Breastfeeding your Baby : Latest Tips for New Parents


Breastfeeding your Baby


One of the smartest and best things you can do to ensure that breastfeeding gets off to a great start is to arrange a meeting with a Lactation Consultant before or at the latest a day or two after birth.

Lactation Consultants specialize in helping mothers get breastfeeding right and assist in solving any problems should they occur. You can obtain the name of a qualified Lactation Consultant from your La Leche League or pediatricians office.

It also a good idea to have someone else take over all other household duties for the first several weeks after birth – especially when your breastfeeding. Have your husband, relatives and friends take turns accommodating the “servant for a day” role.

Enlisting the help of others is crucial to the mother so that she can rest and concentrate on the baby. If possible, hire a Doula. Postpartum-care services are becoming very popular. A Doula specializes in taking care of the needs of the mother. Click here to see if a Doula is available in your area >> DONA (Doulas of North America).

The importance of Breastfeeding your baby as soon as possible

Babies have a period of unique awareness within their first hour of birth, and exhibit an initial sucking reflex that is not as strong until about 35-45 hours later. Nursing immediately after birth helps the uterus contract by stimulating the release of the important hormone oxytocin.

Remember, this is the first time you are introducing your baby to the breast. Be patient. Don’t attempt to force anything or put into practice everything you’ve studied up on. Every baby is different. Some will immediately latch on while others will initially nuzzle and lick the breast. Sucking will usually occur often with bursts and pauses. This is a typical pattern during the first few days.

Studies have shown that most babies can be put to the breast within minutes of birth. Given the chance, they will often crawl up to the breast from the mother’s abdomen and begin breastfeeding themselves. Because this process can take up to an hour or longer, this is the ideal time where mother and baby should be given ample time to begin learning about one another. Additional observation has revealed that skin to skin contact between mothers and their baby keeps the baby warm like an incubator.

In summary, because leading research has shown that babies who “self-attach” run into far fewer breastfeeding problems, the goal should be to guide your baby so that s/he takes the initiative on their own to “self-attach” – thus attaining the optimum result for both mother and baby.

Latching on & Breastfeeding

The primary objective is to get the baby to latch on properly. A baby who latches on properly will derive the best possible flow of milk. A baby who latches on poorly will have difficulty getting the mothers milk, which can be especially frustrating and inadequate if the milk supply happens to be low. An insufficient latch is likened to giving a baby a bottle with a nipple hole that is to small. Even though the bottle may be full, the baby won’t get much. Another side-affect resulting from improper latching is that the baby will begin causing the mother nipple irritation. Additionally, if s/he isn’t receiving milk properly that usually results in the baby remaining on the breast for longer periods thus causing further sustained aggravation to the mothers nipple.

Establishing a proper latch is critical to success. This is truly the key to successful breastfeeding. Unfortunately, many mothers are to often “counseled” by others who do not really understand what a proper latch is. If you are being told that your several day old latch is good despite experiencing very sore nipples, be skeptical and immediately seek the proper advice from a professional.

Prior to leaving the hospital, a proper demonstration should be made known to you so that you know that your baby is latched on correctly and that s/he is actually getting an adequate supply of milk from the breast. It also very important for you to know how to know that s/he is receiving that milk.

If you and the baby are leaving the hospital not knowing or fully understanding any of this, you need to get help quickly.


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