Breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding experiences a mother can share with their child, but it can also be one of the hardest times for some moms. Breastmilk can be beneficial for a baby, as it includes everything from protein to fat and vitamins to enzymes. One of the most interesting facts about breastmilk is that it can change depending on the child’s needs. Here we will go over some tips for helping mothers learn breastfeeding basics and cater to their babies the right way.
Every child is unique, and so is their caregiving pattern. What is ideal for one might not work for the other. For the same reason, let’s learn a few breastfeeding basics that will help you get started with motherhood.
Try to Have a Natural Birth
The success of breastfeeding starts before a baby is even born. Having a natural birth without medication or interventions can help a mother and baby’s breastfeeding journey. Medication can cause sleepiness and latching issues in babies.
Try To Establish Skin-to-Skin Contact
Once a baby is born, it is important to have skin-to-skin contact with the mother immediately. Babies are normally awake during this time, and their instincts gravitate them towards the mother’s milk. When babies breastfeed within the first hour of birth, they are more likely to have success with breastfeeding.
Breastfeed Frequently On-Demand
Mothers should breastfeed their newborn every two to three hours or sooner if the baby gives the hunger cues. Sometimes babies can be very tired the first few days, so it is important to wake babies every two to three hours.
Try to Delay Bottle Feeding or Pacifier
If possible, try not to give the baby a bottle or pacifier until they have breastfed for a few weeks with a good latch. While some babies can easily go back and forth between their mom’s breast and an artificial nipple, other babies have nipple confusion, leading to the baby having a hard time latching.
Stay Hydrated and Fed
For the mother to produce milk, it is important that she stays well hydrated and fed enough calories. Many mothers do not realize that you should drink and eat a lot more than is recommended for a non-nursing mother.
There are many different breastfeeding positions. It is important to find the one that works best for both mother and the baby. The foremost priority is to support the baby in all positions. Moving ahead with learning breastfeeding basics, we will explore some of the common positions here.
The reclined position is usually the first position most mommies try. It is because the mother gains a skin-to-skin connection with their babies in this position. You can continue with this position even when the baby gets older. While the mother is in a reclined position, the baby begins to cradle towards the mother’s breast.
Many mothers find the cradle holds one of the most comfortable breastfeeding positions. In this position, the mother cradles the baby with their head supported by one arm and the bottom by another. The baby is in a laying position facing the mother’s breast. Some mothers prefer having a nursing pillow or pillow under the baby for extra support.
Underarm or Rugby Hold
The underarm position requires tucking the baby under the mother’s arms with their feet towards the back. This position works well with a pillow or nursing pillow. Many mothers find this position to be useful when the baby is firstborn and has difficulty latching. It is also a good hold for C-section mamas or mothers with multiples.
The side-lying position is perfect for tired mothers breastfeeding in the middle of the night or even C-section moms who may have stitches. This position requires the mother and baby to lie down facing one another.