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Breastfeeding strengthens the mother-child bond in the best way. Breast milk is the best immunity booster for babies. It is a good source of all nutrients and minerals, and protects kids against allergies, sickness, and obesity too!
Breastfeeding can get painful at times. Don’t worry this is your first experience and it can be less than perfect. In my case, it took a month for me to actually understand the process. So, if you do choose to breastfeed, here are some great tips to help you get settled easily.
Learning the basic ABC of Breastfeeding:
Awareness about breastfeeding: Milk supply often takes time to get stabilized, so don’t fret out, it’s not in your hands. Take this time to build a bond with your child. Watch for the hunger signs like baby turning towards your breast, they are moving their hands towards their mouths and feed whenever you see these hunger signs.
BE PATIENT: You might feel why your baby is taking so long to feed. They should generally feed for about 10-20 minutes on each breast.
Take care of your comfort: It takes time to get comfortable with breastfeeding, and to help yourself feel better, use a breastfeeding pillow. Layering is an important thing to do while breastfeeding in public. Try wearing a tank top underneath a loose top or keep a scarf with you while stepping outside.
How to sooth sore nipples:
You may have sore nipples for first few days and it can be painful. My doctor recommended to dab Lanolin nipple cream and it was indeed a lifesaver! You can also try warm compress which helps in soothing the pain. This usually goes away once you find a good position to breastfeed and your baby latches on comfortably. Try pumping breasts while feeding. Use both the breasts regularly for feeding Instead of using anyone particularly.
How to judge if your baby is getting enough milk:
We often tend to worry about that we are not producing enough milk for our baby. So just notice for few signs, like if your baby is gaining adequate weight of approx. one pound a month and has six to eight wet diapers a day, your baby is on the right track. If you feel that baby is showing hunger cues very frequently you can consult a doctor.
Diet during breastfeeding:
Though there is no specific diet as such but make sure not to load empty calories. You can consume lactation cookies like whole oats, wheat gram and flaxseed meal. They are really very good. Try and add garlic, ginger, fenugreek, feral and other herbs, since all of these stimulates milk production. Make sure you eat a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. It is important to keep yourself hydrated. Do take enough water whole day. This will help you produce sufficient milk and keep you energetic enough to breastfeed the way you want.
How to Wean Off:
At some point the baby has to be introduced to solid foods who were till fully reliant on milk. This is called Weaning. The solids must be introduced only after breastfeeding exclusively for first six months. Actually, many a times, babies themselves give you a lead and begin drinking cow’s milk, juice, or other beverages. Just follow their lead and help hem wean. Start by skipping one or two daytime feeds.
Your milk is very rewarding for you as well as your baby in terms of bonding, nourishment, increased immunity, etc.Breastfeeding is a personal decision and is just one way to provide proper nutrition to your baby in those important first few months of their life.
I am writing 26 post in this series .Do check my earlier post