What do you understand about Breastfeeding?
If you are thinking about breastfeeding, you have probably heard that it can have many benefits for your baby. But, the important thing to remember is that the benefits of breastfeeding reach beyond your baby. The benefits also include you and your entire family. Learn what other moms feel about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Breast milk is a baby’s best food. It provides your baby with a good balance of nutrients and antibodies against disease, and it is easy for your baby to digest. Your breast milk changes to meet your baby’s needs. This booklet addresses issues about breastfeeding, such as questions new mothers have about breastfed and the benefits of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is when you and your baby share the special bond of mother-baby intimacy. It brings you closer together. It is a time to enjoy each other, a time to develop trust between you, and a time to help your baby grow. As the hormone oxytocin flows from the breast during breastfeeding, both mommy and baby feel good!
What are the Signs if Your Baby is Hungry?
By the time a baby is five days to two weeks old, most babies will let you know when they are hungry by showing physical signs, such as being fussy, rooting for the breast, and putting their hand in their mouth.
Breastfeeding Benefits for the Baby and Mother
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby. The breast milk your child receives contains protein, vitamins, and fat in a perfect ratio for her body. Breastfeeding also lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies later on. Plus, babies who receive breast milk exclusively (without any formula) for the first 6 months have fewer ear infections and respiratory illnesses than infants who do not breastfeed as long. Research shows that these children are also healthier and have fewer hospital visits throughout their first year.
Breast milk is best for a baby. Breastfeeding has many benefits and is linked to higher I.Q. scores later in life, as well as lower risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. It provides babies with the right amount of nutrition and helps them feel secure by giving them a constant source of nourishment.
Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother
Breastfeeding gives your baby a start on good health, and it is easy on you too. It has been shown to reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, ear infections, and infant mortality. Breastfeeding also helps you burn extra calories and should help you lose weight faster than bottle feeding. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps you regain your pre-pregnancy size just four to six weeks after birth. Oxytocin may also ease postpartum bleeding and help shrink your uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. Research shows breastfeeding lowers your risk for certain diseases, including breast and ovarian cancer. It may offer protection from osteoporosis later in life as well. Oxytocin may also help make delivery smoother, by helping your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and preventing hemorrhaging during delivery.
Breastfeeding can also save you money. With breastfeeding, you do not have to buy formula or sterilize bottles or spend time and money to go out for meals. You can have time to relax quietly with your baby as you get to know one another.
Are You Making Enough Milk to Breastfeed?
Breast milk changes over time to provide all of the nutrition your growing baby needs. During the first few days after birth, your breasts make a thick, yellowish liquid called colostrum. Your baby will feed often during the day and night, and it is important to make enough colostrum during this time. The second phase of breast milk gradually replaces the colostrum with something called transitional milk. You will make about two to four cups of transitional milk each day until you reach your breastfeeding goal. After that, you will continue to make mature milk as long as you breastfeed.
Most mothers begin to make milk within 3 to 5 days after the birth of their baby. This transitional milk gives her infant the nutrients they need to start growing right away. By 10 to 15 days, your breasts will make mature milk, which is all the nutrition your baby needs for the first 6 months. The amount of milk you make is related to how often and how long you breastfeed your baby; if you are breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) and your baby is nursing often, your body will respond by making more milk. Some babies lose a small amount of weight in their first few days due to fluid shifts; this has nothing to do with breastfeeding.
Is your infant getting enough milk?
As a breastfeeding mom, you should know how to tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk. When you look at these signs, remember that they are not all-inclusive. Some babies need more breastmilk than others. For example, a baby who is born early or too small may need to feed more often and gain weight faster than a larger full-term baby. How much your baby gains depends on how big she was at birth and how much milk she needs compared to other babies her age. Your healthcare provider can tell you if your baby is developing normally.
What is the Best Position for Breastfeeding?
There are as many ways to breastfeed as women are nursing their babies. The positions and techniques you use will evolve, as your baby grows and begins to develop new skills.
- Cradle position- The cradle position is a great breastfeeding option for babies and moms both! The cradle position provides full access to your breast — it is easy for you to hold your baby in place, and for them to latch. It also lets you easily see your baby’s latch, stroke their lips more effectively, and adjust the fit as needed. Cradle’s close-to-body fit is also ideal for busy moms on the go.
- Side-lying position- Many mothers find breastfeeding comfortable and natural. But whether your baby is sucking at your breast or taking a bottle, it is important to know the correct position for breastfeeding. Use pillows under your head, rest one elbow on a pillow and the other arm on your waist to support yourself. Then, with your baby near you in bed, bend both knees up slightly so that you are half sitting up and facing your baby. Supporting the head and neck with one hand will allow you to use your other hand to guide your baby’s head toward the breast.
- Football position- The football hold is an easy way to support a small baby while breastfeeding. It is a good choice if you are recovering from a cesarean birth or have back pain. Hold your baby close along your forearm, positioning the head and neck correctly in your hand.
- Laid-back position- The laid-back or biological nurturing position is a lot like it sounds. It is meant to tap into the natural breastfeeding instincts you and your baby have. Lean back but not flat on a couch or bed. Have good support for your head and shoulders. Hold your baby so your entire front touches, but both of you are relaxed and comfortable. Help your baby latch onto the breast naturally if he or she needs help.
- Cross-cradle holds- Put your baby on your lap and have them face you. With your thumb and forefinger, gently squeeze the areola (the area around the nipple). Gently pull outward as you slip your pinky and ring finger under the areola. Gently pull out and up to create space for latching on. Put your baby’s mouth on the breast. Do not lean forward to push their head down—it can cause their head to tilt back, which may make latching on difficult.
How to Get Your Baby to “Latch on” to Your Breast during Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for both you and your baby. It is important to use proper positioning and support when trying to get your baby to ‘latch on. The key is to help your baby keep their mouth wide open, so their tongue is not blocking the nipple, and place the nipple just behind their gums at the roof of their mouth.
Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to provide your baby with essential nutrients and help him or her grow and develop. If you have just given birth, you may notice that your baby is not latching on right away. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help him latch more easily. Here we will cover what to expect during breastfeeding — also called lactation — including how to get your newborn to “latch on” correctly and tips for dealing with nipple pain.
Tips for New Breastfeeding Moms
It is common for mothers–even experienced ones–to have questions about breastfeeding. Here are some tips to help you get started: Plan. Be sure your doctor and midwife know ahead of time that you plan to breastfeed. Once you are in labor, be clear with the hospital staff that you do not want to use breast milk substitutes such as formula or donated breast milk. Also, ask your doctor or a lactation consultant to schedule follow-up breastfeeding check-ups during the 2 weeks after birth.
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, one of the first things you will want to do is begin breastfeeding. Breastfeeding—or giving your baby breast milk—is a great way for moms and babies to bond. It is also an important part of helping your baby grow up healthy. This section gives you some tips to help you get breastfeeding off to a good start.
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