Breastfeeding is one of the most natural forms of interaction between a mother and a newly born baby. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby, but it does not always come easy, and it requires a lot of patience, practice, and knowledge.
You have to be very patient, especially during the first few weeks. Do not feel disappointed if you do not succeed in the first few attempts. Do not give up, as breast milk is excellent for your baby. Experiment with various positions and settle down for a comfortable position for both you and your baby.
Feed your baby on demand. Your breasts produce milk according to the baby’s needs. Be confident and face the challenges. Some common problems faced by mothers are:
#A very demanding baby
This happens when the baby’s position is not proper and feels uncomfortable. This results in an insufficient supply of milk, and thus your baby never seems to be satisfied and keeps crying. Try to get the baby in the correct position with the help of a comfortable nursing pillow and see how it works.
#Sore or cracked nipples
If your skin is dry or very sensitive, the nipples become very itchy. Always keep your nipples clean. Rinse them with water after every feed and pat dry with a clean cloth. Stay away from creams and lotions as they could harm your baby.
#Hard or full breasts
Engorged or full breasts can be a cause of discomfort. Try to feed the baby more frequently to reduce engorgement. Express some milk if you are unable to feed the baby.
If your baby is not accepting your breast milk, there can be many reasons for that. Maybe he is getting distracted by the surroundings, so use a lightweight and breathable nursing cover to provide your child with a calm environment. You may have changed your eating pattern, which changes the taste of milk. Stop using any nipple cream if you are using any. Try to feed your baby when he is asleep. If the problem persists, try to express milk to ensure a proper supply.
Do not hesitate to ask for help if you need any. If you are a working mother, you can use breast pumps to express milk so that your baby can have breast milk even in your absence. Always make sure that you clean and sterilize the breast pump regularly.
Burp your baby after every feed as they tend to swallow air while feeding, making your baby cranky.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Mother’s milk is the best source of nutrients for the baby. Various medical studies have proven this fact many times. Your baby gets a balanced meal as breast milk contains all the required nutrients in the right proportion. No manufactured milk can come close to the benefits of breast milk.
#Breastfeeding a baby increases immunity
A newborn baby is very delicate and is susceptible to many infections. The milk that flows out of the mother’s breast in the first few days, called colostrum, is packed with antibodies that increase a baby’s immunity. Colostrum also strengthens the respiratory system of a baby.
#Breast milk is easy to digest
Babies take time to digest the formula milk as proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk. It has been found that breast milk is best for premature babies because the mother’s milk is also premature and thus suits the baby’s needs.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of many diseases and allergies amongst children, such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases. Breast milk has the right proportion of sugar, fat, water, and protein required by the baby. The milk changes over time to meet the demands of the baby.
There is no chance of giving contaminated or adulterated milk to the baby if you are breastfeeding. There is no need to sterilize bottles and nipples, which saves a lot of time and energy. You don’t have to go to the market to purchase formula milk which saves a lot of expense.
Breastfeeding gives the mother a chance to get some quiet time with the baby, making bonding between mother and baby very special. Mothers can breastfeed a baby for six months and even more as it is the healthiest form of milk for a newborn.
If the mother is working, the caregiver can feed the baby with expressed milk. Various kinds of breast pumps are available in the market to help working mothers. Women who breastfeed their babies face a lesser risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer. It also reduces the risk of postpartum bleeding. Breastfeeding often helps in delaying the return to fertility as it suppresses the process of ovulation.
Tips for a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
The health of a newborn baby is highly dependent upon the milk’s quality obtained through the mothers’ breasts. Mothers should make certain that they eat healthy and nutritious foods so that good quality milk is produced.
The healthier the milk, the healthier the baby. Mothers should incorporate all healthy and calcium-rich foods in their diet to enrich breast milk with the appropriate calcium content required for the babies.
Women should strengthen their breastfeeding diet appropriately to meet the nutritional necessities of the child. By eating a well-balanced diet that contains all healthy nutrients like calcium, protein, iron, and zinc, the health of both baby and mother would be maintained.
Women should keep in mind that breast milk is highly significant for babies, preventing them from major health disorders throughout their lives. So, the quality of breast milk should be maintained to provide maximum nutritional benefits to the babies.
#Prefer High-folate Foods
Folic acid is a vital mineral for mothers, which assists in healthy milk production. Foods like corn, spinach, cabbage, chickpeas, and asparagus are enriched with folic acid and should certainly be included in breastfeeding mothers’ diet plans.
#Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
All fresh fruits and green vegetables must be a part of the diet plan of the breastfeeding ladies, as these foods are rich sources of all crucial minerals and vitamins that help improve the quality of breast milk, thus assisting in augmenting both mother’s and baby’s health.
#Avoid Oily and Spicy Foods
A low-fat diet plan should be followed by nursing mothers to avoid excessive consumption of oily and fast foods. Also, intake of water in the regular diet plan should be increased.
#Steer Clear of Alcohol
Mothers who breastfeed their children should avoid alcohol consumption altogether, which is very harmful to the health of babies, where alcohol acts like poison for the child. Smoking should also be prohibited by breastfeeding ladies to maintain the proper health of the child.