10 things you should know about breastfeeding
#1. Milk is the perfect food for a newborn baby
It is nutritious and rich in valuable minerals that satisfy thirst and hunger. The composition of breast milk is variable and adapted perfectly to the needs of the newborn and developing baby. The mother’s body produces milk adapted to her child, which is why the composition of the mother’s premature milk will be different from the mothers of the full-term newborn. In 3rd – 4th day after the birth, proper milk appears (previously it is so-called colostrum). Appropriate milk consists of almost 90% water, the rest are fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals.
#2. Feed your child on demand. Frequent feeding stimulates milk production
A child should be fed when is hungry. The popular rule of feeding regularly every 3 hours is not a good solution. It is worth remembering that sucking breast milk is not only a way to satisfy hunger, it is also an answer to the need for closeness, safety, and tenderness.
#3. If possible, give your baby breasts as soon as possible after delivery
Preferably within the first 60 minutes, if possible. Colostrum is a real bomb of nutrients that a child only gets once in a lifetime. The child is able to eat a few milliliters of colostrum once and this is enough for him to quench his hunger. The breast produces colostrum quite briefly, the child drinks it from a few to several hours after giving birth. Why is colostrum so valuable? Because it acts as a natural antibiotic and increases the overall immunity of the child due to the content of immune antibodies. In addition, it strongly cleans and makes it easier for the child to excrete meconium. It reduces the development of physiological jaundice and reduces the risk of developing allergies.
#4. Make sure that the baby is breathing properly and that grasps the wart properly.
This guarantees effective suction
Keep in mind that this child is attached to the breast, not the breast to the child! The child should grasp the wart so that the breast tightly filled his mouth. When properly placed, the nose and chin of the child adhere to the breast, and the lips are turned into the so-called fish snout. During proper sucking, the child massages the food with his tongue. The child’s cheeks do not collapse and the cuddles are not heard, but rhythmical swallowing is audible. After a few quick, shallow movements the child performs slower, deep movements of the jaw, which can be recognized by the fact that even the ears are moving. Mom may feel a light pull or tingling. How will you know the wrong feeding technique? Among others after the child’s cheeks are drawn. A sign that feeding is not going well, there may be no interruption in sucking and the painful feeling of feeding by the mother.
#5. Have a child next to you. You can breastfeed in a lateral lying position, which is usually the most comfortable after giving birth
The most important need for a newborn baby is the need for closeness. It is satisfied by the first contact between the child and the mother immediately after the birth, contact “skin to the skin“. The closeness facilitates breastfeeding, and the warmth and smell of the mothers give the child peace, a sense of security and promote the building of mother and child bonds.
#6. After just a few days, you’ll start to recognize the signals your child sends you when is hungry
These include, among others: awakening, increased activity, putting hands in the mouth, sucking the fists, turning the face in different directions in search of breasts. When we do not respond to the symptoms, the child starts screaming. The scream is a late sign of hunger.
#7. To avoid problems with lactation, give up bottle feeding and teat giving for at least the first 4 weeks of your baby’s life
Especially at the beginning of lactation, there are moments of crisis when the teat appears to be an ideal solution. However, it is worth remembering that everything goes away, and that this breast is the first and the best teat. Do not give the teat to a child before the age of 4 weeks, and preferably before the lactation is stabilized (usually around the 8th week).
#8. Ask for support! If you have a worry, you feel lost, contact the lactation consultant
Motherhood is much more pleasant if you have someone who will advise you, help you, understand problems and simply – he will be a companion in a conversation. Our mothers could count on the help of a multi-generational family. Grandma, mother or mother-in-law lived in the same house or neighborhood, served their experience and advice. Now, this has changed, often families live far away from each other. However, we still need support, especially in the first weeks and months after delivery. That’s why some of us are looking for help in other places. There are various options: maternity schools, lactation clinics, clubs, playgrounds, specialist clinics, internet forums, groups on social networks.
#9. Think about yourself
Breastfeeding is associated with a new rhythm of life. The child is important, but think also about yourself. Give yourself a moment of peace and quiet to compensate for sleepless nights. Trust yourself! Success in breastfeeding depends on the level of confidence in own strength.
#10. If possible, start introducing solid foods after the age of six months, while not abandoning breastfeeding
It is good to start expanding your child’s diet at the beginning of the 7th month of life. At this age, the child generally has an appetite and is curious about new flavors. Sometimes it is ready for new foods already at the age of 5 months. It also happens that the child will start to try new food only in the 10th month of life and there is nothing disturbing about it. When we observe interest in what we eat, we can think about introducing new products to its diet. At the same time, we are still breastfeeding! Our mother’s milk is the basis for the child’s diet until his first birthday.