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Every new mother wants to do each little thing perfectly, from the blanket she wraps her baby in, to the soap she uses to bathe it and the diapers. Nursing your child is one of those new, unknown things about motherhood, and here are 5 golden rules to make the process easier for you and your baby.
Hold your breast using your thumb and forefinger, behind the areola (the dark region around your nipple), ensure that your baby’s mouth is wide open, and put it in quickly before she shuts it. Holding your baby close, so that your tummies are against each other, will ensure that she can’t pull too hard or break away from your breast. Things like bibs and nursing aprons can help with privacy and cleanliness.
While suckling milk, babies swallow some air, which fills up their tummies. They let this out by burping after being fed. Bottle fed babies swallow more air than breast fed babies, due to the different mechanism, and so they need to be patted and rocked in order to coax out a burp. Breastfed babies usually burp naturally, but if they don’t, hold them over your shoulder and gently pat their backs until they burp.
Nutrition is extremely important during breastfeeding, and you should be consuming 2000 to 2700 calories a day. Eat fresh-fruits, nuts, veggies, milk and lots of water. Alcohol, medications, drugs and even some spicy food can be transferred to your breast milk, so keep away from them. Consult your doctor regarding any medication.
In the early days, your newborn should be feeding 8-12 times a day. Breastfed babies feed more often than formula fed ones, because breast milk digests faster than formula. Don’t ignore that 2 am hunger cry, because newborns should not go without feeding for more than 4 hours, even at night. Frequent feeding will also help stimulate milk production in the earlier weeks. At 1-2 months, your baby will feed around 7-9 times a day.
In the beginning, nursing can really leave you sore. Let the baby suckle on one breast for 5 minutes, and then transfer to the next. Keep alternating this way. Don’t pull back suddenly- this could damage your nipple and startle the baby. Ease it off by pushing your breast against the side of the baby’s mouth, and lifting its mouth with a (clean) finger. Gradually increase the amount of time on each breast, as you get experienced.
There will be times when it gets difficult, but experience will see that you both become comfortable and adept at feeding. So get help from the right people, stay calm, and give in to nature! Click here for further products.
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