Breast Feeding 

This (Breast feeding) is one of most important things you can do for yourself and your new baby. However it is not always easy to get started, it is not necessarily instinctive. Here are a few tips for breastfeeding…

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Here are a few tips for you…

  • Start early - within the first few hours.

  • Make sure someone experienced (a midwife) shows you how to do it properly.

  • Feed your child from both breasts

  • Make yourself comfortable before you begin

  • You will have plenty of milk if you eat a variety of foods each day as well as lots of filtered water

  • Demand feed your baby right away

  • Feed the baby for however long he or she wants to feed. However make sure your baby is actually swallowing and that the position is correct.

  • If your nipples are sore, something needs readjusting - his position or attachment.

  • Do not use milk from the bottle in addition to your breastmilk as this may lessen your supply. It could also encourage your child to prefer sucking on the teat and not your nipple

  • Feeding at night helps your milk supply and may help you sleep better.

  • Do not put any creams, lotions or ointments on your nipples. They emit a smell which attracts your baby.

Why Breastfeed?

  • Human breast milk is made for human babies, it is the most perfect food for them to have. It’s the right kind of milk for your baby.

  • Breast feeding brings about a special close feeling between mother and baby. The breast is a comfort to a baby when the child is not feeling well or experiencing some discomfort.

  • It is safe. The mother’s milk, especially the first milk (colostrum) has antibodies in it which helps protect the baby from many diseases and disorders.

  • Reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

  • It is convenient. Mothers who breast feed don’t have to bother with sterilising bottles and teats or worry about the milk spoiling in warm weather.

  • It is nutritious. Breast milk contains all of the nutrients needed by the baby for the first 4 or 6 months of life. These nutrients are in the right amounts and in easily digested form.

  • Breast feeding is encouraged for the first year but after 4-6 months solids may also be introduced.

  • Breast feeding helps the mothers’ womb resume to normal shape faster.

  • It is cheaper.

The best advice about breast feeding is for you to be relaxed and calm, and enjoy your new baby. If you are having any problems breast feeding, seek help from your doctor or midwife.

Problems with breastfeeding

Blocked milk ducts -

sometimes this can occur when the breast hasn’t emptied fully, you are not nursing your child in the correct position, missing feeds or the child is not nursing for long enough periods. Your breasts may feel uncomfortable. You can try to express some milk yourself.

Engorgement -

this can occur when your breasts are too full. This usually occurs when the milk first comes in. You can usually relieve it by having a warm shower and expressing some of the milk.

Sometimes the breasts are too tight for the baby to feed properly - just express a little before feeding to soften them up.

Sore nipples -

if your baby is not sucking correctly on your nipples, they can become sore. They will heal quickly if the position is corrected. If your nipples are cracked or blistered, feed on the other side. Nipples tend to heal quickly, so try to keep going with your breast feeding.

Too little milk -

usually people worry about this for no reason. If your baby looks well, has clear skin and eyes, is wetting 7 - 8 nappies per day, having some bowel movements and is putting on weight you should be assured that you are feeding him or her enough. The more the breast is sucked and the more milk is withdrawn from it, the more milk there will be produced.

Is there anything You should be aware of?

Please see your doctor before taking any medications, these days you are able to breastfeed while taking a variety of medications but it is best to be sure. You definitely should not be smoking or have your baby anywhere near a smoker.

Weaning

This must be done properly and not rushed as you may stress yourself and your baby. Breastfeed for at least three months as it can give your child a good healthy start in life.

To avoid having to wean from a bottle as well, wean your child off breastmilk when he or she is ready to drink from a cup. This is usually when they are about 6 to 9 months old. However, there are no hard rules and if you and your child are both happy breastfeeding, continue to do so.

Take your time in weaning - ideally it should be done over 3 or 4 weeks.

Start to replace a feed with milk from a cup.

If your child puts up a fight or looks miserable with the idea. Do not push it - just give your breast again and try again at another feed. If however this continues, you and your partner will need to be a little firmer and not give your breast as an alternative. Eventually the child will accept this. They may still wish to breastfeed morning and night however, for a while.


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