Breastfeeding offers a lot of benefits:
- Human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for human babies and has all everything that is important for the development of the body and brain of the baby.
- At any stage, even if your baby is premature, the nutrients in your breast milk re adapted to the need of the baby.
- Your milk contains antibodies that support the health of your baby and help to prevent diseases and allergies.
- The colostrum (the milk that is produced in the first days after the baby is born) helps the baby to eject the meconium.
- Breast milk is sterile, has always the right temperature, is always available and doesn't cost anything.
- Through breastfeeding the mother and baby experience deep bonding.
- In the first weeks after the delivery, breastfeeding helps the uterus to get back to its usual size. It can be accompanied by contractions and pain, but it helps the mother to recover faster from the delivery.
How to breastfeed?
It is thought that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but sometimes it is not that easy. There is a rule of hygiene, before each breastfeeding you must wash your hands. Hold your baby in a position that won't leave your arms and back sore. Add support around you with plenty of cushions and pillows. Many women find the cradle position works well, although it really depends on what is most comfortable for you.
Get yourself and your baby in a relaxed position before you start feeding. Pay attention to how your breasts feel when your baby latches on. He should take in a big mouthful of breast, the areola. If latching on hurts, break the suction by inserting your little finger between your baby's gums and your nipple and try again. Once your baby latches on properly, he will be able to do the rest.
Remember to change the breasts, to achieve balance. With each breastfeeding, the milk quantity that you have is being determined, and it should be equal for both breasts. If you do not remember and have to crack your head trying to figure out, use a trick to remember with which breast you should start the feeding (put a safety pin on the strap of your bra on the breast with which you should start).
Some women adjust to breastfeeding easily, encountering no major hurdles. But many new mothers find it hard to learn. So, if you're feeling discouraged, remember that you're not the only one. If you feel like giving up (or just want professional advice), contact a lactation consultant.
Breastfeeding takes practice. Give yourself as much time as you need to get it down to a fine art. If you're having a bad feeling day, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better. And keep in mind that any problems you are having are likely to be temporary. By the time of your six week check, you'll probably be breastfeeding without giving it a second thought. If not, don't hesitate to ask support.