Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to form a lifelong intimate relationship with your child. Breastfeeding has always been a large topic of discussion amongst new mothers and the medical community. Scientific evidence states that breastmilk is the one of best options for a newborn infant’s diet. Breastmilk gives your baby the nutrients and energy they will need to fight sickness and infection by providing antibodies. Breastfeeding also helps the mother’s body recover from birth and there is evidence that shows breastfeeding can reduce a mother’s chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer in the future. Undeniably, breastfeeding can be difficult and frustrating but can also be rewarding and a beautiful gift.
Here are some tips to follow to make sure you are breastfeeding the best way for you and your baby:
- When breastfeeding, make sure your baby is completely facing you with their head, shoulders, and hips
- After one breast is empty (10-20 mins), burp your baby and switch breasts
- When feeding, your baby’s mouth should cover your areola
- If you should encounter swollen and tender nipples and/if they leak, you may not be breastfeeding often enough and should try to do so more often
- Sore nipples may be due to your baby not latching on to the nipple properly, talk to your doctor or an expert who may be able to help you
- More tips available at MOM365
Feeding a newborn child isn’t necessarily a rigid schedule. It is important to let the newborn signal to you when they are hungry. They generally do so by making a fuss, crying, or by sucking their hand every 1-3 hours (both at day and at night). You will know your baby is getting enough breastmilk if they go through 4-6 disposable diapers and have 3-4 poopy diapers in any given 24-hour period. It is also crucial to remember you should not smoke (or vape). The CDC recommends not drinking alcohol as the safest option, but moderate alcohol consumption by a breastfeeding mother (up to 1 standard drink per day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, provided the mother waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing.
For more in-depth information about breastfeeding, visit the San Diego Breastfeeding Coalition website. If you need help with breastfeeding or want to learn more about how to get started, many hospitals and clinics have lactation specialists who can educate and physically help you breastfeed.
Best of Luck!
Join the community for The Global BIG Latch on August 2nd, 3rd and/or 4th, 2019.
Source: First 5 California’s 2018 “California New Parents Guide”