Congratulations on your new addition! It may be both wonderful and exhausting to welcome a new baby. Whether you choose to breastfeed your baby or not exclusively, remember that every ounce of breastmilk you give him or her is a lovely gift that aids in their growth and development. So here’s a helpful guide on breastfeeding that we made to help you out.
Breastfeeding is beneficial to babies.
Breastmilk provides much more than nutrients to newborns. As a result, each time you breastfeed, you increase the benefits your kid receives. Mom’s first milk, colostrum, is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold” due to its numerous health advantages.
It gives not only nourishment but also potent antibodies that protect your baby from illness – it’s similar to your kid’s first immunization. Breastfed babies are less prone to disease and have fewer ear and respiratory infections.
They are less likely to catch a cold or the flu, and breastfed newborns are 36% less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding also protects babies against childhood leukemia, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension as they develop.
Your body produces breastmilk specifically for your kid, and it really modifies over time to match your baby’s evolving demands. It varies from the beginning to the finish of the feeding and changes over time as your baby grows older. Because the proteins in breastmilk are gentler on babies’ stomachs, they are less likely to experience digestive issues such as gas, constipation, or colic.
Breastfeeding has also been demonstrated to improve baby intelligence. Breastfed children have higher IQs and perform better in school.
Moms Can Benefit from The Following:
Breastfeeding is beneficial not just to babies but also to mothers. Nursing releases hormones that soothe you and help you bond with your baby, and it allows you to sleep more because you don’t have to prepare or reheat bottles.
Nursing helps you stay healthy by lowering a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Breastfeeding is similar to working out in that it burns up to 600 calories per day and generates contractions that decrease your uterus to pre-pregnancy size, allowing breastfeeding mothers to recuperate faster.
Then there’s the matter of money. Breastfeeding for one month can save up to $200 on formula costs, not including bottles and nipples. Over the course of a year, this can amount to savings of $900 to $2,160.
There is a lot that fathers can do to help to breastfeed as you and your spouse adjust to your new roles as parents. Supportive fathers or other partners can help parents breastfeed for extended periods of time, providing more health advantages to both mom and baby.
As a father or partner, you can be a powerful advocate for mom and baby breastfeeding and enjoying skin-to-skin time during the Sacred Hour, the first hour after the baby’s birth. This is a vital period for your infant to receive nutrient-rich colostrum and begin breastfeeding.
Even babies born via cesarean section (c-section) can and should receive skin-to-skin time. Skin-to-skin time isn’t just for moms; it’s also for partners. Get plenty of skin-to-skin time with your infant, cuddling him or her on your bare chest.
While mom is resting, you can assist in detecting early hunger cues such as lip-smacking, nuzzling or looking for the breast, moving hands to mouth, or sucking motions. When babies first exhibit these indications, it is simpler to get them to latch.
Of course, your primary responsibility is to be Mom’s cheerleader and protector. You can give mom and baby lots of encouragement and make sure they have enough private time to breastfeed and rest. You can control the number of visitors and hold the baby after feedings so that mom can rest. Excellent work!
Increasing Your Milk Supply
Many mothers are concerned that their bodies will not produce enough milk to feed their baby, but breastfeeding whenever their infant is hungry should enhance milk supply. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand system; therefore, the more you nurse, the more milk your body produces.
Breastfeed your baby during the first hour. Breastfeeding or hand-expressing colostrum within the first hour of your baby’s birth signals your body to begin producing milk.
Follow your baby’s lead. Keep an eye out for early hunger signs and nurse your baby whenever he appears hungry, even if he has recently eaten. It is typical for babies to want to eat numerous times in an hour, which is referred to as “cluster feeding.”
At each feeding, give the baby both breasts. Check that the infant is feeding effectively and completely emptying each breast. Changing which side you offer first from one feeding to the next may assist you in producing more milk.
Bottles and pacifiers should be avoided. If your child is sucking on a pacifier, you may miss early hunger signs or an opportunity to feed your child and enhance milk production.
Obtain breastfeeding assistance. Don’t suffer if you’re experiencing discomfort or difficulty nursing. From lactation consultants and peer counselors to free breastfeeding support from your local Texas WIC office, there are many free and low-cost resources available to assist.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you. You don’t have to breastfeed to be a wonderful mother!
Babies should feed whenever they are hungry, which could be while you are out and about. Many new mothers are concerned about breastfeeding in public, but the truth is that most people will not notice. Even if they do, Texas law states that mothers have the right to feed their children anywhere, at any time. You can even download a card that explains your rights.
If you know you’re going out, dress in something that allows easy access to your breasts, such as a button-down shirt that can be opened or a loose shirt that can be pulled up or down. Look for garments that are easy to adjust and are comfy. You are free to be as private as you wish. You are not required to cover yourself, but if you want extra privacy, women can hold their infant in a sling or drape a blanket lightly over their shoulder.
When you’re ready to feed your kid, sit wherever you’re most at ease. Many establishments have specialized areas where mothers can breastfeed or change their babies. Recognize that it may require some practice, but don’t give up.
It may feel strange the first time you nurse in public, but try to focus on your baby’s face rather than the people around you. You can do it! You’ll relax and be able to nurse more readily as the feeding progresses. If you’re apprehensive, practicing in front of a mirror at home can help you gain confidence.
Milk Pumping and Storage
Once your milk supply is established, you can begin pumping to accumulate a supply of additional milk. This will come in handy when you prepare to return to work or spend time away from your kid. Pump once a day using an electric breast pump for the first week or so. Try to pump at the same time every day.
Begin by pumping both breasts simultaneously on a low suction setting and gradually increasing the suction when your milk begins to flow. Massage your breasts with your hands to assist the milk coming out. Many mothers find that pumping in the mornings results in more milk. Pumping adjacent to or thinking about your baby can help your milk flow.
The milk should be cooled as soon as feasible. Store breastmilk in the amount the baby swallows at each feeding, which is usually 2-4 ounces. Breastmilk can be frozen in sterile bags or plastic or glass containers with screw-on lids. Remember to identify the containers with the date the milk was pumped so you may utilize the freshest milk first.
Don’t be concerned about color variations. Breastmilk might appear white, blue, yellow, pink, or brownish, depending on your consumption. Also, don’t be concerned if the milk separates after being refrigerated; the fatty part of the milk naturally rises to the top and will need to be gently shaken to mix before feedings.
Pumping should not be harmful. If you are in discomfort, contact your doctor or a lactation consultant for assistance and nursing support.
Returning to Work
Returning to work does not require you to stop nursing. Making a plan and preparing for the transition will help you and your baby. Remember that the first few days back are the most difficult and that it will get easier with time.
The first step is to speak with your boss. Make a strategy with your boss ahead of time. Inform her or him that you are breastfeeding and will require a private location to pump milk.
Employers are required by law to provide mothers with a private pumping area and to allow them to pump as frequently as they need. You can also remind your supervisor that breastfed babies are less likely to become sick, which means you’ll miss less work.
Many mothers feed their newborns when they leave them with a caregiver and when they pick them up. You’ll need to pump once for each feeding time while you’re gone from your kid. The majority of mothers pump once in the morning, once at lunch, and once in the afternoon.
Try not to miss any pumping intervals, as this can have an impact on your milk supply. After pumping, place the pumped breastmilk in the refrigerator or a small cooler with ice packs.
Before you return to work, you should practice giving your infant a bottle of pumped milk from your milk supply with your partner or a friend. When you return to work, just do your best. Feed your baby as often as he wants on weekends and days off.
Follow your baby’s hunger cues and feed as needed. This helps to maintain your milk supply. Some mothers must supplement with formula, which is acceptable. Any amount of breastmilk helps a baby’s immune system develop.
Ask for assistance:
Balancing everything might be difficult in the early months. Be gentle with yourself, and remember to take care of yourself. Breastfeeding support and self-care are essential for your health.
Rest whenever possible. When your infant is sleeping, attempt to sleep as well. Even a 90-minute nap can make you feel better. During this unique time, give yourself a break and focus on yourself and your family. Friends and relatives can also help. This is the time to call on all those who have offered assistance! Allow them to go grocery shopping, fold clothes, or watch your older children.
Keep up the good effort, and remember that you are not alone; many other mothers are going through the same thing. Talking to other moms who have babies the same age as yours can be quite reassuring. Moms’ organizations are an excellent way to meet other mothers. Do your best and keep in mind that every ounce of breastmilk counts, so give your baby what you can and enjoy your time as a new mother.
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