By: Serena Morris of Kitty Moms
Having a baby is one of the most enriching experiences in a mother’s life. While most of us love being mothers, breastfeeding is another story. We all want to breastfeed our child because it is, not only, important for the baby’s health, it is also a very fulfilling experience for moms. However, sometimes, breastfeeding can get overwhelming. Most doctors and experts recommend breastfeeding the baby exclusively for at least six months and continuing to breastfeed along with external food, for at least a couple of years.
When I had my baby, I found it very difficult to breastfeed her. Unfortunately, I did not have a very great support system and I found out what to do, only by trial and error.
So here are some tips to help you breastfeed your baby with ease
Trust your instincts
One of the things my gynecologist told me after I delivered my baby was, breastfeeding is more about the mind than the breast. Only if your mind is completely relaxed and you want to breastfeed your child, will the milk start flowing. The hormone prolactin is triggered from the brain, which is responsible for lactation, and the more positive you are, the more the hormone is released and more the milk flows.
Keep your infant close to you
One of the best ways to acclimatize the infant and yourself to breastfeeding is to keep the infant as close to you as possible. When I was feeding my baby, I would often cuddle her, even when she was not latched on to the breast. This skin to skin touch proved beneficial and she learned to latch on to me more easily.
Try and keep a schedule, but feed your baby when he/she asks for milk
Often, it is very beneficial to keep a feeding schedule so that the baby gets adjusted to getting milk at regular intervals and it is easier for you as well. However, if there are times when the baby is giving you an indication that he or she needs milk, then just go for it. Feed the baby whenever she or she asks for milk.
Cluster Feeding can be difficult to handle
Most moms would admit that there have been times when they felt that their baby was latching to their breasts all the time. This cluster feeding can be difficult to handle, but remember it does not last forever, and by the time your baby is 4 to 5 months, the feeding schedule will be a lot easier to handle.
Look for indications from the baby
Babies often give indications that they want milk. Before the need turns into a full blowing screaming session, look for cues from the baby. The baby would often poke their tongue out or shake their head from side to side as if searching for something (the breast!). Just as your baby starts to do this, go ahead and feed the baby. It will be easier for you and the baby too.
Ask for help when needed
I made the biggest mistake of not asking for help when I needed it. One of the best ways is to consult a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant gives the right tips and makes the process of breastfeeding much easier for a new mother.
Read about breastfeeding in advance
Like I said earlier, I did not bother to read about breastfeeding at all. This made me such a novice and I made many mistakes which could have been easily avoided if I had prepared myself beforehand. In today’s world where a lot of information is available online, it is very easy to look at the right sources and read up in advance. While these are no substitute for real life experiences, they will at least prepare you for what is in store.
Be prepared for chapped nipples and sore breasts
Breastfeeding often has a toll on the mother. Cracked and raw nipples, sore breasts, and heaviness in breasts are all common for most women who breastfeed. It is important to be prepared for these. Consult a doctor or a lactation consultant to get more advice.
Buy some comfortable nursing equipment
Invest in nursing bras and nursing pillows. You owe it to yourself. I never realized how important it was to have a good nursing bra, till my baby turned 3 months and someone gifted me one. I thought it was such a wonderful and thoughtful gift, and it made me realize how important it is, to have a comfortable gear.
Breastfeeding in public
A lot of us are not really breastfeeding in public. Often we stop ourselves from going out during the baby’s feeding hours or hurry back home to breastfeed the baby because we find it unnerving to breastfeed in public. But remember that breastfeeding in public is absolutely fine. If you are still uncomfortable, invest is a good poncho or carry a shawl/large scarf with you to cover yourself and the baby while breastfeeding.
Here are some wonderful videos which also give amazing information on breastfeeding
Breastfeeding requires a lot of patience and positivity and we all could use with a little bit of tender love and care.
Do you have any breastfeeding tips you want to share with us? Do let us know in the comments section.