Top 11 Breastfeeding Tips for First-Time Mothers

11 Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is a natural process for both mother and babies, but that does not mean it is easy or intuitive. The first time mother might have concerns like on how to hold your infant, what her cries and expression mean, or why she doesn’t seem to latch.

To answer all your concerns, here we have compiled the 11 breastfeeding tips for new mothers –

  1. Understand your baby’s desires — You can easily keep a check on your baby’s actions and can understand their needs. There can be a probability that when a baby is hungry, they may-
  • Raise their head repeatedly.
  • Open their mouth.
  • Start eating something else.

If you witness any of these moves by your baby, breastfeed immediately. This will help in building a strong relationship with the child.

2. Let your baby determine how long to feed — Your baby knows their needs better than you do. Hence, let them decide how often to breastfeed since there is no predefined interval in feeding. Also, it is not vital to awake a sleeping baby simply because a few hours have passed. The need is to let your baby sleep peacefully and feed them when they are awake. That’s why it is crucial to let your baby determine how long you should breastfeed them.
Remember, your little one knows exactly how much they require better than you do right now.

Some babies are fast eaters, while others take their own time. Hence, do not worry if nursing time only lasts for ten minutes and do not panic if it stretches for forty-five minutes.

3. Become comfortable in breastfeeding — Undoubtedly, you are going to spend a significant amount of time, holding your baby to your breast. And if you do this in an uncomfortable sitting position for an extended period, it can lead to back, shoulder, and neck pain.

Also, moving constantly can disturb your baby’s breastfeeding and result in increased hunger. That is why you need to be in a comfortable position throughout the process.

The two most comfortable positions in breastfeeding are:

  • Lie on your side with your baby facing towards you.
  • Sit in a relaxed position with your baby lying in your arms.
  • A large couch or a bed with plenty of pillows will help you to support your arms and back, making an ideal position for breastfeeding.

It is crucial to find the right position for you, and you can also try changing the same, as per your needs and requirements. Be more attentive to your comfort, which will give a pleasant experience to you and your baby.

Relax — Apart from comfort, you should make sure that you relax well. Examine your environment: If you are in a stressful environment take a few slow and deep breathes, meditate, which will help you to relax and stay happy. Understand that it is your time to bond with the newborn baby.

5. Learn the correct latch-on position — For successful breastfeeding, the positioning of the baby’s body is important. If the right positioning is achieved at initial feeds, breastfeeding difficulties can be avoided.
The various studies have shown that a good technique is important to establish breastfeeding and ensure regular milk transfer.
If the baby’s positioning is improper, different sorts of nipple trauma may occur. Besides this, abnormal attachment and positioning may lead to the dispersion of milk in various directions inside the oral cavity.

The various baby positions are:

  • Your baby should be positioned well so that their mouth is equally leveled with your nipple.
  • Their head should be tilted backward, and they should not turn their heads much.
  • The chin should be against your breast so that their nose is clear.

The key is not to force these positions. Your baby may prefer a different position, but let it happen naturally and make sure that the baby is comfortable.

6. Leaking milk is natural — Initially, leaking milk from your breasts is quite common, and this is entirely a natural process. Usually, this happens when you think about your baby, when you feel a strong emotion, or when your baby has not been fed for several hours, the leaking will eventually decrease.
In the meantime, you can place a nursing pad to absorb the leaks.

7. Take good care of your skin — Your breast skin is quite delicate, and while breastfeeding, your skin can turn out to be dry, irritated, and even cracked over time. This can make breastfeeding a painful experience. The key is to take some precautions to protect your skin, such as –

  • Do not over wash, and one or two showers will be enough.
  • After breastfeeding, pat your breasts with a soft cloth.
  • Let your breasts free to avoid irritation.

Taking good care of your skin while breastfeeding is very crucial. You and your baby, both should be comfortable and this way you can deepen the bond with your newborn baby.

8. You will always have enough milk supply — Milk production majorly depends on your baby’s needs. When your baby sucks your breast, it stimulates the release of hormones i.e. prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin and Oxytocin help in stimulating milk production. But, it does not start with your baby’s suckle; your breasts are preparing to give milk since your pregnancy starts. Hence, you will always have enough milk supply.

During the first two or three days, you will notice a thick yellowish-orange fluid coming out of your breasts. The liquid is colostrum, and it is just what your baby requires at the moment. Colostrum is very nutritious, and it contains a high level of antibodies which boosts your baby’s immune system to fight the infection.

9. Signs that breastfeeding is going well –

  • The baby’s behavior will tell you if nursing is going well or not. No need to worry, if you don’t see these signs all the time. In that case, one indication is also more than enough.
  • While feeding, the baby should swallow the milk eagerly and regularly. The newborn babies swallow each time, as they suck. As milk decreases the baby should release your breast and fall asleep. Their skin will also become healthy, and their muscles will be relaxed.
  • Your baby’s diapers should be wet while they are breastfeeding. It will likely have four to eight bowel movements each day during the initial weeks of life. This is majorly due to colostrum consumption. As time passes by, the little one will have fewer and fewer bowel movements.
    There will come a time when they only have one bowel movement or even less than that. As long as these bowel movements remain and the diapers are wet with urine, there is no need to worry about constipation.
  • Your baby is gaining weight regularly.

10. Avoid your breast swelling — Your breasts tend to swell and harden when you produce more milk than your baby consumes. The best way to avoid this situation is to feed your baby as much as you can.

11. Ask for help — Although breastfeeding is a very positive feeling in oneself and reading about breastfeeding will help you to know certain things in a better way.

You can visit the nearest local hospital for a checkup. The nurse will keep a check on you and your baby while breastfeeding; she may offer some advice and guide you.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding is an overwhelming experience and putting the above tips into practice will help you in making the best of your time with your little one. Pay attention to the little one’s needs, get comfortable with them, and relax. Evaluate the above breastfeeding tips for first-time mothers and understand that breastfeeding is going well.

Stay hydrated and remember that there is no harm in seeking help. Your baby will be healthy!

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