9 Important Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a way of feeding newborn babies and growing infants. As a mother, it is important to take breastfeeding serious, especially for the first six months.  The first few days of breastfeeding might seem quite a task for the mother and the baby too. A child who is breastfed frequently tends to grow in an easy way without so much difficulty in terms of health.

Some mothers might suffer postpartum depression after delivery and fail to breastfeed their babies. It is therefore important to counsel women after the process of delivering so that they get free with their babies and feed them appropriately. I will help you understand important things about breastfeeding in this post.

Should I Breastfeed My Baby?

It is important to breastfeed your babies because it is so healthy and has got also health benefits that are accompanied by breastfeeding. First, breast milk protects a child from allergies as well as eczema. Formulas from cow's milk and soy milk might have allergic reactions to a child but breast milk is easily digested.

Breast milk also has less constipation, diarrhea and also causes fewer stomach upsets since the milk is easily digested. Breast milk reduces urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, risks of viruses, respiratory infections, and gastroenteritis and ear infections. Children who breastfeed tend to suffer less from these kinds of infections.

Children who breastfeed have shown a better response to antibodies of vaccines as compared to formula fed babies. The fatty acids in breast milk are brain boosters and so children who take breast milk tend to be smarter and have higher IQs.

Breastfeeding brings a baby closer to the mother and they have a well and better bonding session as compared to children who are bottled. On the hand breastfeeding to a woman has health benefits too. Breastfeeding wards off breast cancer and ovarian cancers.

It also creates a physical bond between the child and the mother and a woman is focused so much on nurturing. It is not so easy for the mother and the child at the beginning of breastfeeding process. The child has never eaten again from a breast and so for both, it will be a task before getting used to it.

How To Hold Your Baby When Breastfeeding?

Feeding episodes are hapless and haphazard and might make a mother feel bad and hopeless. As a mother, several trial and error positions will help you know the best position for you to use while breastfeeding.

First, the body of your child should face you so that it makes feeding easy. The head should be straight in line with the other parts of the body so that the baby is comfortable. You can use a nursing pillow so that the baby is at a comfortable height and this will make the process of maneuvering the baby near the breast. There are several ways to hold a baby while breastfeeding.

  • Cradle hold

The cradle hold where the head of the baby rests on the point where your elbow bends of the arm on the breastfeeding side the other hand supports the body. Then it is important to cup the breast with the other hand and place the thumb above the nipple and areola, the nose of the baby touches the breast. For a baby to latch, make sure the index finger is at you're the chin of your baby and ensure the nipple is pointing towards the baby's nose.

  • Crossover hold

In this method, hold your baby's head with the hand that is opposite to the breast you are nursing from. Let your wrist be between the baby's shoulder blades, and your thumb needs to be placed behind one ear while the other fingers should be at the back of the ear. With the hand that is free, cup the breasts just like the cradle hold.

  • Football hold

The football hold is so useful especially to women who have undergone C-section of kind of birth, women with large breasts, women with premature babies as well as twins. The child should be facing you, legs tucked under the arm, the same side of the breast you are nursing from. The head should be supported using the same hand while the other hand cups the breast.

  • Laid back position

 This is so useful especially in babies who have sensitive tummies and have excess gas, women with smaller breasts too. In a semi-reclining position, lie either om a coach or your bed with enough pillow support.

Put the baby tummy to tummy direction on your body and the head close to your breasts. The baby can face any direction on you and all you need to do is direct the nipple towards the mouth of the bay, then lie and relax.

  • Side lying position

This is so suitable for night breastfeeding. Both the bay and you lie on your sides tummy- to- tummy. The free hand that you are not lying on should cup the breast and no excessive beddings should be around the bay to avoid suffocation. The position should be used in a couch, waterbed and a recliner.

9 Breastfeeding Tips You Should Know 

Here are some things you should know if you are a breastfeeding mother

  • Nursing makes you bold

Studies have shown that breastfeeding mother will tend to fight for the rights of their children and the experience does not leave the mothers feeling rattled. While defending your child from a rude stranger is not considered stressful but on the other hand, the breastfeeding mums have lower blood pressure as compared to bottle feeding mums. The act if breastfeeding will increase the body's threshold for stress through the oxytocin and prolactin levels.

  • No menstruation

When a mother is breastfeeding she will experience an unexpected period of not having her menstrual periods. Prolactin inhibits the menstrual cycle and if you will breastfeed for exclusively one year you will probably not get your periods for an average of 14 months.

Therefore, women need to use an effective birth control method for they can still get pregnant during this period of breastfeeding. The nursing mothers are also advised to avoid estrogen birth control methods.

  • The baby runs the show

Milk supply increases and decreases based on the demands of the baby for a nourishing. Frequent periods of breastfeeding bring up a strong milk supply. This feature ensures that there will be enough for the baby the appetite is high.

The baby can run the show by milk let-down reflex, where the body reacts when a baby cries the milk will flow by itself. Some women even get relaxed after seeing the picture of the baby and milk can freely flow.

  • Do not fear teeth

Nursing mothers are afraid that a child might bite them, therefore when the first teeth of a child appear the mothers stop breastfeeding them. There is no need of such fear since a baby will not bite while suckling. After the baby is done they might get curious and that is when they will nib. If a mother is paying attention the cues will tell you that the baby is full and therefore it will be easy to avoid being bitten

  • Take care of your nipples

After each period of breastfeeding make sure that you dry your nipple naturally. If milk leak between the feeding periods use the breast pads and make sure they are changed often. It is important to avoid a lot of cleaners from coming into contact with your nipples. When they get dry and cracked use lanolin to keep them moisturized.

  • Eat healthily and have a healthy lifestyle

The eating lifestyle should be as important as it was while a mother was pregnant. A breastfeeding mother should eat a healthy diet so that they maintain the energy. Eat plenty of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. It is also important to take a daily multivitamin.

To stay hydrated you will also need to have a regular intake of fluids, such fluids include water, milk as well as juice. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol for they affect the sleep of a child. It is also so important to rest for longer periods to keep your body relaxed.

Finally, do not smoke during the nursing period, smoking can interfere with a baby's sleep as well as can escalate the risk of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome)

  • Sleep same room with the baby

A child or infant is supposed to sleep alone in a baby crib that is specially designed for a baby. Adult beds are not suitable for children this is to reduce chances of suffocation or being trapped in surfaces that are between the bed and mattress.

A sleeping mother might also accidentally roll on the baby and cover the nose or mouth of the bay. However, to avoid or decrease the risks of SID make sure to sleep in the same room with the baby.

  • Do not give a pacifier soon

 Some children love having something to suck all along. Therefore parents give the pacifiers; however, this might interfere with the breastfeeding process of the baby. Sucking a breast is not as sucking a pacifier. A mother should introduce a breastfeeding routine so that the pacifier will be used during nap-time.

  • Gauge success

It is so important to keep the records of your baby growth pattern. When a baby is latched in a successful manner there is a relation and gentle feeling. Before feeding the breasts might feel so full and later empty after breastfeeding this gives a good feeling that the baby has eaten well.

Check on the success of the number of diapers and how much you change the baby. With time the stools of the bay will become yellow in color then seedy and loose. This shows that the bay is improving and feeding well.

Nursing Shopping List That Makes Breastfeeding Easier

To make nursing easier there are things that a mother will need to have so that the whole breastfeeding process is easy and comfortable.

  • Nursing bras

Supportive nursing bras are so important; the bras should not have an underwire since the wire can go to the milk duct and interfere with the production of milk. The bras are also important to help you deal with engorgement and reduce the pain that comes with milk filled breasts.

  • Lanolin ointment

Lanolin ointment is also useful since it is designed to soothe the nipples that sometimes turn sore after breastfeeding. Sore breasts can make a mother so uncomfortable and causes a lot of pain. The ointment soothes the nipples and reduces pain.

  • Breast pump

A breast pump is also an important thing while nursing; they come in many kinds from electric to handheld pumps. They are very useful in the reduction of engorgement and they also create preparation for reserve bottles and this allows you to leave your kid with someone for a few hours.

  • Nursing breast pads

Nursing breasts pads are also a crucial requirement when a mother is breastfeeding, in many instances, a woman tends to suffer a lot while she is engorged. It is a main challenged while breastfeeding, this is where the breasts switch from colostrum to mature milk and cause the breasts to swell which causes pain to the woman. Therefore when you have the nursing bras they will sooth the engorged breasts and make you comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions about breastfeeding

Q: Can you donate milk?

A: Yes, it is okay and possible to donate milk after undergoing screening and testing, women visit milk banks to donate and others to get milk. Across Chicago, women use milk from milk banks.

Q: How long can you breastfeed?

A: Studies have shown and recommended that children should have breast milk for their first six months without any other type of food.

Q: How can you increase milk supply?

A: To increase the milk supplies empty your breasts regularly by breastfeeding or pumping the milk out.

Q: Can you get sick from breastfeeding?

A: It is not possible to get sick but there are related diseases that arise during the breastfeeding process. Such illness is like mastitis, which is an infection of the breast tissue.

Final Verdict

Breastfeeding is so important to both a mother and the infant, and therefore it should be among those things that a mother puts into consideration after giving birth. Breast milk has got so many benefits to a child and speeds up the growth of an infant.

All mothers should consider breastfeeding their babies if they are in a position to breastfeed them. This process will make a baby grow in the right way and in a healthy way.

Please follow and like us:

I am Margaret, a researcher, and mom blogger from Houston, Texas. I have been blogging for almost 4 years on motherhood and mom issues. Please feel free to reach me anytime. Thank You!