Looking for a breastfeeding guide? You've found it!
For a new mom, breastfeeding the child might become quite hectic and confusing until she understands the process well. However, once both mommy and baby get into the comfort zone of routine nursing, nothing gives the mother more satisfaction and contentment than feeding her baby.
According to “The World Health Organization (WHO)”, babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months. After that, introduction of solid foods can be done slowly. However, breastfeeding can be continued up until two years of age (along with top feed and other foods).
New moms generally get worried by some questions in their initial days of breastfeeding and a breastfeeding guide like this one will come in extremely handy.
Am I getting an adequate quantity of milk?
The answer to this question solely lies in the weight of the baby. If there is consistent growth in baby’s weight, then the supply of milk is good. In such situations, there is no need to worry.
Why is there a sudden increase in milk supply?
As the routine sets up and the baby gets used to feeding, the body starts producing a regular supply of milk, which increases with the increase in demand.
Growth spurt, in particular, is a phase wherein the baby tends to display a faster pace of physical growth. There is a noticeable change in the height and weight of the baby as the baby crosses some important developmental milestones. This is a phase when the baby feels hungrier than usual leading to prolonged sessions of breastfeeding. As the demand for breast milk increases, the body starts producing more milk explaining the increase.
Proper positioning plays a very important role for the newborn to latch in an appropriate way. A new mom and her baby might take some time to get into a routine but gradually it will become an easy and comfortable process for both.
Also read: Healthy Diet for BreastFeeding Moms
#1. Laid-back position
This is also known as “Biological nursing”. The mother needs to lean back on bed or couch and put baby in tummy-to-tummy position onto her body with head near the breast. One hand can be used to support the baby and the other one to cup the breast.
In this position, baby’s head rests in the bend of mother’s elbow, towards the side of nursing, with the hand supporting the body of baby. The other hand can be used to cup the breast, to avoid baby’s nose touching her breast.
#3. Side-lying position
This position is most convenient for moms to nurse the baby in the middle of the night. Both mommy and baby should lie facing each other, with one hand supporting the baby’s head and other one helping in breastfeed.
It is advisable to invest in some good breastfeeding accessories to make the journey comfortable for both your baby and you. Breastfeeding pillows can be of great help to get the baby positioned correctly. Ponchos or feeding capes, on the other hand, allow the mother to freely feed the baby in public places or when at a function or gathering.
Also read: 12 Necessary Vitamins That A Breastfeeding Mother Should Not Avoid!
Reasons for low milk supply
It is very important to have adequate amount of milk supply when you are breastfeeding especially during the first six months. Here are a few things to avoid when your little one is feeding only on breast milk.
Introduction of supplement leads to a reduction in milk supply. Every bottle of formula milk or juice will make the baby full and it will reduce the duration of breastfeeding. This will signal the mother’s body to produce less milk as the demand is less; thus, leading to decrease in milk supply. Supplement with new foods, formula, or juices only when you want to wean off your little one and transition onto solids; not before that.
#2. Bottle preference
Unless you are working, have sore nipples or any health condition that keeps you from breastfeeding; avoid giving the bottle to the baby especially during the initial months. The change in nipple texture confuses the baby and may often reduce appetite. Also, reduced breastfeeding decreases the milk supply. Therefore, even if you have to bottle feed, opt for breast pumps to ensure your little one still gets the breast milk and the supply is maintained.
#3. Feeding on only one breast
This is a very important point to consider as it affects the mother’s health too. Mommies need to change the side and feed the baby alternatively from both the breasts. One-sided feeding reduces milk supply in the inactive breast.
If the mother is unwell, it might decrease the supply of milk. That is why nursing mothers need to take special care of themselves.
Few points which might help the moms to increase milk supply
#1. Nurse the baby regularly
As it is a demand and supply process, so more demand will lead to more supply of milk. Frequent breastfeed will signal the body for more need of milk, which will eventually lead to increase in milk supply.
Also read: 5 amazing facts about breastfeeding you didn’t know about breastfeeding
#2. Diet of mother
Mother’s health plays a vital role in the formation of milk. Feeding moms should have a very healthy balanced diet. They should take proper rest and adequate sleep. Protein foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds when included in the diet help improve the milk supply.
#3. Breastfeed from both sides
Both the breasts should be used for nursing the baby at each feed. This will not only keep the milk supply adequate but also relieve the mother from the feeling of heaviness in the breasts.
#4. Pump it out
Pumping out helps in making of more milk as it is equivalent to the process of baby sucking the milk. It signals the body to produce more milk and allows maintaining a steady flow of milk supply.
Motherhood is a new journey altogether. With so many changes around, be it the new member or the mother’s own body post-pregnancy; it takes time to get used to.
Also read: 5 Common Mistakes Breastfeeding Moms Make
Breastfeeding is no hard nut to crack. It is the most beautiful moment of intimacy and affection between the mother and her newborn. It is just a matter of getting used to the change and the process.
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