can ruin your clothes and many everything sticky.
For more detailed version, visit BREASTFEEDING MUST HAVES-For New-Be-Moms
2.2 Breast Milk Supply
With the right breastfeeding diet, you can stock up a healthy body to produce a healthy amount of milk. It seems like a tradition to worry about milk supply these days. But it’s stated, women produce 3 times the milk their babies need(exception allowed)
Studies show low milk supply is very rare in women. Though there are some breastfeeding mistakes that can ruin our already established breast milk supply. Some of these are:
- irregular breastfeeding
- skipped breastfeeding session
- skipped pumping session
- Scheduling breastfeeding
Refer to this post for a detailed discussion on what ruins your breast milk supply ‘WHAT ARE MAJOR BREASTFEEDING MISTAKES & THEIR SOLUTIONS?’
Once we have established the common causes that ruin our milk supply, we can map out solutions to that. Some of these are:
- Breastfeed on demand
- Don’t skip breastfeeding
- Also, don’t skip pumping sessions
- Don’t ignore breast/nipple pain
- Massage your breasts.
2.3. Breast Pain, Sore Nipples, Engorgement
- Breast Pain: Mild discomfort is common in the initial days of breastfeeding but if the discomfort persists and you feel unavoidable pain. It’s time you meet your doctor and let them cure your unlying problem. If you ignore breast/nipple pain, it can result in further issues, definitely not good for your baby, your health & milk supply!
- Sore Nipples: Continous suckling on your breasts ultimately will result in cracked nipples. There are many nursing creams/ointments for you to comfort those cracked nipples! There are organic/natural/chemical creams for you to choose from.
- Engorgement: Engorgement is caused when your breasts get overloaded with milk. Overloaded breasts can cause discomfort and pain in your breasts. To cure engorgement, massage your breasts and don’t skip breastfeeding, pumping sessions in order to prevent engorgement!
This was the starter pack on how to breastfeed your newborn baby like a pro! Head start to that, don’t be scared of breastfeeding or believe in stupid breastfeeding myths. You will get a hold of breastfeeding sooner or later.
Don’t be discouraged, ask for help when in need! Don’t hesitate and again don’t be scared of the new changes. Breastfeeding is beautiful & you are a great mum! Until then,