Nervous about breastfeeding your baby? Here are breastfeeding tips from a lactation consultant on getting the best start with a new baby.
Off to the BREAST Start
by Jennifer L. Reynolds LVN, CLE, IBCLC, Contributing Writer
When beginning to breastfeed, getting off to the right start is crucial to success. Of course starting out using correct technique is what every new mother wants. It will help make the baby and the mother successful at breastfeeding.
While it comes naturally to many, breastfeeding can be quite challenging for some.
Breastfeeding is the natural and physiologic way of feeding an infant, and young toddlers. Human milk is made for humans and is biologically specific for them.
Human babies require human milk. Breast milk is what all babies need. In fact, no other food or drink is necessary until at least 6 months of age.
Formula (artificial baby milk) is made from cow’s milk and soy-based formulas are made from soybeans and are only superficially similar. It is hardly comparable to breast milk.
What is recommended when breastfeeding your baby is to get off to the best start is as follows:
1. Keep mother/baby together. If they need to be separated it should only be for brief periods.
By doing this it encourages the mother to begin to adjust to motherhood and not only bond with her baby but also begin to learn the routine. It can also help a new mom learn the hunger cues.
Hunger cues are feeding signs that new babies’ exhibit when they are ready to eat. Such as rooting, licking smacking hands to mouth etc. This allows the baby to be at breast often and learn how to breastfeed. It gives baby optimal time at the mother’s breast to practice and learn as well.
2. Getting baby to the breast immediately after birth will let the infant self attach. Studies have shown that babies newly delivered and only minutes old, can crawl up the abdomen onto the chest and breastfeed and self attach all by themselves usually in 50-60 minutes. How amazing is that?
3. Kangaroo Care. Even if there was no latch at that time the studies show amazing things from doing this skin-to-skin care.
Kangaroo Mother Care benefits include:
*decreased respiratory rate
*closeness of being back with his mother where he knows scent, is familiar with her voice and touch
*comforting to baby and mom.
4. A proper latch is important to success. Getting the baby on, correctly and deeply latched will help insure success.
5. Breastfeed at regular and consistent intervals. Sucking stimulates the mothers body to release hormones to increases milk volumes. It is like sending the message to her body to “make milk”.
6. Do not limit feeds. Feed the baby whenever he interested. I frequently tell moms, “Let him have unrestricted access to the breast.” It is ok to when breastfeeding your baby to have your baby feed on demand at first.
The more you know and understand and educate yourself on breastfeeding your baby the more confident you will be.
Offering the breast milk is really the best milk.
If every mother really understood the benefits of breastfeeding, I think we could see an amazing increase in our breastfeeding rates and, overall, we could see healthier mothers and babies and a much healthier society.
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