Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Choosing whether to breastfeed your baby is a very important decision that may affect your baby’s future, as it has been found to give newborns the best possible start in life. A mother’s milk provides immunity boosting antibodies which helps protect little ones from a wide range of diseases. However, nursing can be challenging for new moms, so we have compiled some useful tips to help get you off to a good start.
Ask for help when feeding for the first time
Ideally, breastfeed your newborn within the first hour following delivery. A mother’s first milk, known as colostrum, is an important source of antibodies that fight off illnesses while your baby’s immune system develops during the first year.
As you will be surrounded by maternity nurses and lactation consultants in the hospital, take the opportunity to learn the positioning of your baby when feeding to make sure he or she is latching on correctly. Although you may find it slightly uncomfortable, it shouldn’t hurt. So if you do feel any pain, then you may not have the right position. If so, don’t hesitate to get a nurse to help you find the correct position.
Always feed on demand
It is advised you let your baby set the pace when it comes to breastfeeding times, but be prepared to feed around 8 to 12 times every 24 hours. Look out for signals your baby may make to indicate they are hungry, such as searching around, putting a hand or fingers in the mouth, or appearing increasingly alert.
If you’re experiencing difficulties like engorgement, poor attachment or breast refusal, consider using a breast pump to help you manage your milk supply and keep baby fed.
Avoid introducing pacifiers until breastfeeding is well establish
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises waiting until breastfeeding is well established before introducing your little one to a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier is different from a nipple, so your baby could get confused and this may interfere with the breastfeeding process. It may take around 3 to 4 weeks after birth before a routine is established.
Stay hydrated and take care of your nipples
Make sure you can make enough milk by staying hydrated. One tip is to sip on a glass of water while nursing. It is also important to take care of your nipples by minimizing the amount of soap or shampoo coming in contact with them. If they’re feeling dried or cracked, smooth a tiny dab of purified lanolin over your nipples after each feeding session.
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond and build intimacy with your child, so don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of. Help get your milk down by nursing in a calm, comfortable environment, and soon enough, all it will take is unhooking your bra for your baby, or even simply hearing the sound of their cry.
- Agnes Yoon