Have you ever thought that breastfeeding is going to be a source of health and nutrition for your baby and a source of endless benefits to your motherhood?
Well, that’s true. Your breast milk is an excellent mixture of nutrients and fortifiers that your child needs to grow healthily away from infections and health issues, including diabetes, obesity and asthma. It is also a great and natural way to speed up your recovery from pregnancy and delivery and protect you from breast cancer and ovary cancer. And more than that, your breast milk is a special and profound experience to strengthen your emotional bond with your child.
It’s true that breastfeeding is not an easy matter and mastering it can take some time, especially if the baby is born prematurely or if you have some health problems. But be sure that this experience is going to be a lot easier with practice and thanks to the advices we’re about to offer you:
- Observe your baby’s movements and try to spot the signals that indicate he’s hungry and willing to breastfeed. Usually, an infant wakes up and starts to move his head back and forth, trying to latch on to something that can lead him to his mother’s breast. Don’t ever ignore these signals and don’t wait till your baby starts to cry.
- Be patient and don’t rush your baby to nurse. He will likely need between 10 to 20 minutes on each breast. However, we don’t advise you to count the length of time you spend feeding your child, as babies differ in how much time they take to draw milk from breast or how much break time they take if they feel tired during the process. It’s possible for your baby to nurse for a whole hour and that’s quite normal. So, don’t stop feeding your bundle of joy before he shows you sign he’s willing to. And with experience, you will be able to specify the period of time your baby needs to feel full.
- Keep your calm while breastfeeding your baby and stay in a position that gives you comfort and increases your milk flow naturally. Consider using lots of big pillows to support your arms, head and neck. Take into consideration that there are pillows made specifically for breastfeeding mothers, as they can facilitate their task by just putting them around the belly to support the baby. It is to be noted that this kind of pillows could be very helpful to you if you had a vaginal delivery. But in case you had a c-section, we don’t recommend you to use it as it might cause you a wound-related pain, but rather advise you to wait until your wound is healed.
- Hold your baby so that his head is in a straight position under your chin. Support his neck and shoulders with one hand and his thighs with the other. Once he finds your nipple, check if he has latched on correctly. To be sure about that, you won’t be feeling any pain or discomfort, you will notice that the mouth of your little one is wide-open, the bottom of your nipple is less showing than its top, and your baby’s chin is touching your breast and his lower lip is heading downside.
- After you ensure your baby is latched on properly, tilt his head backward a bit to help him suck and swallow the milk.
It is to be known that the sound of your baby sucking your milk at regular intervals, his relaxed arms while nursing, his wet mouth and his feeling of fullness are more than evident signs of your successful experience that will grant you breast comfort and help you calm down and feel sleepy.
Yet the most important sign of your baby having enough milk is when he burps and falls asleep right after his feed. But if he cries and refuses to sleep, that means he is still hungry.
Without question, the pros of breastfeeding outweigh its cons and challenges, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist and we must forget about warning you about the likelihood of your intimate life being affected by the decrease of estrogen levels in your body during breastfeeding, possibility of suffering from breast congestion, engorgement, breast pain or infections, such as mastitis. And what is Mastitis? It’s the kind of infection that hits the breast tissues and results in red wet and soggy spots on breast. It is often associated with fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, tiredness, exhaustion and headache.
In most cases, mastitis results from the obstruction of milk tubes. In case you have it, don’t worry, you will still be able to breastfeed your baby, provided that you massage your breasts gently to remove the obstruction, consume additional amounts of liquids, take safe pain killers but no antibiotics unless in severe cases and after medical consultation.
At the end, always remember that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding till 2 years. So, don’t let any problem stand in the way of giving your infant breast milk which is the perfect nutrition for his immunity as well as his mental and physical development. Be patient so you will be able to overcome the aches and symptoms commonly associated to natural nursing.
Read More: Breastfeeding Your Baby With Acid Reflux
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