Every eager mom wants her baby to feed on colostrum from her breast milk. A natural source of antibodies to build a baby’s immune system, colostrum is the first feed of breastfeeding that is believed to greatly benefit a newborn.
While some moms ease into breastfeeding, others struggle and stress over not being able to provide for their baby in the most natural way. If you are preparing for your baby’s birth and are hoping to breastfeed, here are some tips that may be useful:
Opt for natural childbirth
For some reason, research has shown that natural childbirths foster better breastfeeding experiences. And mothers who undergo C-section for instance, experience a delay in milk production.
Your posture matters
An incorrect nursing posture may hinder breastfeeding. Allow a lactation consultant to guide you when you are new at it. An incorrect posture can also lead to sore and cracked nipples as your baby is not nursing right.
Feed on demand
If you are relying solely on breast milk, chances are your baby will get hungry very quickly. Look out for hunger signs as you maintain a feed-on-demand schedule. The more you nurse your baby, the greater your supply. For a start, this could mean breastfeeding from about 8 to 12 times a day.
Nursing moms get sleepy more easily
Nursing mothers release a hormone called oxytocin that induces sleep. This is the body’s way of taking care of itself – by giving sleep-deprived nursing moms the much needed rest.
Do not introduce a pacifier
The trusting motion of nursing is different from that of sucking a pacifier. Exposing your baby to both will confuse him or her. Hold off the pacifier until your baby is well accustomed to nursing. For the same reason, keep away from bottle- feeding. When you check into a hospital, you can specify that your baby does not receive a bottle when he or she is in the nursery.
Do not throw in the towel too quickly. If you are one week into breastfeeding and experiencing low milk supply, consider giving your baby and your body a little more more time to adjust. Some moms experience a better flow only after two weeks into breastfeeding.
Donate excess breast milk
Owing to medical conditions or difficulties in breastfeeding, some mothers are not able to offer their babies breast milk. If you have more than enough supply, express the excess and store it properly. Make arrangement for a hospital staff to collect the breast milk so that it can be donated. This would ensure that your breast milk does not go to waste.
Nurse your baby before he/she gets fussy
Do not wait till your baby is hungry before you offer to nurse. By the time your baby fusses or cries, he or she might no longer be interested in a proper feed.
Every baby is different. What works for one may not work for the other. Do not fret or blame yourself if you cannot produce enough breast milk. After all, breastfeeding is just one of many ways that you can care for your baby. If the process becomes way too distressing for you and your husband, consider introducing bottles to bring an end to your struggle. That way, you can finally enjoy being a mummy without fussing over your baby’s feeds.
Consult a professional consultant to find out what else you can be doing for your baby.