Breastfeeding may be a challenging task especially when it is your first time. Well, fear not! We, as ardent advocators of women’s health care, are here to come to your rescue. We will give you insights on how to make your breastfeeding experience a smooth ride.
First, do not be afraid to ask for help. Reading about it or watching video clips may make it seem like a piece of cake, but actually doing it may be somewhat challenging. If you do it for the first time, especially about at least an hour after you give birth, it is best to ask for assistance. Your nurses or health care providers may teach you how to do it properly starting with the proper position and give you tips.
The general procedure goes like this: First, find a comfortable position. Then hold your baby near your breast. Take note that you would bring him or her near the breast and not bring the breast near him or her by leaning over. Use one hand to support the baby’s and the other to support the breast. If you need or wish to remove the baby from feeding from your breast, release the suction by gently inserting a finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth.
Secondly, let the baby set the pace for feeding. During the first few weeks, the baby should be fed about every two to three hours. Be observant on the signs of hunger like stirring and lip movements. After making the baby burp after the first breastfeeding, offer him or her the other breast. If he or she is still hungry, he or she would go on feeding.
Another reminder is to only give the baby a pacifier when you have already established the breastfeeding routine. Giving him or her a pacifier too early might interfere with the breastfeeding process. Introducing a pacifier is recommended to help control the baby’s weight gain and avoid overfeeding.
Breastfeeding does not only require proper positioning and timing, it also demands you to have and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember to have a healthy diet. Take in lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Your doctor may even suggest taking dosages of multivitamins or to continue having prenatal vitamins. Also, drink lots of fluids. Remain hydrated by taking in generous amounts of water, juices, and milk. Caffeine is okay but avoid too much. Watch out if your caffeine intake already affects the baby like disturbing his or her sleeping pattern. Be reminded also to have lots and lots of rest. Sleep whenever possible. It is also suggested to get rid of your vices like smoking since it may reduce milk supply, alter the taste, or even affect the baby’s health. Lastly, be careful in taking meds. Many medications are safe to take when you are breastfeeding but it is best to consult with your doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Last but never the least, be patient. If you are having a tough time doing it, do not give it up easily. You will get a hang of it soon. Just remember the many benefits of breastfeeding not only for the baby but for you as well.