Breastfeeding is the perfect way nature created to nurture young human infants.
All major medical organizations such as the American Pediatric Association, the World Health Organization, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the Canadian Pediatrics Society recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and to continue even after introducing solid foods up to years and more, due to the numerous benefits the process brings for both mother and baby.
Breastfeeding is the best natural way to help a mother establish a close relationship with her baby. Every moment a baby spends close to his mother’s breast helps him feel secure, comfortable and loved.
Another positive aspect breastfeeding has is that, by avoiding formula, you will avoid spending a significant amount of money from your monthly family budget. Wouldn’t you rather spend all that money on a babymoon for your family?
Most new mothers suffer from sleep deprivation. Wouldn’t you choose to spend your night in bed, close to your baby, rather than washing baby bottles in the kitchen?
Sometimes, however, breastfeeding is not as easy as you may have imagined before becoming a mother. Problems such as flat or inverted nipples, experiencing some type of nipple injury due to a bad latch, colics, engorged breasts, even mastitis can become a real challenge. You may also experience some types of medical conditions that require stopping breastfeeding, either for a short period or even completely. It is also possible for you to feel that your milk supply is low, or that you are about to lose it completely.
Next, I will guide you through five important steps that help you not only have a smooth start but also make it easy to breastfeed for as long as possible:
– The first step is SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT; it is extremely important for the baby to be close to his mother as soon as possible after birth in order to initiate breastfeeding. If the baby is placed on his mother’s abdomen right after birth, he or she is able to crawl up to the breast and decide when the right time to feed all on his own is. However, this is not possible in all maternities. In this case, it is best to have your baby placed on your chest, directly on your skin, as soon as possible. This helps release oxytocin which will offer you a sense of peace and calmness as well as to initiate breastfeeding. Your baby will experience the same tranquility and will be able to regulate his own body temperature and this will increase his desire to spend as much time as possible close to the breast.
– The second step is to BREASTFEED ON DEMAND;
Your baby is able to know, on his own, when his body needs food and also to let you know about his needs. Your baby doesn’t need an adult to design a rigid feeding schedule. When a baby is breastfed on demand, it signals his mother’s body to produce just the right quantity of milk to satisfy the baby’s needs.
All these being said, you must make sure that you hear your baby swallowing during each feed, and that he is not only nursing for comfort and affection.
It is extremely important, when possible, to choose a maternity that allows your baby to be in the same room as you and to breastfeed on demand instead of using formula. I understand that it sounds easier to have someone else take care of your baby, right after birth, and allow you to rest. However, if you take all details into account, you will clearly see that it is better for your milk supply as well as for both of you, to be together.
– The third step is to BREASTFEED EXCLUSIVELY;
This means your baby must receive only breast milk, not a formula, water or tea. Your breast is all your baby needs, nothing in between.
Any amount of fluids, even water or tea, takes a certain amount of space in your baby’s stomach. Your baby’s stomach is quite small so introducing anything other than breast milk will make your baby nurse less. Less nursing sends the message that your body doesn’t need to produce less milk.
Exclusive breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed a newborn baby. However, in some cases, this is simply impossible either due to the mother experiencing certain medical problems, or the baby, or both of them. In this case, only an INTERNATIONAL BOARD LACTATION CONSULTANT can evaluate correctly your current situation. They can also teach you how to evaluate an efficient milk transfer. I will tell you more about these indicators in the next video.
– Fourth step -CORRECT LATCH;
The baby must latch correctly in order for the breast to receive enough stimulation and to produce the necessary amount of milk. An incorrect latch will cause you to experience sore nipples, your milk supply to decrease and your baby may lose weight.
Now, let me tell you what a correct latch means.
First of all, your baby’s body must be parallel to your belly, his mouth wide open with reverberate lips, the chin bound to the breast and the nose far from it. Only this way, your baby may create the necessary vacuum to allow an efficient milk transfer.
Breastfeeding isn’t painful. If you experience pain, you probably have latching problems. In this case, an IBCLC is the best one to ask for help. This will turn breastfeeding into a real pleasure for both you and your baby.
Breastfeeding means that there must be a baby to latch. When a baby is fed maternal milk from other recipients such as a bottle, not directly from the breast, it is called breast milk feeding.
– The fifth step -THE MOTHER’S ALIMENTATION and BABY’S COLIC;
I am convinced of the fact that, by now, you have heard many things about how what a mother eats may cause her baby to have colic. However, most of them are nothing but myths. They have no scientific basis and are often quite exaggerated. This may have a strong emotional impact on the breastfeeding mother, leaving her each time with fewer foods to choose from. In most cases, after constantly hearing that certain foods must not be consumed while breastfeeding, she will consider that breastfeeding is extremely restrictive and she must stop it completely.
However, colic is not much related to human milk. Is there no formula-fed babies with colic? Therefore, you must know, that you are allowed to eat anything that is not bad for you, or you don’t have any food allergies.
These are the five essential steps that ensure a successful breastfeeding. Now, you may share this information with your partner, to allow them to become a real support, both physical and emotional.
I advise you to search for correct information about breastfeeding. The best and most reliable sources are International Board Lactation Consultants. The people around you may want to help, however, that doesn’t mean they always have the right information to do it properly.
Please relax and observe your baby’s behavior.
This will enable you to learn to read the signals your baby is trying to send you.