Congratulations to your new beginning! It’s a great feeling and you have a lot to do when it comes to your baby’s growth and health. Breast milk is the best nutrition you give your baby for the initial months, which can also be extended upto a year or two. It is one of the most important aspects that will affect your child’s growth – emotionally and physically. Here are a few of the top reasons that it’s important for both you and your baby:
- Till the age of six months, breast milk can provide all the nutrition for your baby
- Helps strengthen the bond between you and your baby
- Enhances your baby’s immunity and brain growth
- Provides the right nutrients at the right temperature
- Helps you shed weight postpartum and reduces bleeding
- Reduces chances of breast cancer
- Helps relax your body
Breastfeeding – When to start and how?
Breastfeeding should be started as soon as the baby is born, as it stimulates milk production.
Breastfeeding should be started with dry suckling, even before the milk starts flowing. The mother and the baby both should be in comfortable position during breastfeeding and their stomachs should be touching. The baby should be fed from one nipple at a time and it can take anywhere between 10 to 40 minutes depending on the baby’s appetite.
How do you know if your baby is latching well?
Latching is the most important part of the process of breastfeeding. The baby’s mouth should cover the entire areola along with the nipple. As the baby suckles, the jaws press and empty the milk sacs right behind the nipple and milk flow continues from milk producing glands in the breast.
When properly done, breastfeeding is a comforting experience for both the mother and the child. If done incorrectly, the baby doesn’t get enough milk and bites the nipple in frustration, causing the mother much pain.
[You might be interested in this : Secrets To Breastfeeding? ]
How long should nursing sessions last?
For babies who nurse eight to twelve times in 24 hours, most feedings last thirty to forty minutes in the first few weeks and months until babies become more experienced and efficient. Babies who nurse more often usually nurse for shorter times.
Breastfeeding – Myths!
There are a lot of myths surrounding breastfeeding, such as –
- Newborn babies need to be given honey, sugar water or formula feeds
- Mothers need to drink milk to make milk
- Breast milk has no nutritional value after 12 months
- Mothers cannot feed while lying down
- Breast milk can be allergic to baby
Is my baby getting enough breast Milk?
Breast milk is adequate for the baby as long as:
- The baby is passing urine more than 4 times a day during the first 4 days and 8 times a day afterwards
- Baby gains about 30 grams weight per day for the first 3 months and 400 gms per month till one year of age after that
- Sleeps peacefully after a feed
Why is my baby sometimes refusing to latch?
Your baby can sometimes refuse to latch or suckle even when hungry –
- If the baby is sick with stuffy nose or has ear infection
- If simply in an uncomfortable position
- If he/she is confused between pacifier and the nipple
- If the surrounding is very noisy and uncomfortable
- If you are stressed and in pain
How can one manage breast engorgement?
- Nurse early and often
- If your newborn sleeps longer than two to three hours in the day or four hours at night, wake him to nurse
- Before nursing, use a warm and moist cloth on your breast, and express some milk. This makes the baby latch easily.
Tips for Working Mothers
- You can pump and store breast milk for the baby
- Milk can be stored up to 4 hours in room temperature and 24 hours in the refrigerator
- Increase the number of nighttime and morning feeds and nurse full time on holidays
How long can I continue to breastfeed?
Health agencies around the world agree that breastfeeding should continue for at least the first year, and for as long after that as mother and child desire. The World Health Organization recommends every mother to breastfeed for at least two years and a little longer if possible. Your experience is certainly going to be different from what you’ve planned. So, we hope you benefit from this guide to breastfeeding.
About The Hospital
Ankura is a chain of Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.