Breastfeeding to newborn: facts and tips for mothers
First thing to remember about breastfeeding is that it is the natural way to feed a baby. Nearly all women(95 %) can produce enough milk to feed their own babies. Is it not an interesting fact? The 5% who can’t include women who are starving, who have had major breast surgery and a few women taking powerful drugs like those against cancer, TB, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Breastfeeding is better for your baby. There is no doubt about this at all. Breastmilk is the best milk for human babies. Some formula milk are better in quality and near to mother feed but still inferior in quality than breastfeeding. Breast milk has exactly the right level of fats, proteins and iron to allow a baby to develop properly. It also protect and guard the baby from infection in many ways. Actually it works as antibiotic for harmful bacteria. The reason is it is a live substance than a sterile just like formula milk. Your baby will get immunization with every feed and improve baby’s Gut bacteria. Baby will have less chance to suffer from diarrhoea and with improved and healthier teeth and in shape also. It is also cheaper. The issue is only for first 6 to 8 weeks for mothers as they have to be there with baby all the time.
Bottle Fed babies are normally fed according to a schedule to give feed after every three to four hours. This is convenient for the mothers but breastfeed babies should be given feed in first six weeks on demand of baby which is not as convenient for mothers. This means whenever baby will cry for feed, mother will provide it. It can be possible that only one hour is passed from last feed. Hence this is also possible that baby will not take feed for next five to six hours. There is no issue. Whenever baby will demand, feed will be given. There are two reasons. First is: Mother feed is more easy to digest for baby so baby will get hungry sooner. Breast will produce milk according to the demand of baby. More demand means more milk will be produced. This is how twins can be fed.
After six or seven weeks, baby can be given feed on a schedule. You can replace one or two feeds with formula if you want. Time spent in first six weeks with baby will pay back afterwards in shape of health and better immune system.
How to breastfeed?
- You don’t need to wash your breast before feed. Your baby is thoroughly protected against your germs. However some women prefer to wipe with plain water.
- Be comfortable with breastfeeding. If you have a C-Section, you may be more comfortable by lying down and baby beside you on pillow.
- More common position is as shown in the picture in the right side.
- Important is to bring baby up to the breast level. Don’t lean down, it will be discomfort for you. You can put pillow under baby so that baby’s mouth is level with your nipples.
- The baby’s mouth should be touching nipples. Don’t force to feed or onto the nipple.
- With your free hand squeeze little milk to encourage baby. You will see baby’s head moving around and finding the nipple and start sucking. It is natural.
- Try to feed from both side alternatively. Don’t start feeding from one side always.
- There is no need to burp the baby after every feed. It is quite normal for baby to fall asleep.
- Let baby feed for one year. Baby will start taking some semi solid things at 4 to 6 months.
- Breast milk has rather strange look compared to other milk. The early milk(colostrum) is sticky yellow substance. The baby does not need much milk in first few days. This colostrum is enough for baby. After three days, milk will come in larger in quantity. At this stage, breast will be bigger, hot, harder and uncomfortable. This milk still contains colostrum and greeny in color. A few days later, it becomes watery and little bluish in color.
- Menstruation after delivery will start after six weeks in bottle feeding mothers while breastfeeding mothers will have periods may after one year of delivery. This length may vary person to person.
- You can check the growth of baby by its wet nappies. If six or seven nappies are wet in a day then baby is getting enough liquid.
- Don’t be fussy about your diet. If after taking some food, baby is getting indigestion then leave it. Soon you will understand what to take or not.
- You can take most of the medicines during this period. It is better to consult doctor as some medicine can harm your baby. Ordinary paracetamol and aspirin is ok if taken occasionally.
- Buy a Bra larger than the size of your last size in pregnancy. You may need to buy several sizes so buy one by one.
- Get some cream for your nipples to moisture.