And A Little Child Shall Lead Them...Isaiah 11:6

Bringing Baby Home Essentials

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Breastfeeding Tips

The Following Tips Can Help Foster Successful Nursing

Get an early start:
Nursing should begin within an hour after delivery if possible, when an infant is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though the you won't be producing milk yet, your breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains antibodies to disease. (For more tips see Establishing breastfeeding with your newborn.)

Proper positioning:
The baby's mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for the mother. Getting your baby latched on can be a challenge at first. A nurse, midwife, or other knowledgeable person can help you find a comfortable nursing position.

Nurse on demand:
Newborns need to nurse frequently, at least every two hours, and not on any strict schedule. This will stimulate your breasts to produce plenty of milk. Later, the baby can settle into a more predictable routine. Because breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breast-fed babies often eat more frequently than bottle-fed babies.

No supplements:
Nursing babies don't need sugar water or formula supplements. These may interfere with their appetite for nursing, which can lead to a diminished milk supply. The more the baby nurses, the more milk you will produce.

Delay artificial nipples:
It's best to wait a week or two before introducing a pacifier, so that the baby doesn't get confused. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than real ones. Sucking at a bottle could also confuse some babies in the early days. They, too, are learning how to breast-feed.

Air dry:
In the early postpartum period or until your nipples toughen, you should try to air dry them after each nursing to prevent them from cracking, which can lead to infection. If your nipples do crack, you can coat them with breast milk. Proper positioning at the breast can help prevent sore nipples. If the mother's very sore, the baby may not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth.

Watch for infection: Symptoms of breast infection include fever and painful lumps and redness in the breast. These require immediate medical attention.

Expect engorgement:
A new mother usually produces lots of milk, making her breasts big, hard and painful for a few days. To relieve this engorgement, you should feed the baby frequently and on demand until your body adjusts and produces only what the baby needs. In the meantime, take over-the-counter pain relievers, apply warm, wet compresses to her breasts, and take warm baths to relieve the pain.

Eat right, get rest:
To produce plenty of good milk, the nursing mother needs a good quality, balanced diet and six to eight glasses of fluid. You should also rest as much as possible to prevent breast infections, which are aggravated by fatigue.


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