-By Ms Deepti, Consultant Dietician and Birth Educator,Apollo Cradle & Childrens Hospitals, Jubilee Hills and Kondapur.
Basics of Breastfeeding for New Moms
The natural approach to feed your baby is through breastfeeding. It does not follow that it will happen naturally.
You will have many inquiries as a new breastfeeding mother. There is plenty to discover. The best course of action is to begin with the fundamentals. These fundamentals for new mothers can help you start out well with nursing.
Skin to Skin as soon as possible
skin-to-skin contact has amazing effects. There is a plenty of evidence that supports its advantages
promotes breastfeeding at a young age.
increases the chance that a child will only breastfeed.
assists in regulating the temperature of infants
aids infants in controlling their blood sugar
Your infant should be positioned next to you when doing skin-to-skin contact. Her tummy, chest, and shoulders ought to be facing you. You should be able to view her face because her head should be turned to one side.
If you are unable to hold your newborn for the first few minutes after birth, try to do so as soon as you can.
Breastfeed As Soon As Your Baby Wants To
Don’t expect your baby will want to latch as soon as he is born. However, most babies will be ready to breastfeed after they have had some time to take in their new surroundings.
Your baby will let you know that he is ready for that first breastfeeding session. Just watch for his feeding cues.
Learn Your Baby’s Feeding Cues
· Smacking lips
· Sticking out tongue
· Opening and closing mouth
· Rooting: turning her head toward you and opening her mouth.
Most mamas are in bed the first time their baby wants to breastfeed. Make sure that you get comfortable. Use pillows to support your baby and your arms.
There are four common positions to nurse in. In all the positions, your baby should be turned in toward your body. You want him to be able to latch without having to turn his head to the side.
This is probably the most familiar position. It is not necessarily the best one to start with, though. I like to say it’s an “advanced” position. It will feel more comfortable when you and your baby have a bit more breastfeeding experience.
In the cradle hold position, you will hold your baby in the crook of your arm. You offer the breast that is on the same side as the arm you use to hold your baby. Use your opposite hand to hold your breast.
Cross Cradle Hold
This is a position that gives you a lot of control. You hold your baby with the arm that is opposite of the breast you offer. Hold your breast with the same hand as the breast you are feeding from.
This is another position that gives you good control. Your baby is tucked against the side of your body. You will use the same breast as arm that is holding the baby. Your opposite hand will hold your breast. The key to football hold is to keep your baby in close to you.
This position can be tricky in the early days. Having someone to assist is helpful. Both you and baby are lying on your sides, facing each other. Baby latches to the breast that is closest to the bed.
Tips for a Good Latch
· Support your baby’s neck and shoulders with your hand
· Keep your hand off the back of your baby’s head.
· Position baby, so her nose is across from your nipple.
· Touch her upper lip with your nipple and let it rest there.
· Don’t move your nipple back and forth.
· When your baby opens wide, then pull her into your breast quickly and closely.
· Her chin should be pressed into your breast
· Her nose should be barely touching your breast or not touching it at all.
How Often Your Baby Should Feed
You should feed your baby whenever you see him making those feeding cues.
The frequency a baby feeds in the first week varies tremendously. In the first 24 hours, a baby may not feed at all or may feed ten times. Both can be normal.
By the second 24 hours, a newborn should be feeding at least eight times.
The second night the majority of babies will cluster feed and may nurse continuously for hours. We call this second-night syndrome. It is normal healthy behavior. Get a good nap in during the day so you will be rested and ready.
Frequent feeding is beneficial.
· The more frequently your baby feeds then, the sooner your milk will come in.
· Babies lose less weight
· There are fewer problems with jaundice
After your milk comes in and for the first couple of months, your baby needs to feeds at least eight times every 24 hours. This may be every three hours, or it could be every one to four hours. If a baby feeds less than eight times, he may not gain enough weight.
The frequency of feedings is counted from the beginning of a feeding to the beginning of the next feeding.
Feeding more than eight times is common. Some babies will feed as often as every two hours.
If, most of the time, your baby is feeding more often than every two hours, you should meet with a lactation consultant. She can help to make sure your baby is feeding effectively, and your milk supply is good.
How Long Should a Breastfeeding Session Last
Feedings should last as long as it takes for your baby to get the amount of milk she needs to grow at an average rate. But every baby is different.
In general, most feedings should last at least from 10-40 minutes.
Signs that a Baby is Feeding Effectively
· You hear or see your baby swallow every 1-2 sucks
· Your breast softens with the feeding
· You see milk when your baby comes off the breast
· Your baby is satisfied for a couple of hours after meals
Signs That Your Baby Is Getting Enough to Eat
· Every 24 hours, your baby is having at least six wet diapers AND at least four dirty diapers.
· Dirty diapers should be of a moderate amount.
· Your baby is gaining an average of one ounce a day after your milk comes in.
· Weight trumps everything else. If a baby is gaining enough weight, they are getting enough to eat.
Diapers – Everything You Need to Know About a Breastfed Baby’s Poop
A baby’s first bowel movements are called meconium. This is what is in their bowels at birth. It is very dark green and very sticky.
As they pass the meconium, the stools change to a greenish-brown or greenish-yellow color. These are called “transition stools.”
Within 24-48 hours after your milk comes in, the stools will change to” breastmilk stools.” These will be yellow, very loose, and may look there are seeds in them.
· A newborn will initially lose weight.
· Up to 10% of weight loss is within normal limits.
· After your milk comes in, baby should start gaining weight.
· Your baby should be back to birth weight by two weeks of age.
· Average weight gain in the first three months is 5-7 ounces per week.