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You understand the benefits of breastfeeding and you have decided to go ahead with it. This is great news. All you need to know now is how to do it properly. For experienced moms breastfeeding looks natural and easy. For a new mom it can be a terrifying prospect not knowing what to expect.
There is no need for you to worry. The breastfeeding tips in this article will help you prepare for breastfeeding your newborn. You have a lot to learn about newborn breastfeeding, so read every word here and refer back if you need to.
Here we will explain about the best breastfeeding positions, the logistics concerned such as knowing when baby has had enough and the mechanics which is all about knowing your baby is getting enough of your milk.
Once you have mastered nursing your baby you will find it to be a very rewarding experience. There are breastfeeding benefits for both you and your baby and you will be giving your baby the very best start in life.
Did you know that your breast milk has three different stages? Well it does, and this is nature’s way of ensuring that when you are breastfeeding baby they will get the very best food and nutrition for their age.
The first stage is the creation of colostrum. Not full milk at this stage but a yellowy (can be clear), thin substance that your breasts leaked while you were pregnant. Do not underestimate colostrum as it contains a vital combination of vitamins, minerals and proteins, and it will help your baby fight off viruses and harmful bacteria.
Colostrum coats your baby’s intestines and it will also protect them from experiencing digestive problems and allergies. Most importantly it is a great protector for your baby’s undeveloped immune system.
Other great benefits of colostrum are reducing the risk of jaundice and the stimulation of your baby’s first bowel movement. You do not need to produce a lot of colostrum to satisfy your baby. It is more important that your baby gets used to sucking on your nipple as this will assist your body in producing the second stage of milk.
This is when your breast milk first “comes in”. It has the appearance of milk mixed with orange juice, but it will taste just fine to your baby. It has more fat, calories and lactose than colostrum but contains a lower level of protein and immunoglobulins.
The final stage of breastfeeding milk is mature milk. This will normally arrive between days 10 and 14 after your child has been born. This milk is usually white and thin (it can even be a bluish color). Don’t dismiss the value of mature milk because of its appearance. It has all of the nutrients and fats that your baby needs to grow.
When your baby’s mouth has covered the nipple and the areola then you know you have a good latch. Your baby’s tongue, lips and mouth will massage the milk from your breast. Proper latching is important to avoid breastfeeding pain.
Make sure that you hold your baby properly. Hold them facing your breasts and keep their body inline to aid swallowing. Use your nipple to tickle their lip so that they will engage. Once your baby’s mouth is open, move baby forward until they latch and are suckling well. Your baby’s nose tip and their chin should be touching your breast with a good latch.
You want your baby to be suckling rather than just sucking. With suckling they will follow a pattern of strong swallowing and breathing. Your baby’s cheek, ear and jaw will move rhythmically. You should also hear gulping or swallowing noises.
How long should you breastfeed is a common question asked by a lot of new mom’s. There is no definitive answer to this, except to continue the breastfeeding latch until your baby is satisfied. On average breastfeeding sessions will last from 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain one breast completely before moving onto the other. Your baby will signal to you when they have enough from the first breast. When your baby let’s go of your nipple this means stopping breastfeeding for this session.
It is best to feed your baby when they are hungry rather than sticking to a breastfeeding schedule ruled by the clock. Expect to be breastfeeding infants between 8 and 12 times a day. All babies develop different feeding patterns, so don’t worry if your baby does not conform to this.
Knowing how to breastfeed is one thing, knowing when is another. Your baby should provide signals that they are ready for breastfeeding. These can include:
If your baby was born in hospital they would have probably taught you the cradle hold. But this is not the only position, and others might work better for you and your child. With the cradle hold your baby’s head rests in your elbow bend and you will use your hand to support their body.
With a crossover hold you will hold your baby’s head with the opposite hand to the feeding breast. Use your other hand to cup your breast. For breastfeeding at night try the side lying position. Here you will lie on your side with your head supported by a pillow. Line your baby’s head up with your nipple and cup your breast with your free hand.
A reclining hold is where you lie on your back and use pillows to support your upper back. Baby will lie on you tummy down, vertically on your chest area and their mouth needs to be just below the nipple. If your baby doesn’t latch straight away then point your nipple towards baby to encourage this.
Follow the breastfeeding advice in this article and you will be a natural in no time. Make sure that you subscribe to our Baby Now VIP Club so that you know when great new baby articles arrive.