Breast milk is the healthiest food for your newborn because it contains all nutrients that are required for this period of your child’s life. Hence, exclusive breastfeeding is advised until six months of age, according to WHO. After that, it would be best to continue nursing even after you start introducing solid food, until your baby’s first birthday, because of the breastfeeding benefits that are
There are numerous breastfeeding benefits for both mothers and babies.
- A baby gets a healthy and perfectly balanced diet in its early stage of life
- It receives the antibodies from breast milk which help him develop his immune system. This is one of the most important breastfeeding benefits.
- A nursing baby has a lower risk of obesity, diabetes type 1 and 2, ear infections, pneumonia, bronchiolitis
- It develops its oral health properly by frequent jaw movements during the nursing
- It has a lower risk of SIDS
- Baby develops a lower risk of allergies
- Mothers recover more quickly from the labor. Breastfeeding releases the oxytocin hormone which helps your uterus to return to its previous condition
- They have a lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes
- Breastfeeding provides a natural contraception
- It creates a unique emotional and physical connection between mother and the baby
- Breastfeeding is far less expensive than formula
- It is simpler to breastfeed at night then getting up and preparing formula and bottles.
- Travelling is easier, without a bag full of equipment for bottle nursing
20 Breastfeeding Tips
Breastfeeding is something you have never done before, and you might think in advance that it is not easy to learn. But, if you thoroughly follow those tips, you will soon master this skill.
- Long before you go to the hospital to give birth, it would be best to get acquainted with this new job; to read and learn a lot about it
- If there are nursing classes, organized near your place, consider attending them in advance
- If you are taking some medications, ask your doctor if it is still safe to nurse
- You should nurse even if you have a cold. Your baby won’t catch it through the milk
- It’s a good idea to try breastfeeding while you are still in hospital because you’ll certainly have assistance there – pediatric nurse or lactation consultants
- Your first milk, colostrum, is full of antibodies that will boost your baby’s immune system
- Since your newborn hasn’t eaten before, it will take time to learn the right way – be there to help him. Moreover, patience and lots of effort will be essential.
- In a couple of first days, a baby can lose approximately 10 percent of its weight. Don’t worry about it. It isn’t always due to lack of milk.
- Learn how to position your baby properly on the nipple – help him to learn “the latch” position. It should put its lips around it and have a nipple and almost whole areola in its mouth.
- Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful. Therefore, if you feel some pain, try to change a position and help your baby catch the latch.
- Be aware that you can’t learn to breastfeed over the night. It is a process that takes time and persistence
- There are a lot of ways to hold your baby while nursing. Still, the best way is your way. When you find your own method where both of you and your child feel comfortable, stick to it! Using a nursing pillow can be a good idea, too!
- At the beginning, try to breastfeed on demand, not just every two or three hours. The first days of baby’s life are great for getting to know baby’s needs.
- Don’t be discouraged if nursing sessions last longer these first days. Every new skill needs time to be improved. His persistence will help you make more milk.
- Also, don’t worry if it lasts just 5 minutes. When your baby understands that you are his wellspring of milk, he will eventually nurse enough to be full.
- If he has been on one breast for a long time, don’t hesitate to offer him another one. It would be easier for him to get milk from it.
- Listen to your baby – if you hear him swallowing milk, you’ll know that there is still plenty to drink in there! Also, try to monitor his diapers – if there are a lot of diapers to change per day, you’ll know that nature has taken its course.
- If you plan to go shopping meanwhile, don’t forget these:
- A couple of supportive bras without a wire
- Nursing pads – to catch the leaks
- Nursing pillow – to save your back during nursing, and to position your child effortlessly.
- Lanolin for sore nipples
- Be sure that your diet is healthy and that you take in enough water
- Relax and enjoy this extraordinary period in your life. This kind of closeness will make you feel wonderful!
It is not always easy to decide whether to breastfeed or not. It is not always up to you, either. But, we these breastfeeding tips will certainly help you to give your best in this new period of your life. As a result, you will give your precious little one will an opportunity to live happy and healthy life.
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