Breastfeeding to be successful, correct positioning or " latching on" is essential. Latching on of the baby to the breast, means that the baby has learnt to grasp the breast properly to be able to milk it. Most of the nipple and at least one inch of the areola should be inside the baby's mouth.
The Right Position:
Press your breast to make the nipple extend out wards as much as possible. Lightly graze your nipple against baby's mouth for the rooting reflex. Quickly pull the baby mouth towards you, thrust your nipple into it. Position the baby so that both the nipple and areola are drawn towards the back of baby's mouth and are pressed against its palate. The baby's gums should surround the areola. Sucking movements should be seen in the jaw.
Avoid Improper Latching:
If your baby is latched on improperly you will feel discomfort or pain in the nipple; the baby's mouth will be slightly open and there will be a clicking sound in the back of his throat; there will be cheek movements rather than jaw movements. In this case, you must break the baby's strong suction on the breast by gently inserting a finger into it's mouth and removing it from the breast. Begin all over again till there is a good latch on.
Earlier Breastfeeding, The Better:
Baby's sucking instincts are strongest in the first hour after birth so put him to your breast soon after. The first liquid that is produced in the breasts is called colostrum. It is a rich and nutritious milk that passes on the mother's antibodies to the baby. This grants immunity and vitality to the baby. Nurse the baby once within 6 hours after delivery. Thereafter, you will need to nurse as often as the baby demands which could be up to 8 to 12 times in a day.
Wear Comfortable Clothing:
Wear clothing which gives easy access to the breasts. You could wear a nursing bra and clothes which are buttoned down at the front. Sit in a quiet place propped up with pillows. Keep things that you might need such as a baby napkin, or something to drink close at hand. Some women feel very thirsty while breast feeding. You can use any position to breast feed. Choose what feels comfortable for you. Change the position as and when you need to. Once the baby starts sucking relax your body.
The More Is Emptied, The More Is Produced:
Remember the more the baby empties the breast the more the breasts will be stimulated to produce milk. Also there will be no sore nipples or retained milk. Check all areas of the breast with your fingers. Areas that seem a little hard still contain milk. Lightly massage these areas while baby is feeding till breasts become soft and baby has emptied the breast. Now switch to the other breast.
Take Advice From Nursing Specialists:
Take advice about breast feeding while you are still in the hospital from a nursing specialist. If you have any problems later on at home do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about it. Correct breast feeding has to be learnt. Once you get the hang of it, it will become an enjoyable experience for both you and baby.
Nutritious Diet Is A Must:
Take a nutritious diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, diary foods, milk, cheese, beans or meats, and whole grains. Also increase your intake of fluids. Massaging both the breasts before feeding every time also helps to make feeding easier.
Mind Your Medicines:
Consult your doctor about which of your regular medicines are safe to take while breast feeding. Though many over the counter medications are safe it would be wise to first consult your doctor about those too.
Do not smoke, use alcohol or caffeine while breast feeding.
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