Written by – Natalie Michele, Maternity at Home
The decision to breastfeed is always a choice that you have to make. If you decide that you like to breastfeed then you should know some of the tips that will allow you to do it naturally. There are a lot of people who have strong beliefs about breastfeeding and the wide array of benefits that is can give. This makes it highly appealing especially for first time mothers who have never done it before. There is always the choice to breastfeed with a pump, but that is ideally up to you and you could be missing out on mother nature’s primordial act by doing so.
Tips on Breastfeeding
You have to remember that nursing your baby may not always be easy. If you are a new mom, it is likely that you would ask the help of someone else who knows what you need to do. There are certain tips that you have to remember so that you will know if your baby is breastfeeding correctly:
- Make sure that you are comfortable.
You need to make sure that your position is already comfortable before you let your baby start breastfeeding. This way, you do not have to move around so much and it will not be confusing for your baby who is about to start breastfeeding. Post-partum can definitely be a stressful period, but just remember that you need to remain positive throughout.
- Give support to your baby.
Your baby may immediately know what to do but you still need to make sure that your little one will be supported while you cradle your baby close to your breast.
- Place your nipple on the baby’s lower lip.
This will be the sign that your baby needs to latch on to your nipple. The baby’s mouth will usually close around the areola while the nipple will be at the back of the baby’s mouth. You can hear the sucking and swallowing that your baby will do. When you hear this, then you will know that your baby is breastfeeding correctly.
- Be observant.
You may not know when you should start feeding your baby. Usually, for new-borns, they would need to feed every 2 – 3 hours. You have to be prepared that you will not be getting a lot of sleep for the first few weeks. You also have to be patient because your baby needs all the nutrients that your breast milk can provide.
- Feeding may take from 15 – 30 minutes.
The amount of time required by your baby to feed will always depend on your baby. Usually, you will know when the baby is already full. After each feeding, you are required to make your baby burp. This will allow your baby to let go of the unwanted air that may have gotten stuck in your baby’s tummy because of feeding.
There are some mothers who become tired at times that they do not want to breastfeed anymore and they give their babies pacifiers to suck on instead. Pacifiers are not recommended until babies are able to distinguish the two because sucking on pacifiers is different from breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
If in case you are curious to know more about the benefits that can be received by breastfeeding, you have to remember that breastfeeding will not only benefit your baby, you will benefit from it as well.
- Breastfed babies are healthier.
Studies show that babies who are breastfed are usually healthier than those who are reliant on the formula. They are usually less prone to get various diseases that may usually affect babies. Some infections that babies become exposed to, can be devastating and breastfeeding may help reduce the probability of acquiring those infections.
- Breastfeeding mothers develop stronger bones.
While pregnancy itself will allow women’s bones to become stronger in general as the body absorbs more calcium, studies show that mothers who breastfeed actually become less prone to developing conditions that are related to the bones when they become menopausal.
- Breastfeeding reduces SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) chances.
There are some infants who suddenly die for no apparent reason at all. It is often unexpected and people do not want it to happen but in order for the risk to become greatly reduced, breastfeeding will surely make a lot of difference.
- Breastfeeding reduces chances of acquiring cancer.
Childhood cancer is always devastating not only for the children but for the parents as well. Mothers are also in a lesser chance of developing certain types of cancers like breast cancer and ovarian cancer because of giving birth and breastfeeding.
- Breast milk eventually becomes customized for babies.
The thing with breast milk is that they are always different from one mother to another. The body usually adjusts depending on what the baby needs. This means that through breast milk, your baby will get all of his/her needs without having to spend too much money on formula milk.
Based on the things that are mentioned above, do you think that the benefits are enough to let you give breastfeeding a try? Of course, the decision will still be up to you but if you do decide to breastfeed, you will realize that it is one fulfilling experience and something that you will not forget in the years to come.
Natalie is the owner of MaternityatHome. She’s a General Physician during the day and a devout mother of two. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with other mothers or mothers-to-be out there! Check out her blog to get the latest in everything baby and pregnancy. Be sure to follow Natalie on Twitter and Instagram.