The birth of your baby is such an exciting time for any parents, it can be quite a daunting time for new parents and special mums caring for a new born and meeting a them for the first time. The first few weeks are getting to know your baby, building a bond and learning curve. The benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby are vast, the decision to breast feed or bottle feed is a very personal one. Most mothers have an idea before their baby is born whether they will breast feed or bottle feed. Sometime breast feeding may not happen for a number of reasons and the mother should not feel guilty that she has to bottle feed.
Breast milk provides all the nutrients your baby needs for growth and development, it contains anti-bodies which can help your baby’s immune system and fight infection. All mothers can breastfeed but it does take commitment and practice. You are more likely to succeed if you have support, help and all the information you need. Support is also available from Public Health Nurses, Midwifes, Lactation Consultants and GPs.
You will need to balance the baby’s demands for milk with your supply. This can take time, as does getting the feeding position right and feeling comfortable with it. You may find the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding uncomfortable and very tiring, until your supply settles down and the baby learns how to feed well, but as you gain in confidence, you become more relaxed. By the time your baby is a couple of months old, you will be quite the professional.
Top Breastfeeding Tips:
In the first few weeks’ demand feed this will help increase baby’s weight and also help to make more breast milk. Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest and gentle on your baby’s small tummy. It meets all your baby’s needs for nutrients and has immune factors that protect from illness and infection. The recommendation is to breastfeeding for the first 6 months’ before introducing solids.
Getting a rest around lunch time while your baby naps, helps with your supply in the evening of breast milk in the evening. Ask visitors to come either before or after your siesta, to limit the amount of disruptions. Siestas are a great way to start setting up the steps for a proper afternoon routine for baby as well.
Breastfeeding is a time for mum and baby to bond. Always feed your baby in a comfortable position on the sofa or in bed using cushions or pillows to help prop baby. Having a small snack, glass of water, phone, TV remote nearby. Some mums will find the first few minutes of a feed uncomfortable and sore. If cracked nipples, redness and soreness continues, ask for help from your doctor or public health visitors or lactation consultant and check your baby’s latch.
Do not be afraid to ask for help from family and friends whether it be practical or emotional help. Accept offers of help with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, minding older children, school runs, so that you can spend time caring for baby. Support groups are also helpful as you will meet other mothers who are going through similar experiences and that there is a world outside the family home.
The main function of the breasts is to supply food and nourishment to your baby. Successful breastfeeding does not depend on the size of the breasts, women with very small breasts can feed just as successfully as very large breasts.
From the 16th week of pregnancy the breast produce colostrum. This will feed the baby for the first 2-3 days after birth. It is a thick yellowish fluid which has a high protein content but is lower in sugar and fat than mature human milk, and it’s easy for baby to digest.
Benefits of Breast feeding:
- Contains all the right nutrition’s and is easily digested.
- Colostrum protects the baby from some infections.
- It’s sterile and reduce the risk of infection.
- It’s always available at the correct temperature.
- It more convenient.
- There are no bottles to prepare or heat.
- It’s less expensive then purchasing modified milk.
- It is also more difficult to digest and this may cause wind or colic.