Importance of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be and is challenging especially for the first time moms. But knowing the benefits of breastfeeding, you would not think to give up until it is the last option left.
In the previous part of the breastfeeding article, we talked about the ABCs of the breastfeeding. This article gives a detailed insight into the topic of breastfeeding and some tips that the first time moms can’t ignore. Baby Y is about to turn 2 years old and we are still going strong.
All thanks to my support system and the lady who not only encouraged me but many others to breastfeed their babies. In this article she is explaining to us about the benefits. She is a lactation consultant based out of Ahmedabad, Mrs. Avani Thakore, Founder of Pregnancy Dost.
This blog contains breastfeeding tips and guide towards it. I would be writing all that Avani has to say about breastfeeding , the words that can encourage you to start breastfeeding your baby with attached benefits:
- Breast Milk contains all the nutrients a baby needs in a balanced way.
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
- Antibodies in breast milk develop the immunity system.
- Latching and sucking make their muscles strong.
- Breastfeeding helps you lose your pregnancy weight faster as well.
Below mentioned are some personal experiences:
- During pregnancy I used to read a lot, reading about breastfeeding made me think it would be too easy, but when it’s really experienced, it’s a different feeling altogether.
- You might face issues as you are completely new to breastfeeding. Ask your doctor/Nurse/lactation consultant to guide you through.
- It may leave you restless. As the baby tends to demand again and again and that leads to lack of sleep, body ache, sore nipples, irritability and what not.
- But give time to your baby. You are the only one for him.
Take care of the following things if you are breastfeeding:
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet
- Eat every 2 hours
- Don’t stress.
- Do not drink alcoholic drinks
- Do not smoke
- Rest as much as you can.
7 Breastfeeding Tips by Avani Thakore You Should Not Miss Out On:
1. How proper is the latching of newborn
- There are 70% of mothers in India who leave breastfeeding before 6 months due to lack of proper latching knowledge.
- Keeping the baby in front of the breast and assuming the baby is getting proper feed may not be always right. After a while due to poor latch baby starts crying & you feel frustrated and lose patience to try for breastfeeding.
- Result? You tend to switch on to top up milk or a formula. Starting with one feed a day like that turns easily into all feeds and you don’t even realize that you stopped breastfeeding your baby just because you didn’t have knowledge of proper latch and breastfeeding technique.
- You don’t have to be a victim of this problem. Your baby doesn’t have to be deprived of this valuable gift. You can learn easily. There comes my next tip.
2. Use help early if breastfeeding problems:
- Precaution is always better than cure & knowledge taken beforehand is never wasted especially in the case of breastfeeding.
- My personal advice would be to educate yourself about everything on breastfeeding. Proper latching, issues with breastfeeding, diet during breastfeeding, nipples problems etc are some of the areas to be focused on.
- How to increase the breast milk supply and when & how to feed are also important aspects for happy breastfeeding experience.
- After the delivery, if your hormones related to breastfeeding are at the best then don’t wait or waste too much time on going for the help when you have any issues related to lactation.
- This may need you to consult a lactation expert, getting information from your care provider, learning from hospital nurses to going online and search for right answers.
- Don’t wait to ask for help. Your baby needs it.
3. Use Different Positions
- There is never a right or wrong answer when it comes breastfeeding position.
- Your comfort and your baby’s comfort is of utmost importance. Keep on trying different positions, including cradle, cross cradle, football, side lying whichever is most relaxing and comfortable for you and baby.
- Keep on trying until you find the perfect position. Remember that feeding is never a painful experience for you or baby, if there is any pain, something is not right. It is the signal for you to correct it.
4. Burp your Baby after Breastfeeding
- This may sound silly or may be less important but very much essential for the newborn who is on breastfeeding.
- While feeding, baby sucks some of the air and that causes gastric problems, fussy and colic baby issues. To keep your baby happy, free of a gastric problem, and full and satisfy after each feed, burping is very much needed.
- In most cases, baby needs burping after each and every session of feeding. Sometimes you may feel that feeding session was less time consuming than burping time.
- Don’t worry, this time is very well spent to make you & your baby happy.
5. Understand cues before crying starts
- Usually, we as a mother tend to take up the baby for breastfeeding when the baby starts crying or following the hard rule of 3 hours alarm clock. Is it true for you as an adult?
- A fixed time or a fixed signal before you start munching or eating anything in different quantities? Absolutely no!
- Then why this rule for baby? Even it is scientifically proven that baby who cries every time for breastfeeding is more likely to be fussy baby and problems settling with a proper feeding pattern.
- There are so many other cues and signs which you can start following before crying like the movement of hands and legs, attaching towards mother and breasts, increase in activity levels, taking fingers and thumb in mouth and so on.
- So it is important to understand all these cues baby makes before he/she starts crying for the food.
- Based on this particular tip comes my next very important tip.
6. Breastfeed on demand
- Feed your baby on demand. It may be required to clock down the frequency initially but move on to on-demand breastfeeding.
- It may happen within an hour or may take as long as 4 to 5 hours. On-demand feeding has more benefits and it also helps develops baby’s feeding pattern, brain development, complete satisfaction, the need for feeling secured and emotional attachment.
- So consider this on-demand feeding a valuable input for your baby’s hunger cues.
7. Use gadgets including breast pump and feeding pillow
- There are moms who feel like going natural as much as possible. Nothing is wrong with that. But for your comfort and for maximizing the breastfeeding experience, it is a good idea to invest in certain gadgets for comfortable and satisfying breastfeeding experience.
- Breast pump helps keep the feeding flow at check including storage of excess milk during the initial period when baby’s intake is less.
- The breast pump is also convenient for those mothers who are working and want to feed breastmilk instead of switching to formula or other milk.
- It is useful even when feeding is not possible when you are out of your home or traveling.
- Same is the case with feeding pillow, which is helpful and supportive for ideal breastfeeding experience and worth the investment for your comfort level & it is relaxing while feeding.
- Understand these important tips to make your breastfeeding experience perfect and full of joy and results in creating a special bond with your baby.
- Enjoy this phase to the maximum, wishing you the best.