Breastfeeding: What the Experts Want You To Know
February 29, 2016
Whether you’re a first-time mother, a mother who has breastfed multiple times, or a mother with other children who has decided to breastfeed her current infant, there is always more to learn. The excitement exhibited by other mothers may be similar to your own experience, and the enhancement of that experience can be apparent when you find out what the experts want you to know about breastfeeding. Here, we discuss a few of the items many professionals have found useful when advising mothers who choose the healthy and beautiful bonding benefits offered by breastfeeding.
“The Birth Crawl”
This is a phrase used to describe a baby’s first feed at the breast. When the baby is first born, experts will tell you that this first time you breastfeed is the most important time.
- “The birth crawl” is when the baby pulls herself to your breast when laid on your chest to latch on and feed for the first time. This usually happens within the first half hour of the baby’s life.
- During this first time feeding, the beginning of the flow doesn’t look like milk but more like a lotion substance called “colostrum.” This substance includes important nutrients that will shape how the baby’s immune system develops.
- Breastfeeding support may be offered at the hospital during the first few times your baby feeds, and you should take it. The first couple of weeks are crucial to establishing flow, and so it is very important to feed or pump often during this time.
Forget About Scheduling!
When you first bring home your little bundle of joy, you might be hoping to set a schedule for sleeping and eating that makes things easier on your life. Save yourself a lot of headaches and forget about the schedule. Feed your baby when they first wake up and let them sleep when tired. You’ll be able to get them onto a schedule later but establishing flow works best when you feed them as they are hungry. This gives your body an idea of how much milk it needs to produce. Pay attention and understand that if your baby is crying, they are already very hungry so try and learn when they like to eat before they get to that point.
You’ll hear so many breastfeeding tips about getting your newborn to latch on [interlink to article ‘Top Techniques to get your newborn to latch-on’] but what the experts will tell you is that every baby is different. Listen to and note the sounds they make and the rhythm of them suckling and if you notice changes or something that doesn’t feel right, you can use these notes when you seek breastfeeding support from a lactation specialist.
The most important thing you could do to make breastfeeding easier and more enjoyable for both Mom and baby is to make sure you both are comfortable every time.
- Play around with breastfeeding positions [interlink to article ‘The Best Breastfeeding positions’]for you and your baby to find the ones that are most comfortable. A breastfeeding pillow will be your best friend in this endeavor, allowing you to prop them up comfortably and provide the support you both need during feeding.
- Drain one breast completely before switching to the other instead of switching back and forth. This allows the empty breast time to produce more milk while the baby is feeding with the other and lets them eat without interruption.
- Be consistent with the way you dress and smell when you sit down to feed your baby. They will feel if the fabric of your shirt is different or smell if your natural scent has been altered and this can make them uncomfortable. Skin to skin contact whenever possible is better than laying them on your shirt.
- Create spaces around the house with everything you need to breastfeed comfortably such as breastfeeding pillows, a book, snacks, other entertainment like your tablet or e-reader, and any breastfeeding accessories you need and use regularly. This eliminates the need to get up when you get hungry halfway through or reaching for your book or to change the channel while your baby is trying to feed. Keep a travel kit handy for when you have to feed on the go so your baby has everything they usually have, and they feel more comfortable even if you have to feed them outside the home.
Don’t Give Up!
Among all the breastfeeding tips [interlink to article ‘Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms’]for you can get from other mothers and the experts alike, the best one you can follow is to be diligent! Breastfeeding may be a bit difficult at first, but it’s worth committing to for both you and your baby. Make sure you get plenty of nutrition, hydrate well, and don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help from a lactation specialist!