Breastfeeding is a special experience between a mother and a child, not only because it’s healthier and cheaper than baby formula, it’s also good for both the mother and the child.
It’s Okay if You Can’t Breastfeed
Doctors and nutritionists will advise mothers to breastfeed their newborns for up to two years, some mothers cannot breastfeed even if they want to. However, this does not mean that you are not a good mother because there are various factors that can lead to this.
Most women cannot breastfeed if they have had breast reduction surgery or they have breast implants or double mastectomy, there is not enough glandular tissue (called hypoplasia), the nipples are inverted, or if there is an infection or inflammation of the breasts called mastitis, and if the mother has poor milk supply.
Breastfeeding is a Learned Skill
There are techniques on how to breastfeed baby properly and diet guides to stay healthy and to produce more milk for the baby.
Before your due date, you should prepare for the wonderful journey ahead by consulting a lactation expert, staying healthy as much possible, and to avoid giving your baby formula, food, pacifiers, and artificial nipples. As a first-time mom, it’s best to start breastfeeding after birth as soon as possible and to breastfeed as often as possible.
You Should Breastfeed as Often as Possible
So, how do you know if the baby needs to be breastfed? Doctors will advise you to breastfeed as often as possible especially during baby’s first few weeks. Some mothers are advised to breastfeed as often as twelve times daily.
You can schedule the feedings between one or two hours until your baby has developed his/her own feeding habits. There is no standard for how long each breastfeeding session should last because the baby will let you know if he/she is full.
Know How to Make the Baby Latch Properly
There are techniques to make sure that the baby latches on properly during feeding. Some babies will have a hard time practicing during the first few tries, but others will latch on right away, so don’t worry if you don’t get it the first time.
Hold the baby upright by supporting the neck or shoulders with your one hand and the baby’s hips with the other. The baby’s head should be tilted slightly, and you can use a blanket to help support baby’s back until you find the most comfortable position for you both.
Stay Healthy and Take Care of Your Breasts
There are days when your milk supply will be low, but other times you will also have an oversupply of milk. Sometimes milk buildup can cause engorgement which can be painful for some mothers, while other also experience plugged ducts.
While these can be resolved with proper breastfeeding habits, you should also look out for breast infection (mastitis) and fungal infections. Keep a healthy diet and make sure to bathe everyday and wear clean clothing. If there are signs of infection, consult your doctor right away to get treated.