Despite the age-old belief that nurturing a child comes naturally for mothers, tending to a newborn can be stressful. Breastfeeding, in particular, can prove to be an uncomfortable, tiring experience for most women, and THAT is putting the situation lightly. While a few things which differ from one baby to next might need some trial and error, there are some basic situations which can be handled with the right advice and support. Here are a few tips which might make breastfeeding less of a hassle.
Take help from the start:
Talk to your doctor for basic guidelines on issues you might face and open yourself to advice your friends or relatives who have an idea about motherhood. You can also join antenatal classes or help groups for mothers near you for in-depth understanding. A lot of women are at a complete loss about motherhood, and keeping communication open and helplines up would certainly make at least half your worries disappear!
Ensure your baby is latching well to your nipple:
A lot of women complain about soreness in breasts or child being cranky since they are not able to latch on to the nipple properly. Your baby’s mouth needs to cover the larger part of the underside of your nipple. You might also want to pay special attention to your position so as to ensure you don’t bet uncomfortable while feeding and the child can be held on properly.
No crash diets:
Breast milk is an important part of the dietary need of the baby in his/her initial months, which means that your nutrition intake needs special attention as well. Do not try dieting in order to lose the post-pregnancy weight right away; new mothers need at least 500 calories more than the regular diet, bringing average diet intake to 2,000-2,500 calories per day. Include nutrients such as DHA, proteins, Vitamins and calcium in your diet and keep yourself hydrated at all costs. Avoid substances like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and mercury rich fishes.
Watch your baby’s clues:
Pay attention to your baby to determine when he/she needs to be fed rather than a clock. Look out for signs that indicate hunger in them. Understand that if a child ends up too hungry by their clock-assigned feeding time, it will be painful for you since they will suckle too hard, and if they are full by that time, refusal will be underway. Common early signs displayed by babies to show they are hungry are smacking lips, sucking on lips or tongue or frequent opening and closing of the mouth.
Plan, if you need to go to work:
Working mothers should definitely invest in breast pumps to store milk. Often mothers slowly wean their child and start them on formula milk as soon as the need to return to work after maternity leave arises since they cannot feed their child anymore, which is not an optimal option. Do not keep the milk in the refrigerator for more than 3 days, and always warm it slightly before feeding the baby.
While this is not an exhaustive list of what can or cannot be done, it certainly should help you to get started. Remember, breastfeeding is an integral part of your baby’s growth and a few considerations here and there might save you a lot of pain so you can coo over your happy baby as much as you like.