A lot of people are under the impression that breastfeeding is a simple and straightforward process. They assume it is only about feeding your child or a baby latching on to a mother’s breast. Breastfeeding is much more than another chore on your list of new responsibilities. It is a complete way of life. As a new mother, breastfeeding can be quite challenging for you at first. However, it is important to learn how to do it right so you build a strong and lasting relationship with your child.
Having a healthy child is every mother’s joy. Through this beautiful act of nature, you have the capacity to improve your health immensely and ensure your child’s health remains in perfect shape. By breastfeeding your child, you provide them with natural antibodies that help develop their immune system. Moreover, breastfeeding mothers have a lower risk of contracting breast or ovarian cancer. Another little known fact is that breastfeeding helps new mothers lose the excess weight their gained during pregnancy.
Hence, both the mother and child experience a lot of breastfeeding benefits. That is why it is important to know how to breastfeed properly. By following some simple guidelines, you will be able to maximize on the benefits of breastfeeding. It is absolutely normal to not be familiar with the process. As a new mother, there will be a lot of things that you are unaware of. You will need to learn along the way. No one starts motherhood knowing how to breastfeed right off the bat. It is a skill that is learned and honed as you and your child grow.
One of the most important aspects that boost the process of breastfeeding and make it much easier is “comfort”. You should be comfortable and so should your child. Pick a position and location that will bring you comfort and ease. It is not uncommon to fall asleep during breastfeeding. You should make sure the spot you pick is one where you and your baby can go to sleep in without any worries. Make sure there are no blankets or extra pillows that could potentially suffocate or cause discomfort your child.
Once you start prioritizing comfort above all, you are ready to begin your journey of proper breastfeeding.
Hold Your Baby Properly
Holding your baby properly is of utmost importance. This single handedly determines the level of comfort of your baby and ultimately how well they breastfeed. There are a few positions you can consider. Each position comes with its own set of advantages and benefits. Four of the most popular positions are:
- Cradle hold
In this position, you will hold your child laterally against your body. You will place one hand under their head (or their whole body) to support them. You can also choose to use a pillow or cushion to support them. One of the best positions for the mother in cradle holding is sitting up or leaning in a chair or against a few pillows in bed.
- Laidback hold
This breastfeeding position is known for being really beneficial for a great latch. When your baby latches on properly, it makes the entire breastfeeding process much easier for the mother. Mothers also experience lesser biting due to the placement of the baby. It also improves your child’s feeding reflexes and encourages better bonding between mother and child.
- Football Hold
Also called the clutch hold, this breastfeeding position requires you to lay your child down beside you. With your baby facing upwards and laterally, guide them towards your breast. Ensure that you are seated comfortably before commencing.
- Side lying hold
Most mothers prefer this breastfeeding position the most. Not only is it perfectly alright to go to sleep while feeding, but also both you and child will be perfectly comfortable. You need to make sure that the elevation level is ideal for your child. Your breast should be at the same level as your baby’s mouth or even a little lower.
Ensure Proper Latching
A proper latch is beneficial for the mother as well as the child. With a proper and deep latch, your baby will feed far easier. Moreover, you will not face a lot of issues with the process either. The more of your areola that your baby’s mouth covers, the better. Placing your nipple closer to your child’s nose than their mouth yields better results. This will push your child to lift their mouth closer to the nipple and latch on properly. A comfortable position would be to keep your child’s stomach at the same level as yours. This enables a better and proper latch.
Water Is Not Needed
If your child is breastfeeding, they do not need water. Do not offer them water or introduce bottle feeding early on. Your breastmilk has all the nutrients that your child could possibly need at this stage. Moreover, introducing a bottle at an early stage will confide your child owing to the difference in nipple shape, size, and texture.
Pillows Are Your Best Friend
Make use of as many pillows as you need to give your child the support they need. Positioning is the most important factor of breastfeeding. You should always make sure that the position you are in is a comfortable one. You do not want to end up with crippling back ache from breastfeeding.
As a new mother, you should be prepared to breastfeed from 8 to 12 times a day. You can never anticipate how hungry your baby is or when hunger strikes again. Sometimes the frequency of feeding sessions can go as high as once every two hours. A simple and easy way to entice a crying baby to feed is by guiding them to your nipple by rubbing it (or your finger) on their cheek until they turn their cheek.
Newborns have the tendency of needing to be fed every two or three hours. If you are unsure of whether your child is hungry or not, look for signs of restlessness, stirring, sucking motions, and lip movements.
You cannot determine how long or how short your breastfeeding sessions will last. Do not attempt to dictate just how slow or fast your baby sucks. Every child is perfectly capable of determining their pace. Let them take their time and enjoy the breastfeeding process.
ALSO READ: Frequency of Breastfeeding by Age
You should make sure to keep an eye on your baby at all times. One of the best ways of doing so without literally being around your child 24/7 is to invest in a baby monitor. Our Smart AI Invidyo Baby Monitor allows you to keep a watchful eye on your child at all times. With Stranger Alerts, Smile Detection, incredible Night Vision, and a Two-Way Mic System, you can make sure your child is safe at all times. Besides, the camera records daily summary videos with all the highlights of the day for you to replay.
If you are a heavy sleeper, then it is advised to not sleep with your baby so as not to roll over them at any point during the night. It is quite easy to smother a child. Adults beds are not the best choice for infants. Invest is a cot or a separate bed. It is alright to have them sleep in the same room but never the same bed.
Consume A Healthy Diet
Most importantly, in order to breastfeed your child well you should be consuming a healthy diet. You need to feed yourself well in order to be able to feed your child well. The food you eat will directly reflect on your baby. Make sure to stay hydrated and to eat healthy. You can also help your child get nourished and grow properly if you are doing the same to your own body.
These breastfeeding tips will help you and your child immensely in the first few months as a new mother. Did you find this article helpful? Comment below with any other tips you can share to help new mothers with breastfeeding.