Nursing a baby is one of the natural mothering instincts women have. We have been designed to give suck to our young ones. During pregnancy, a lot happens in a woman’s body.
The breast is one such part that we marked changes. The breast prepares to give adequate nutrients sufficient for the first six months of life to an infant.
While many believe breastfeeding is natural and easy, those who have been on it know, it’s a skill that takes time patience, and practice to learn by both the mother and the baby. In this article, I will be addressing so many invaluable Best Breastfeeding tips you will ever get.
What Is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is the process of an infant feeding breast milk from a mother’s breast milk directly from the breast or through a bottle using a pump.
During the early months of pregnancy, special hormones begin preparing the breasts for breastfeeding and before the end of the third trimester, the woman is fully ready for lactation.
Breast milk contains numerous nutrients beneficial for the baby from the day of birth down to the first six months of life. A baby is expected to be put on the breast immediately after delivery. After 6 months infants can start sampling semi-solids.
Why Is Breastfeeding Important?
While many women use other alternatives than breast milk, Medical experts insist that breastfeeding is best for the baby for the first 6 months of life. There are numerous benefits for the Mother and child. Let’s see some:
1. It creates a strong bond between mother and child: as you hold and nurse your infant, there is this deep connection you both feel and you both start forming a strong bond. Your baby feels secure and contented while sucking from the nipple.
2. The colostrum which is the first milk is packed full of lots of nutrients and antibodies to build a baby’s immune system and protect against infection.
3. It aids uterine contraction after delivery and reduces postpartum bleeding.
4. It is usually cost-effective. The money spent on buying formula is saved. When you eat a balanced nutritious meal, you are assured of a healthy baby.
6. Reduces disease risk for infant and the mother.
7. Breast milk contains all the important nutrients needed for a baby’s ideal growth.
Tips To Improve Your Breastfeeding Success During Pregnancy
First-time moms can attest that the early days in the breastfeeding journey are not without some hitches. Midwives usually advise women during pregnancy to “prepare the breast” for breastfeeding while pregnant, so it can become easier for the milk flow during lactation.
Below are some of the best breastfeeding tips you will ever get, that will help improve breastfeeding success before delivery: 1. Attend prenatal classes during pregnancy, the medics share invaluable tips that you don’t want to miss.
2. Regularly draw out the nipple three to four times a day. Your partner can help you with this. Doing this often helps to push out the nipple. It is also helpful for those with inverted nipples.
3. Massage the boobs every other day.
4. Whenever the nipple is dry, rub pure ointments on the surface and the alveoli.
5. Plan to start breastfeeding early. The earlier you start the easier it will be for you to be well-adjusted during lactation.
6. Believe that you can do it. If you are skeptical because you have heard stories about how difficult it is to breastfeed you may feel you can’t do it and quickly opt for formula. And since breastfeeding is psychological the state of the mind affects how will the hormone for the production of milk is released. Being in a good mind frame will help a lot.
Foods That Can Improve Milk Supply
Since ancient times, till now, women have been known to take lactogenic foods to boost breast milk production and increase breastmilk supply.
Here are some foods you can take to boost breast milk.
1. Oats: Oats can be eaten as a simple porridge with toppings, as a latte or in lactation cookies. Oats improve breast milk production because of the high mineral levels in them which improve milk supply.
2. Fenugreek: This herb can be made as tea or eaten just like that. However, do not take too much. A little every other day should do.
3. Fennel: Get fennel from your local market and enjoy it as a nice salad and feel the milk pumping out more.
4. Spinach: Spinach is rich in iron. It promotes breast milk supply because of this. The high iron content is also helpful to replenish back the loss of blood during postpartum.
5. Barley malt: Contains enzymes in the syrups which helps to boost milk supply. You can choose to use this as a sweetener in your tea, cocoa or pastries.
6. Pawpaw: Eating pawpaw either raw or cooked for dishes pawpaw is sure to boost your breastmilk supply.
7. Proteins: Eating lots of proteins helps a lot. Not only will it provide great nutrients in the milk for the baby, but proteins will also boost milk production. Proteins are rich in iron that helps boost milk production. So start incorporating beans, fish, and lean lamb, and beef in your diet.
Other things to help boost milk production in women include garlic, poppy seed, dill, e.tc. You have a wide selection to choose from.
Note: There hasn’t been much research on exactly how lactogenic foods boost milk production. Many women have attested that these have worked for them.
However, it is better to work hand-in-hand with your doctor if you intend to introduce some of these foods (especially herbs) in your diet. Mostly especially you have an underlying health condition.
Different Positions Of Breastfeeding
Most times when we picture breastfeeding the cradle position only comes to mind.
There are many newborn breastfeeding positions you can try out if you are thinking of other ways on how to breastfeed a newborn. You can finally adjust to the one that works for you and your baby, let’s see some of them:
1. Cradle: It is the commonest technique used to breastfeed a newborn by breasts. The baby’s body is wrapped in one arm, belly facing your belly or your chest, and the head is resting on your forearms. You sit upright and the baby’s mouth positions at the breast.
2. Cross Cradle: Similar to cradle only that you use one hand to hold the baby’s head and the other to grasps the breast. This technique is very useful for small babies.
3. Football: Especially useful for mums with large boobs and those who have had a C-section. In this technique, the baby’s head and the feet are tucked in your arms and you support the head and feet with your palms while the mouth is attached to the breast.
4. Back Lie: The mother lies and the baby rests on her chest to suck.
5. Australian Hold: A technique very suitable for toddlers. The child rests on the head, you use your hands to support the head and the other hands to hold the breast.
New Born Breast-Feeding Tips For Moms
If you are a first-time mum you would get many best feeding tips, but outlined here are the best breastfeeding tips you will ever get to help journey successfully in your breastfeeding.
Even if you have had kids, you still need tips that will change your game and make it a better experience. Below are some useful breastfeeding tips any woman will find useful:
1. Start Breastfeeding Early Enough
The earlier you start the earlier, you will be adjusted to lactating.
2. Be Patient
You won’t get it all at once. Your baby is learning and so are you. If you are not doing it right, take a deep breath, calm down and try again.
3. If You Intend To Use A Formula
Do not introduce it for the first few weeks. Carry on with exclusive breastfeeding. When you have gotten a grasp of it, you can start with the formula.
4. To Avoid Distraction
Before breastfeeding use the bathroom, put the remote close by, pick your phone in case you need it. When infants get distracted, they may and discontinue sucking.
5. Feed On Demand
It is usually advisable to feed the baby when you notice discomforts, restlessness, crying, sucking at his hands or a cloth, or caving towards the corner of the boobs. Timing the baby’s food might be a huge disturbance. Imagine how it is when you have to wake up a sleeping infant to feed. Feeding may not be too effective that way.
6. Drink Lots Of Fluids
Breast milk contains water, drinking a lot of fluids can help replace the body’s fluids and produce more milk. Take water, tea, juice and any other refreshing drinks regularly.
7. Breastfeed Comfortably
Breastfeeding is not something that you hurriedly do and quickly move on to something else, it’s a time to feed, nurse, bond, and connect with your baby. So, make it as comfortable as possible while you are at it. Use a nursing pillow, rest your back and arms in a chair or lie down on the sofa.
8. Some Infants Are Easily Distracted By Noise
So try breastfeeding in a quiet place without noise and people to interrupt.
9. Watch Out For Signs That Your Baby Is Feeding Well
If Your baby stays in the breast for long and still demands milk a few minutes after you removed him, it may mean that he isn’t feeding well.
So, it is always important for mums to watch that the baby latches properly and is sucking well. Baby shows satisfaction with a contented smile if they are full.
10. Even if the breast does not flow for the first few hours after delivery
Be patient and keep putting your baby to suck at it with the time you experience flow.
11. Do Not Get Embarrassed Or Overwhelmed When You Leak
it’s perfectly normal. Use breast pads that are absorbent and comfortable, with a tight-fitting bra, express some milk on a bottle or give the baby suck.
12. Get Pumps That Are Easy To Use.
Pumping too many times can give your nipples sore.
13. After trying different positions, you and your baby should find a position that is very comfortable for you both.
14. Learn to feed on both breasts.
15. Use breastfeeding aids like breastfeeding pillows.
How Long Should A New Born Feed On A Breast?
You may be wondering if it is appropriate to remove the breast even when the infant is still feeding or when he or she has spent a long time sucking.
Newborn who are still adjusting and learning how to latch they may take an average time of 20 to 45 minutes to empty one breast, however when babies grow older and know how to latch and suck better, they take a shorter time to get full.
Always allow the baby to keep sucking until you notice he is: Playing with the nipples, biting at it, or removing his mouth from it regularly. These are signs he is full.
How Often Should I Breastfeed?
Some moms, ration feeding, I feel infants, new-born especially, should be exclusively breastfed. Babies should be fed on demand. However, if you are combining formula and breastmilk to feed your infant, you can decide to discuss with your medic to know what will work best.
Breast Feeding After A C-SECTION
Having to breastfeed after a C-section can be challenging at first. Dealing with incision pain that is still raw and your body is trying to heal, breastfeeding may not be the first option in your mind as and the bottle may be an easier alternative.
Many women who have had a C-section face the challenge of delayed breastfeeding probably because of the anesthesia after the surgery, delayed milk flow, and other reasons. Despite the challenges, many C-section mums have had successful breastfeeding. Here are some useful tips for breastfeeding after a C-SECTION:
1. Use breastfeeding positions like football that are more comfortable for you so you don’t have to bruise the incision.
2. Put the baby on the breast as soon as you are fit for it.
3. Always ask for help to position your baby when you need to. Do not be shy.
4. Breastfeed regularly to promote milk flow.
5. Take your prescribed pain meds to manage pains.
6. A breast pump is a useful alternative so used to express out milk if you can’t put the baby on the breast.
7. Take things slow: it is easy to get stressed, managing the pain, your body and giving the infant attention. So, do not be too hard on yourself. Take things slow, and steady.
8. Create a bond with your baby. As soon as possible, touch and hold your baby.
9. Use the breastfeeding pillow if you find it more comfortable.
10. If you are aware you are going on a c section beforehand, let your medics know of your intention to breastfeed and they can be a great help.
11. Get rest: after the surgery, you need to recuperate, so get in the right shape sleep a lot, try the lying down breastfeeding positions so you can sleep while the infant sucks.
Tips For Breastfeeding If You Have Large Breasts
Another breastfeeding tip, worth noting is for breastfeeding if you have large breasts.
Women, with large breasts, sometimes struggle to position the baby correctly in the nipple so that the baby can latch properly.
Here are some useful tips while breastfeeding with large breasts:
1. Use your hands to support the breast while nursing.
2. Wear fitting bras.
3. Ensure you and your baby are as comfortable as much as possible.
4. Try our positions that work great for those you.
5. Use pillows for support.
6. The C- hold is a useful trick.
7. See yourself in the mirror to see how you are doing.
8. If your breast is full and hard try expressing out some milk before feeding.
9. The line-down technique works for many women.
10. Try out different positions and see which one finally works for you and the baby.
Tips For Breastfeeding For Women With Small Breasts
Small boobs do not determine insufficient milk unlike what is usually believed.
Try these tips to help you breastfeed if you have small boobs:
1. Use the v hold.
2. Ensure your baby is latching properly.
3. You may have to feed frequently.
4. Use techniques that are easier for small boobs.
Common Breastfeeding Problems And Solutions
Many times women experience one or two problems while breastfeeding. Good thing is, these problems can be easily solved
1. Sore nipples: it is usually experienced early when the baby starts sucking. Solution: use a clear ointment on the spot if it doesn’t go see your midwife or medic.
2. No much milk flow: usually happens when you just started breastfeeding. The solution keeps giving the baby suck with the time you experience more flow.
3. Improper latching: this is when the baby does not attach properly to the alveoli. He won’t get sufficient milk and it can lead to frustration making him or her cry. Solution rock the baby, calm him down and try again.
4. Swollen boobs: when the breast is full of milk. Express milk out using a hand or machine pump.
5. Leaking: can be embarrassing especially in public solution: wear cotton breast pads, with a tight-fitting bra, express the milk or give an infant suck.
Other breastfeeding problems include mastitis, thrush, blocked milk duct, inverted nipple.
Save this for later mama!