Tips on Breastfeeding for New Moms

Breastfeeding can be a challenge, especially for new mothers. However, it certainly has great benefits. Breast milk has the right nutrients for your baby, is easier to digest than formula and can increase your baby's immune system. Breastfeeding may even help you lose weights

  1. Ask for help

    Reading about breastfeeding and doing it are entirely different. From the first time you feed your baby, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maternity nurses or lactation consultants can offer tips, starting from the basics. Your doctor or baby’s doctor can offer assistance also.  

  2. Let your baby set the pace

    For the first few weeks, most newborns breast-feed every two to three hours round-the-clock. Watch for early signs of hunger, such as stirring, restlessness, sucking motions and lip movements.

    Let your baby nurse from the first breast thoroughly, until your breast feels soft — typically about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep in mind, however, that there is no set time. Then try burping the baby. After that, offer the second breast. If your baby's still hungry, he or she will latch on. If not, simply start the next breast-feeding session with the second breast. If your baby consistently nurses on only one breast at a feeding during the first few weeks, pump the other breast to relieve pressure and protect your milk supply.

  3. Hold off on a pacifier

    Some babies are happiest when they are sucking on something. But, giving your baby a pacifier too soon could interfere with breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce a pacifier until breast-feeding is well-established, usually three to four weeks after birth.

  4. Make healthy lifestyle choices

    Your lifestyle is just as important now as when you were pregnant. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids, rest as much as possible, don’t smoke, and be cautious with medications.

  5. Give it time

If breast-feeding is tougher than you expected, try not to get discouraged. Feeding a newborn every few hours can be tiring, and it's OK to have a slow start. Just remember that the more often you breast-feed your baby, the more milk your breasts will produce — and the more natural breast-feeding is likely to feel.

 

Credit: The Mayo Clinic

Posted March 16, 2016