A lot of aspects need to take care of while breastfeeding to ensure the proper growth of a baby. At the same time, nursing is a unique experience for every mother and baby. So, what works for one pair may not work for another.
Sometimes, all it takes is for the mother and baby to develop a rhythm. There are a number of techniques to ensure better milk flow, to open blocked milk ducts etc. Breastfeeding the baby within an hour of birth protects him from contracting infections and reduces newborn mortality. So go ahead and breastfeed your baby to health!
#1 Breast Milk, The Complete Diet
Breast milk is the complete food for infants. It contains all the energy and nutrients an infant needs at this crucial stage of growth. It promotes cognitive and sensory development in a baby. Besides the benefits to a baby, breastfeeding also helps the nursing mother by reducing the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It also helps the mother in losing post-pregnancy weight.
Dr. Babita Jain, Senior Consultant & HOD Paediatrics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Gurgaon, encourages breastfeeding, and clears out some breastfeeding and baby related myths. She also mentions the necessary vaccines the baby should get in intervals.
#2 Stay Relaxed
The best breastfeeding advice is to stay relaxed. Both you and your baby are learning the process and building a rhythm. Listen to relaxing music and minimize distractions to concentrate on the task at hand.
#3 Use A Moisturizer Or An Ointment
Keeping the nipples and the skin around moisturized will soothe the skin and avoid soreness or chaffing. Lanolin ensures both, a moisturized skin and hygiene.
#4 Mother’s Diet
There is really nothing at all that a nursing mother needs to shun from her diet. However, controlling the consumption of some food will help the baby and the process of breastfeeding.
The mother should reduce the intake of high mercury fish, caffeine, alcohol and peppermint, which affect normal process of breast milk production.
At the same time, an increase in the intake of yogurt, spinach, salmon, brown rice, beans, dates, oatmeal, sesame seeds, almonds and apricots enhances nutritional value and production of breast milk.
#5 The Right Position
The search for the perfect position to breastfeed needs experimentation, practice and patience. In a cradle hold, you support the baby’s head in the crook of your arm while in a clutch hold, you tuck the baby under the arm on the side you are nursing from and in the reclining position you nurse while lying down on your side. No matter what position you choose, comfort is the priority.
Use pillows to support your back and arms.
#6 Burping – A Must
Burping a baby after feeding is essential as it releases the little bubbles of air that get trapped in the baby’s stomach while feeding. Too much trapped air may lead to gassiness and spitting up. To burp a baby, gently pat on its back repeatedly.
There is however, no hard and fast rule for nursing a baby. It is an instinctive process for both the mother and the baby. All it takes is time to get adjusted.
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