Everyone tells you that breastfeeding is best – but why?
- It contains all the nutrients baby will need.
- Breast milk contains antibodies which help baby to fight infections.
- It is more digestible, so baby is less likely to suffer from diarrhea or other stomach upsets.
Breastfeeding is good for mom too.
- It burns off about 500 calories a day by using your body’s fat which was put on to help you breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding triggers the retraction of the womb.
It’s also free! When you think of how much diapers are going to cost, don’t turn down a freebie!
How Do I Do It?
Your baby is born with a ‘sucking reflex’ which is especially strong in the first few minutes of life.
- Hold baby with her tummy towards you and with her body in a straight line. Brush your nipple against against her lips to encourage her to open her mouth.
- Make sure she takes the areola in her mouth as well as the nipple otherwise the milk won’t flow.
- Your breast holds two types of milk: foremilk which is thinner and quenches her thirst, and hind milk which is thicker and helps her to put on weight.
- Let her feed for as long as she wants. If you think she has finished but she has not released the breast (maybe she’s fallen asleep), gently push your little finger into the corner of her mouth to break the suction.
- At the next feed, offer the other breast first.
- Engorgement – Most common 3 or 4 days after birth. Your breasts overfill with milk, making them feel heavy and hard. Your milk production will probably settle down after a few days; try expressing a little milk before feeds.
- Blocked duct – maybe caused by engorgement; try offering the affected breast first when baby’s sucking is strongest – this may clear the blockage. Keep your nipples clean and wear a well-fitting bra.
- Sore nipple – Can be caused by baby incorrectly latching on. Try rubbing milk on the nipple after a feed.