Breastfeeding 101: Tips for New Mothers
Breastfeeding is a natural way to provide the best nutrition for your newborn baby. However, it can also be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience, especially if you are new to motherhood. Here are some effective breastfeeding tips for new mothers.
The journey of becoming a mother is the most exciting phase for many women and their partners. Those nine months are full of excitement, joy, and worries, as new mothers are curious about their newborns and at the same time also have some fears.
Women experience mixed feelings and emotions throughout their pregnancy journey. They face physical and hormonal changes in the body while pregnant. These changes—childbirth, labour, and breastfeeding play a great role in guiding women on the journey of becoming mothers.
What is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is when you feed your baby directly from the breast. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Breast milk is one of the best sources of essential vitamins, calories, minerals, and nourishment for infants. It is very beneficial for mothers and infants, as it promotes a healthy bond between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is the process of feeding a mother’s milk to the baby, which can be done in two ways. Breast milk can be provided to babies either directly from the breast or it can be pumped out in a bottle, which can then be used to bottle–feed the infant. New mothers should initiate breastfeeding the newborn within an hour of birth. Doctors recommend breastfeeding the baby for six months to two years, even after you add other foods to their diet as it helps the baby achieve optimal growth and benefits the mother.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding depends on your baby’s needs and hunger, whether they need small, frequent meals or longer feedings. Newborns usually feel hungry every two to three hours, and after six months, they must be fed every four to five hours. It depends on when your baby feels like getting fed by the mother.
Breastfeeding comes with numerous benefits for new mothers and infants, including:
- It helps protect the babies against short- and long-term illness and disease.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
- Breast milk contains important antibodies that help the baby fight harmful viruses and bacteria.
- Breast milk promotes the baby’s healthy weight.
- It lowers the risk of depression for new mothers.
- Breastfeeding burns more calories which helps lose weight new mothers
- It helps create a precious bond with the little one.
- Breastfeeding helps in contracting the uterus.
Breastfeeding Tips for New Mothers
Feeding your baby the natural and healthy way is a wonderful decision for you and your baby, as it provides complete nutrition for the newborn and prevents them from various diseases. However, it can become an overwhelming experience, especially if you are a new mother.
That is why we have listed below some important breastfeeding tips for new mothers:
01. Eat healthy and balanced meals
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you are breastfeeding. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein-rich foods in your diet. Take as much rest as possible. Make sure to drink water at least eight glasses a day to stay hydrated, as breastfeeding uses a lot of fluid.
Need more information on what to eat while you breastfeed? Check out this blog here.
02. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Certain things should be avoided or limited so that the baby will not get affected. As you are breastfeeding the baby, therefore you transfer everything you eat and drink to your baby. You need to limit your caffeine intake as it can disrupt your baby’s sleep, making them irritable and fatigued. It is recommended to avoid smoking, as it increases respiratory illness in your baby. Additionally, also avoid consuming alcohol as it is not safe for babies.
03. Get the latch right
To feed your baby, it is important to first latch on. Latching on is how your baby attaches to your breast to get fed. For a correct latch, your baby’s mouth should be wide open over your nipples, and some parts of the areola and other factors like the chin, nose, and lips should also be close to your breast. You should support your breasts towards the mouth of the baby while feeding. Good latching helps to prevent sore nipples and helps you feel comfortable, and your baby can also get most of the milk supply.
To get a good latch, try to move to a quiet, calm place; this will help you and your baby develop a healthy bond.
04. Breastfeed the baby from both breasts equally
A baby needs to be fed eight to twelve times a day. Therefore, it will be easy to use both breasts for feeding so that the baby will be fulfilled after each feeding.
05. Increase milk supply
The best way to increase your milk supply is to increase breast stimulation, which means nursing more frequently and effectively. Breastfeeding your new baby 8 to 12 times a day can help establish and maintain milk production. The more you breastfeed, the more milk your breasts make. Additionally, drink plenty of water and take a balanced diet for enough milk supply.
06. Consult with a lactation expert
Breastfeeding is natural, but it takes time and practice. That’s why you should consult your lactation expert to seek help, care, and guidance. A lactation expert can help resolve any problems or concerns you have related to breastfeeding.
Visit your healthcare provider, if you are facing any issues regarding breastfeeding your baby. Your lactation expert will work with you and help you have successful and long-lasting breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be challenging for new mothers, but there is nothing to be anxious about. Breastfeeding the baby comes with various benefits, not only for the baby but for mothers too. It helps protect the baby from various illnesses and diseases and reduces the risk of breast cancer in the mothers.
We have discussed some of the breastfeeding tips for new mothers, which include healthy meal consumption, staying hydrated, and avoiding alcohol consumption. Pay close attention to your baby’s needs, and make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed while breastfeeding the infant. These tips will help you have a healthy bond with your baby.
If you are dealing with any issue regarding breastfeeding, consult a lactation expert who listens to your queries and will help you with any feeding issues that you may have.
Have any questions related to breastfeeding? Check out this section of our page.