9 Quick Breastfeeding Tips
by: Susan Tanner
New mothers may find breastfeeding confusing at first.
You may not know exactly what to do or how to do it. Hopefully these breastfeeding
tips will help to get you started.
* Start Early - It is good to begin breastfeeding within
an hour after birth if possible, when the baby is alert and the instinct
to suck is strong. Although you will not yet be producing milk, your breasts
contain colostrum, a thin milky fluid that contains important antibodies
* Feed Frequently - You should try breastfeeding your
baby at least every two to three hours. This will help to keep your breasts
soft and lessen or even prevent engorgement. Watch for signs that your
baby is hungry, such as changes in facial expressions, sucking sounds or
lip movements, and rapid eye movement or restlessness during light naps.
If you keep an eye out for these signs, you can learn to anticipate your
baby's hunger. Breastfeeding on cue will help stimulate your breasts to
produce more milk.
* Good Positioning - Having the right positioning for
breastfeeding will play a major role in reducing nipple soreness. Use you
hand to support the baby's neck. The baby's mouth should be open wide with
the lips puckered out like "fish lips", not folded in. The nipple should
go back as far into his or her mouth as possible. If you need help finding
the proper positioning, ask a nurse, midwife, or other experienced mother
for some help breastfeeding.
* Nipple Upkeep - When you first begin breastfeeding your
nipples may become very sore. After each breastfeeding session rub a small
amount of breast milk on and around each nipple and allow it to air dry.
This will help to prevent cracking which can lead to infection. In cases
where your nipples do crack, coat them with breast milk, vitamin E oil,
or lanolin to help them heal. Be aware that some babies may have an allergic
reaction to certain moisturizing agents. Proper positioning while breastfeeding
is very important to avoid sore nipples.
* Look Out for Breast Infection - If you experience a
fever or painful lumps and redness in your breasts, you should seek medical
* Postpone Using Artificial Nipples - If you are going
to be breastfeeding your baby, avoid introducing pacifiers or other artificial
nipples too early. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action
than the real thing and it can be easy for the baby to become confused.
Try to wait until after a couple weeks of breastfeeding before introducing
any sort of fake nipples.
* No Supplements Needed - There is no need to supplement
breastfeeding with sugar water or formula. Neither of these come close
to comparing with the nutritional complexity of your breast milk, and they
may interfere with the baby's appetite for breastfeeding and lead to a
diminished milk supply. Breastfeeding your baby more often will in turn
cause you to produce more milk.
* Engorgement - When you first begin breastfeeding, you
will be producing a lot of milk, which can make you breasts big, hard,
and painful. You can help to ease this engorgement by breastfeeding frequently
until your body adjusts to produce only as much as the baby needs. While
your body adjusts, you can help to relieve the pain by applying warm, wet
compresses or taking warm baths. Some over-the-counter pain relievers will
help, but consult your doctor before taking any sort of drug, since it
may be passed through your milk to the baby.
* Stay Healthy - A mother who is breastfeeding needs to
eat a healthy diet in order to produce enough good milk. You should try
and get an extra 500 calories a day, drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids, and
avoid drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and smoke. You should also rest as much
as possible while breastfeeding, since breast infections are aggravated
About The Author
Susan Tanner is a wife and mother of three. She is also
the editor of
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