August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. For some mother’s, breastfeeding comes easy and for other’s it is really hard. Here, we discuss a few tips that may be useful for mothers who choose the healthy & beautiful bonding benefits offered by breastfeeding.
“The Birth Crawl”
“The birth crawl” is a phrase used to describe a baby’s first feed at the breast. This is when the baby pulls themselves to your breast when laid on your chest to latch on and feeds for the first time. This usually happens within the first half hour of the baby’s life, and is truly a bonding experience between mother and child.
Breastfeeding support may be offered at the hospital during the first few times your baby feeds, and you should take it. The first couple of weeks are crucial to establishing flow, and so it is very important to feed or pump often during this time.
During this first time feeding, the beginning of the flow doesn’t look like milk but more like a lotion substance called “colostrum.” This white to pale yellow substance includes important nutrients that will shape how the baby’s immune system develops and digestive tract.
This is where many mothers’ have trouble and all babies are different. The biggest tip here is to note the sounds and listen to the rhythm of them suckling. If something doesn’t feel right, the best thing to do is get help from a lactation specialist. There can be anatomical reason the baby is latching on or it can be simply due to the position the baby is in.
Forget About Scheduling!
When you first bring home your little bundle of joy, you might be hoping to set a schedule for sleeping and eating that makes things easier on your life. Save yourself a lot of headaches and forget about the schedule. Feed your baby when they first wake up and let them sleep when tired. You’ll be able to get them onto a schedule later.
The most important thing you could do to make breastfeeding easier and more enjoyable for both mom and baby is to make sure you both are comfortable every time.
Play around with breastfeeding positions for you and your baby to find the ones that are most comfortable. A breastfeeding pillow will be your best friend in this endeavor, allowing you to prop them up comfortably and provide the support you both need during feeding.
Be consistent with the way you dress and smell when you sit down to feed your baby. They will feel if the fabric of your shirt is different or smell if your natural scent has been altered and this can make them uncomfortable. Skin to skin contact whenever possible is better than laying them on your shirt.
Create spaces around the house with everything you need to breastfeed comfortably such as breastfeeding pillows, a book, snacks and any regularly used breastfeeding accessories. It is normal for mom to get hungry during breastfeeding. This eliminates the need to get up when you get hungry halfway through or reaching for your book or to change the channel while your baby is trying to feed. You may also keep a travel kit handy for when you have to feed on the go so your baby has everything they usually have, and they feel more comfortable even if you have to feed them outside the home.
Don’t’ Give Up!
Among all the breastfeeding tips you can get from other mothers and the experts alike, the best one you can follow is to be diligent! Breastfeeding may be difficult especially at first, but it’s worth committing to for both you and your baby. Make sure you get plenty of nutrition, hydrate well, and don’t ever be ashamed to ask for help from a lactation specialist!