Chances are that, as a new mother, you already know full well why you ought to breastfeed, if it’s at all an option: it’s healthier, more natural, and it saves a whole lot of money. But there’s no getting around the fact that, the first time you start doing it, it can be a bit tricky to get it right. You’re handling something very delicate, after all, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re doing it in such a way that they’re getting everything they need.
So to assist those newly breastfeeding mothers, here’s a few tips for feeding time.
Keep in mind, at all times, that this milk comes from what you eat and drink. As a result, during breastfeeding, eating healthy becomes an investment not just in your health, but in that of your child. Keep a balanced diet, with plenty of natural foods and good nutrition – consider consulting with a nutritionist before the baby arrives and drawing up a healthy eating plan.
In addition, you’ll want to be sure that you drink plenty of water. Creating milk, after all, requires plenty of liquid; it’s best to stay hydrated.
And also of course, you’ll want to avoid smoking and drinking – fail to do so, and that alcohol and nicotine is going to seep into your breast milk, and thus into your baby. Even caffeine, while not terrible, is best cut down on – too much of that seeping into your breast milk can seriously throw off your baby’s sleep schedule.
Some soreness of the nipples is natural, especially early on. Nonetheless, taking proper care of your nipples is best not just for you, but for your baby.
Remember that the milk is good for you, as well as your baby. If you have the time, rather than drying your nipples after a feeding, allow them to air out. Keep your nipples washed regularly with warm water, but avoid soaps that can dry out the skin. And if you should find yourself suffering from frequently cracked or dry nipples, a lanolin cream can do a great deal to sooth them.
It can be rather frustrating for new mothers to realise that they really don’t have any reliable way of tracking just how much milk they’re providing – after all, given how often new babies tend to want to feed, it can start to feel, pretty quickly, as if they aren’t getting enough from you.
Nonetheless, the best thing for you and your baby is to not allow yourself to get too stressed about supply. It’s more than natural for a newborn to be hungry a great deal of the time; odds are it isn’t your fault.
If you want to be confident that you’re feeding them enough, you need simply watch their weight and how many wet diapers they make in the average day. They naturally lose a little weight after the first week or so of birth; but from then on, as long as they’re gaining weight at a steady rate, and making at least six or so wet diapers a day, you can be sure they’re getting enough.
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