Health experts recommend that mothers should breastfeed newborn babies as opposed to using commercial formulas. This is because breast milk offers several health benefits to the baby, such as improving the immune system. Breastfeeding, however, can be quite challenging. This is more of the case for first-time mothers. Below are a few tips that should help you breastfeed the right way.
Get Help from a Professional
New mothers usually read books on breastfeeding only to assume that they have all the relevant knowledge. This often turns out to be a huge mistake considering that kids have different nutritional requirements. As much as reading might help, you should seek help from a maternity nurse the very first time you breastfeed. The maternity nurse will show you practically how to breastfeed the right way. For example, she will teach you how to position the baby correctly during breastfeeding. You should also ask for help from a healthcare provider whenever you notice changes in the baby’s breastfeeding behaviour.
Know Your Baby’s Signs of Hunger
Newborns are breastfed after two or three hours. The routine might change as the baby grows older. It is essential for you to know and be able to identify the early signs of hunger so that you always breastfeed the baby at the right time. Examples of the signs that your baby is hungry include restlessness, stirring, lip movements and sucking motions. Allow the baby to latch on one breast without interruption. When done, burp the baby and offer the other breast. If your baby prefers only one breast, make sure you pump the other one from time to time.
Let Your Baby Sleep in Your Room
You should always sleep in the same room as your baby for at least the first six months after birth. This not only makes it easier for you to breastfeed during the night but also decreases the risks of SIDS. Sleeping in the same room, however, does not mean sleeping on the same bed. The baby should have his or her bassinette or crib, as the adult’s beds are not safe for babies.
Do Not Give Your Baby a Pacifier Too Soon
Pacifiers tend to sooth and make some babies happy. However, giving your baby a pacifier may interfere with how he or she breastfeeds. This is because sucking on the pacifier feels different from a breast. You, therefore, should wait for more than a month before you introduce a pacifier so that you first establish breastfeeding.
Take Good Care of Your Nipples
There are many things which you need to do as part of taking care of your nipples. For starters, you should allow the milk to dry naturally after breastfeeding. This has the effect of soothing the nipples. You should also use bra pads if your breasts usually leak between feedings. Make sure that you change the bra pads often. When bathing or taking a shower, minimise the amount of shampoo or soap that gets into contact with your nipple. You should also apply purified lanolin on the nipples to prevent them from drying and cracking. And if they are cracked already, lanolin will soothe them as well as reduce the recovery time.
Breastfeeding is essential as far as the overall well-being of the child is concerned. With the tips shared above, mothers have what it takes to raise healthy babies.