Breastfeeding, especially for new moms, is a very challenging task. At the same time, it can also be a highly exciting experience.
It has been proven that the very first drop of milk coming from a mother’s breast will determine the foundation of every newborn’s health for the rest of their lives.
A mother’s milk is the richest in all the nutrients that a baby needs. It is also natural, pure, fresh and extremely safe because it comes from the very breasts of the woman who carried the infant in her womb for nine months. The very first drops - known as colostrums - give the best benefits in the world for your baby.
Any alternative formulas, whether organic or conventional, will simply not be on a par with a mother’s milk. Breast milk is stuffed full of antibodies and can help prevent a baby from developing blood disorders later.
- Are there styles or methods for breastfeeding a baby?
- Is there a so-called proper way to do it?
- Does a new mother need a briefing or some advice as to how to breastfeed her little one?
In this article, we will discuss the correct way of breastfeeding as well as how and when a mother should stop nursing her young.
How to Properly Breastfeed your Newborn
When your nipples start to grow bigger along with your breasts due to the gradual accumulation of milk inside, this is the time that as a soon-to-be mother you should prepare how to manage yourself and the coming baby for breastfeeding.
You can take advantage of some handy tips below on how to ready yourself for the coming stork…
Preparations for Breastfeeding
- Talk to your pediatrician about breastfeeding in general. Take in all the knowledge you can from your doctor
- Tell your doctor of your plans to breastfeed your baby upon delivery
- Buy maternity bras. These are designed to allow proper access to your nipples without the need to unstrap and lift the brassiere to feed the baby
- Get as much feedback as possible from mothers (especially your own mom or mother-in-law). They have been there and can speak from experience
- Read books about breastfeeding to gain added information about the task at hand
- Consult with lactation/nursing specialists for a few more tips regarding breastfeeding
- Learn and practice how to latch the baby so when he arrives you’ll know exactly how to do it without needing to learn on the job!
Arrival of Your Precious Little One
- Upon arrival at the hospital, inform the doctors and nurses at once that you wish to breastfeed your baby as soon as the baby is readied to be with you. As much as possible, get an expert to check if you are doing the right thing because it is always different when you move from theory to practice
- When the most eagerly awaited moment arrives and you and your baby are introduced, gently let the nurse put him on your chest to let the baby feel your warmth and smell as his mother. Get your little one immediately acquainted with your breasts. Do not rouse the baby if he falls asleep on your chest. The infant will wake up soon enough if he feels hungry!
Begin Breastfeeding Your Baby
Before any breastfeeding, always remember to clean your nipples with clean cotton dampened with warm water and soap. There’s no need to disinfect, just clean yourself thoroughly.
1. Two hours after delivery, the baby should be fed.
Start to carry your baby near your breasts and begin to latch (attaching baby to your breasts)
2. Position your baby’s nose to your nipples.
It is best to make the baby tilt his head a little to reach your nipple. Your nipples should fill the baby’s whole mouth. Incorrect positioning will cause pain and soreness to your nipples so take the time to get it right
3. If you’re lying down and the baby needs to feed, put him onto a pillow so he can reach your breasts.
Or, if you want to breastfeed on your side, be sure to have a back support such as a pillow to prevent back aches
- Important Note: Body contact is always an important part of breastfeeding. It cements the connection between the mother and baby and the newborn feels much more secure being held in his/her mother’s arms.
4. It is normal to release only a few drops of milk in the first breastfeeding session.
Your baby’s stomach is still so small so there is no need to worry about the infant not getting enough milk because they will!
5. In case your breasts are full and only a tiny amount of milk is coming out, let your lactation nurse know about it so they can help you.
You could also ask for your husband’s help by making him suck your nipples to help them to release more milk
6. Do not shift your baby between breasts yourself.
Let your baby do this on his own. It is also a great way to give your infant the freedom to do what he wants and enjoy his feeding time. A baby will just let go of the nipple and touch the other breast if he wants to switch
- Important Note: Burp the baby every after feeding and before switching breasts to help your baby release some of the gas swallowed while sucking milk.
7. Never wait for the baby to cry before breastfeeding him.
Doing this will allow air to get in while the baby sucks causing your little one stomach pain. Touch the infant’s cheek to check if he is hungry. Your precious babe will turn toward the cheek if he wants to be fed
- Important Note: Sucking doesn’t always mean your baby is hungry. Sometimes, babies are just bored and want to play with your nipples or they simply want to feel the loving warmth of their mother’s body.
8. Do not use pacifiers until after the baby is four weeks old.
When the baby turns five months (or at about the time that the first milk teeth are about to erupt) check with a pediatric dentist. He will give you suitable pacifiers that will not cause bad dentition when the teeth finally come through
9. Continue breastfeeding until your baby is one year old even if he is already weaning solid foods.
If your baby shows any signs of allergies to your milk, you will need to switch to formula instead. Use formula, too, if you are feeling unwell as the baby is also likely to get ill
10. Nourish yourself with foods that helps the production of more milk such as green vegetables.
Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, chocolate and soft drinks. Alcoholic beverages are a definite no-no. They are harmful if ingested by your baby
When To Stop Breastfeeding Your Baby?
For most mothers, stopping breastfeeding is both a relief and frustration.
While it is true that breastfeeding can be a hassle for nursing moms at times, some will also feel sad and long for the time that they were still nursing their little ones.
For along with stopping this routine comes the realization that your baby is no longer a baby. They’re growing up and in time will be running and you can’t just keep them in your arms any more when they are awake.
The Right Time to Stop
Often, experts recommend letting the baby decide when he wants to stay away from mommy’s breasts.
Breastfeeding, as mentioned, gives both a connection and feeling of safety for the baby.
But, stopping breastfeeding when you decide can make babies gain independence and learn that there is another world away from mommy’s nipples. It is the time to get going on their own and experience life away from mother’s comforting lap.
If the baby develops an allergy or intolerance to breast milk, you might have to stop nursing prematurely and let the baby grow with the aid of formula milk.
Learning New Things
As a baby grows and develops more, he feels the need to experience and explore all that is new to him. This obviously includes eating solid food!
When the baby starts to wean, that is the signal that it is time to gradually separate them from your breasts. If your baby can now drink liquids, you could pump your milk and put it in a weaning cup that has a spout. Your baby can drink it from there with relative ease.
Stopping breastfeeding doesn’t mean that you need to also stop giving your milk to your baby. As long as your breasts produce milk, you can always make your baby have it through pumping it and expressing the milk.
It is best to sometimes allow your baby to switch from drinking from the cup or sucking milk from you because just as it is hard for you to let go of that nursing connection, it is far harder for your baby. He has been used to just being cuddled by mommy and seek nourishment from her body but now the rules have changed!
Breastfeeding, no matter how hard it may be or how tiresome the task can seem, will always be a joy for both mother and baby. Both will have the experience of an unexplained connection between two people once joined in one body and now to be separated due to the baby’s birth. A great way to continue that bond even after delivery is through nursing and breastfeeding.
This separation comes again when breastfeeding is stopped…
The time has now come that the baby is slowly developing into an independent human ready to explore the world on their own.
We very much hope you have found some useful pointers here in terms of feeding your baby naturally and also how and when to stop breastfeeding.
Get in touch if you have any questions at all. We are always very happy to help.