Whether you're a new mom or you already have children, breastfeeding may be a challenge for you. For most moms and babies, it takes time, practice and patience to get the hang of latching on as well as finding a position that works for both of you. But don't worry, we've put together five useful breastfeeding tips for new moms.
Breastfeeding offers many benefits to you and your baby. Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients to help your infant grow into a strong and healthy toddler. Some of the nutrients in breast milk also help protect your infant against some common childhood illnesses and infections.
For mommies, it may also help your health. Certain types of cancer may occur less often in mothers who have breastfed their babies. Also, it helps you lose those pregnancy pounds (while nursing you burn up to 500 extra calories per day).
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding - without any formula or solid food - until a baby is six months old, followed by breastfeeding with the addition of appropriate foods through age two.
If you have just started breastfeeding, you're doing the right thing for yourself and your baby.
However, if breastfeeding doesn't come naturally at first, don't fret. Plenty of new moms and babies have to practice and persevere until they get the hang of it.
Here are Five Helpful Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms:
Yes, it may hurt (at least at first)!
The most important thing is to help your baby latch on correctly. An improper latch is the most common cause of nipple pain.
Make sure her mouth is wide open before putting her on your breast. To encourage your baby to open wide, tickle the center of her bottom lip with your nipple, then aim your nipple at the roof of her mouth and quickly bring her to you chin first. If she latches on incorrectly, take her off your breast and try again.
In the event that the pain persists or your nipples are cracked or bleeding, consult with your physician.
Your nutrient needs are greater while breastfeeding your baby and excessive dieting can reduce milk supply.
Studies have shown that most healthy breastfeeding women maintain an abundant milk supply while taking in 1800-2200 (or more) calories per day.
However, counting calories is rarely necessary unless you are having problems maintaining a healthy weight. Inevitably, you should simply listen to your body and eat to appetite while maintaining a sensible diet – this is usually all you need to do to get the calories you need for you and your baby. When exclusively nursing a baby, it is common to feel hungry most of the time. Mothers of older babies may feel hungrier when baby temporarily increases his or her milk intake.
Listen to your body and eat right.
How much water should you drink while breastfeeding? The average adult needs about 8, 8-ounce glasses of water per day so that’s 64 ounces. During pregnancy and breastfeeding this average intake increases. During breastfeeding we should drink an extra quart, or 32 ounces, per day. Roughly, we should be drinking around 100 ounces of water per day. Around three-fourths of a gallon of water. As not to make it boring, you can try mixing your favorite juice with water or make a healthy smoothie at home. If you are a coffee or soda drinker, try not to have more than 2 cups of caffeinated beverages per day. If you drink alcohol, consider waiting until your baby is 3 months old, then try to limit it to 1-2 drinks per week.
Invest in some comfy nursing tanks, bras, covers, pillows.
Nursing tanks and bras make your breastfeeding session with your precious one more comfortable and easy since it allows you to move freely and latch them in a correct position.
Nursing covers give you and your baby a special moment just between the two of you. It gives you a little privacy. But don’t get me wrong, you should never feel ashamed to breastfeed your baby in public. It is a primordial need.
Nursing pillows are also a great investment especially to women who have a bad back. The use of a nursing pillow during breastfeeding can make things so much easier in the first few weeks. It makes latching easier and your baby feels comfortable with the soft pillow you placed her on. You can keep your nursing pillow covers fresh at all times with Adorology Nursing Pillow Covers.
Savor that once in a lifetime (maybe) experience.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience of motherhood – one that reinforces the special bond between the mother and her child.
Breastfeeding is important as it gives nutritive and immune support for baby and it releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. But breastfeeding is designed to be much more than just providing food — it is a time for bonding, a time for comfort and nurturing. Many studies demonstrate the benefits of skin-to-skin contact in babies. One measurable benefit of such contact is increased oxytocin releases in both you and your infant. Regular, high oxytocin levels not only comfort you and your baby but they serve to increase your sense of satisfaction with motherhood.
Breastfeeding is a time for studying and memorizing each other’s faces, for speaking or singing to your baby and developing her trust and nonverbal communication.
It is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating feeling any women will ever experience.