(ENEWSPF)– The trick to breastfeeding is getting your baby to latch on to your breast well, this takes time and patience. Remember breastfeeding is a new learning experience for you and your baby. The more you practice the better you’ll become. A baby who latches on well, gets milk well. A baby who latches on poorly will have difficulty getting milk, especially if the milk supply is low; which is more than likely if your baby has a poor latch. If the latch is not corrected you may start to get sore nipples from excessive sucking from your baby. A poor latch is similar to giving a baby a bottle with a nipple hole that is too small-the bottle is full of milk, but your baby will not get much. This can cause both mother and baby to get frustrated, which is not a good combination. A poor latch is one of the biggest contributing factors in mothers quitting breastfeeding. When your baby doesn’t get full they need to feed more frequently which will result is sore nipples and endless hours of feedings.
Here are some tips to help make breastfeeding a little smoother.
Start breastfeeding your baby immediately after birth, most newborn’s can start feeding within 15 minutes. This is when you start bonding with your baby; your first feed should be skin-to-skin contact. The warmth from your skin will keep your baby warm enough, you can still have a blanket draped around you both to help. Mothers that say they are too tired to breastfeed after giving birth are using an excess. This is the most important time between yourself and your baby. I was in labor for 40 hours without any drugs for assistance and the first thing I did after kissing my husband and new baby girl was start breastfeeding.
It is imperative that mother and baby be kept in the same room. Mothers and babies learn how to sleep in the same rhythm from the very beginning. When your baby starts waking for a feed you will also start to wake up naturally. Your baby will give you signs before they start to cry that they are ready for a feed. These signs may include some or all of the following. Breathing sounds may change, they may start to stretch or squirm. Mothers hear all! Your milk may start to flow and your calm baby will be content to nurse. A baby that has been crying for some time may be too tried on the breast this may result in them refusing to take it. Mothers and babies should be encouraged to sleep side by side in the hospital. This is a great way for mothers to rest while the baby nurses. Breastfeeding should be relaxing, not tiring. You can even bring this method home with you. Having your baby in your room for the first little while will help you get to know the signs of when they are hungry.
Do not restrict the length or frequency of feedings. A baby who feeds well will not be on the breast for hours at a time. If this is happening it is usually because they are not latching on well and not getting the milk. Get help to fix the baby’s latch, and use compression to get your baby more milk. Your baby will tell you when they need a feed.
Do not supplement your baby with water, sugar water, or formula unless other wise directed by your physician. Your baby will get everything they need from your breast milk. If your baby is losing weight or not eliminating enough waste this could be due to a poor latch. Ask for a lactation consultant to come in and view a feeding with your baby. Bottles are not recommended within the first 4-6 weeks of life. Introducing a bottle too soon may give your baby nipple confusion, this may affect your babies breastfeeding and make it difficult to feed.
The key to breastfeeding is the proper latch. How do know if your baby has a good latch? Your nipples should not be sore, they may be a bit tender but they should not be sore. There should be a tight seal between your baby’s mouth and your areola. Much of the areola (at least a one-inch radius) is inside baby’s mouth. Your baby’s tongue should be between the lower gum and your breast. Your baby’s ears should be wiggling. During active sucking and swallowing the muscles in front of baby’s ears move, indicating a strong and efficient suck that uses the entire lower jaw. You should hear your baby swallowing. During the first few days after birth, your baby may suck 5 to 10 times before you hear a swallow. That’s because your colostrum comes in small amounts. You may have to listen carefully to notice the swallows. You should not hear any clicking sounds, this indicates that your baby does not have his tongue positioned correctly and is latched on incorrectly.
Under some circumstances, it may be impossible to start breastfeeding early. Premature babies can start breastfeeding much, much earlier than they do in many health facilities. In fact, studies are now quite definite that it is less stressful for a premature baby to breastfeed than to bottle feed. Unfortunately, too many health professionals dealing with premature babies do not seem to be aware of this.
I hope you learned a thing or two from reading this article. If you would like more information on breastfeeding please feel free to visit me at Breastfeeding Guru.
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