You must have read countless articles about breastfeeding while you were pregnant. This is not surprising because that is what most moms-to-be would do. You’d have read about sore nipples, breasts swollen enough to burst, and any other bits and pieces of information that came your way to do with breastfeeding. Some of them are useful tips while most of the others are just myths that are repeated again and again. So, we are presenting 5 top breastfeeding secrets that will help you in a big way:
1. Nursing – The learning curve for mom and baby
You may have attended prenatal classes where they emphasized that breastfeeding should come naturally to moms, and would even have added a splash of divinity and mysticism to it. You may have heard that babies instinctively crawl towards the breasts and automatically latch, all by themselves the very first time itself.
Well, don’t be surprised or shocked if your baby doesn’t. Especially if the baby was born through a C-Section and you both had to be apart for some time. You can’t obviously have your little one crawl all over you looking for his or her first feeding. Your baby just might not have the knack, or your breasts could be very large and you may find it difficult to feed your baby as you get used to it. Moreover, some moms have pitiably small nipples that newborns find difficult to latch on to.
Moreover it is common for newborns to develop jaundice, don’t worry it goes away quickly after treatment. After being given a clean chit and let go from the hospital, the first night all by yourself, your baby and your hubby, you may feel a bit frightened how you are going to manage. Call in a lactation consultant if required, or start using a breast pump, which is the next best alternative. You can comfortably pump the milk, store it, and feed your baby whenever he or she feels hungry. In no time, you’ll become an expert and feeding will become second nature. And the sight of your baby gurgling contentedly is worth a million dollars.
2. Don’t hesitate to get help, if required
Don’t despair, because, of the 79 percent of new moms who start of nursing their babies only 49 percent manage to continue breastfeeding their little ones even in the sixth month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just 25 percent of the moms continue breastfeeding while the babies are a year old. There could be many reasons, difficulty lactating (consult a lactation specialist) lack of adequate milk, etc. Most of these moms would prefer to use a breast pump to pump the milk lest the dear baby goes hungry, and more importantly is denied breast milk, which is a natural elixir that builds up the body’s immune system.
You can learn all about feeding and pumping schedules from any of the several breastfeeding organizations (find the list at the Journal of Human Lactation or browse https://www.llli.org/ and https://www.bfmed.org/, a worldwide organization dedicated to supporting breastfeeding) that will help you out with simple tips like how you should use nipple shields that will enable easier latching, and also how to cope with your baby’s changing needs. The fact of the matter is that you can exclusively breastfeed your baby without actually breastfeeding. Confused? It’s the breast pump that comes to your rescue again. Countless moms are using breast pumps for various reasons simply because it is like having your cake and eating it too. Your baby is not denied his or her precious feed, and you are not tied down with the latched lips suckling hungrily while you have 101 things to do, and your significant other can help with the feeds as well.
3. How to handle the grueling feeding schedules
Feeding schedules can be pretty grueling because most of the baby’s waking time is taken up for feeding. Your baby needs 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day and most of the remaining hours are spent on feeding. Of course, the more your baby suckles, the more milk is likely to flow. But what about the poor moms who suffer chafed nipples silently? That’s probably why BABY DOPPLER SERENITY ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP is designed in such a way to mimic the suckling of a baby, making it the best way to initiate milk flow and pump it out without chaffing your nipples.
You can still hold your baby the way you would when breastfeeding and ensure he or she gets a full feeding from pumped milk. The bonding doesn’t get affected and the baby gets all the much-needed cuddling, kissing and care. Bonding is one of the best benefits of breastfeeding and why should you lose it just because you have to pump milk like so many other new moms?
4. Handling the embarrassment of Public Breastfeeding
You can’t be at home forever, feeding your newborn and not catching a glimpse of the outside world. However, most new moms are terrified at the thought of having to feed their babies while in public, which is quite understandable. You just don’t know when your little one is going to get hungry and bawl for a feeding. While public breastfeeding has legal protection all over the country moms still feel bad while breastfeeding in public. You can first start practicing by feeding in front of the members of your household and see if that works for you, then you can tell if you are comfortable with it before doing it in public.
Joining breastfeeding support groups is a great idea where you can perfect the techniques of latching and adjusting clothing in a private corner while the job is done. A smarter thing to do would be to get a nursing cover so that what happens behind the scenes is absolutely private and away from prying eyes. Appropriate clothing like button-down shirts and low-cut tops will certainly help, as will nursing tanks.
5. Burp the Baby!
Lastly, don’t forget to burp your baby after every single feed. This will stop your baby from regurgitating all the milk (now curdled) on your lap or onto your couch and leave a mess to clean up. Remember that gas is likely to accumulate in the baby’s stomach and needs to be released gently as it can make the baby uncomfortable as long as it is inside. Your baby’s digestive system is not yet fully developed and is quite delicate at this stage.
Breastfeeding isn’t an easy or enviable task. But moms would sacrifice a lot to get to build that sacred relationship and bond with their newborns through breastfeeding. Any mom will want to cherish the golden moments spent with her baby, putting him or her to sleep with the knowledge they are well-fed and cared for. It really doesn’t matter whether you breastfeed or pump milk to feed your little one, what matters is the special bond you build during feeding and bonding with your new bundle of joy.