If you are reading this, you are probably a new mother or a mother to be. You are probably already aware of the benefits of breastfeeding your child. The emotional and physical benefits for not only the baby but the mother are extraordinary. Although however, wonderful breastfeeding is, it can bring on some questions and challenges. They shouldn’t be a reason to become stressed out though and you shouldn’t quit over some small problems.
This guide will help you with some common issues and some helpful tips.
How to Start Breastfeeding?
The best time to start breastfeeding is within the first hour after birth. The sooner the better. When the baby is nursing, the mother’s body is releasing oxytocin, which is a hormone that helps to shrink the mother’s uterus back down to its normal size. Most doctors and nurses will suggest breastfeeding immediately after the baby is born and the nurse will probably offer you help if this is your first time breastfeeding. The nurse can also show you a few different positions to hold the baby so that it becomes easier for you.
Latching on is an important part of successfully nursing. You can help the baby properly latch on by cradling the baby in the crook of your elbow with the baby’s hips and chest facing you. To further help the infant along, gently stroke the baby’s cheek with your breast. The baby will turn towards the breast and then you can guide the baby’s mouth onto the breast. Make sure that as much of the areola, the dark area around the nipple, is taken in as possible. Most babies are just naturals at this and it shouldn’t take too many times to get the baby to latch on correctly.
In the early days, the baby will probably nurse anywhere from ten minutes to twenty minutes at a time. The baby may fall asleep before finishing up. It is best to offer both breasts at each feeding so that engorgement does not happen. After a few days, the baby will get into the habit of nursing on both breasts without falling asleep so quickly.
The Signs That Your Baby is Getting Enough Breast Milk
Many nursing moms worry about if their baby is getting enough to eat. With a formula fed baby, you can easily determine how much the baby has taken in but with a breastfeeding baby, it isn’t that easy.
You can be sure that your baby is getting enough to eat if the baby has six or more wet diapers a day, has two to three stools per day, is gaining weight at a good rate and isn’t losing any weight. If the baby appears to be happy and not in distress and is alert, that is another good sign. A baby that isn’t getting enough to eat will not be a happy baby. That baby will be a hungry baby and you will know it.