Nature designed human milk especially for human babies, and it has several advantages over human milk substitutes. Your milk contains just the right balance of nutrients, and it contains them in a form most easily used by the human baby's immature body systems. Because it was developed for your human baby, your milk also is gentlest on your baby's systems.
From using a breast pump to weaning your baby to the benefits of breastfeeding, here’s a list of breastfeeding tips with links to more information.
Babies use their lips, gums, and tongue to suckle (take milk from the breast). Your baby is born with an instinct for suckling. But it takes time for you and your baby to learn how to breastfeed.
The process of breastfeeding and your milk change as your baby grows and develops. A newborn's feeding routine may be different from that of a breastfeeding 6-month-old. As the baby grows, the nutrients in your milk adapt to your growing baby's needs. The anti-infective properties also increase if you or your baby is exposed to some new bacteria or virus.
Breastfeeding gives your new baby the very best start. It supplies nutrition, comfort, and love. Experts agree: Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for babies during the first year of life and beyond.
Breastfeeding can seem mysterious at first. What’s going on inside the breast? Where does the milk come from? Can the baby breathe okay? In fact, mothers and babies are naturally designed for breastfeeding.
Many mothers find they can appreciate their babies' breastfeeding patterns or the need for frequent feedings when they understand how breast milk is produced. Initially, hormones play a greater role. After the first one or two weeks postpartum (after the baby is born), milk removal has a greater effect on the amount of milk produced.
You will have to remove milk from your breasts on a regular basis if you are to provide enough of your milk for your high-risk baby. Many mothers find they can appreciate their babies' breastfeeding patterns when they understand how breast milk is produced.
There is no "one size fits all" method for achieving effective breastfeeding with a high-risk baby Each baby and each situation is different. Give your high-risk baby extra time to learn to breastfeed, and let the baby set the pace for learning.
Comfort and position are two keys to successful breastfeeding. Learn how to correctly position your baby at the breast. Choose the hold that works best for both of you. You may need to change holds as the baby grows.
One of the most frequently asked questions from mothers who are breastfeeding or pumping milk to feed their babies is, "Do I need to be on a special diet?" In most cases, the answer is no.
Breast milk is not sterile and its anti-infective properties hinder the growth of bacteria. Still, you do not want to introduce "outside" bacteria unnecessarily when getting ready to use your breast pump, during the actual pumping session, or when storing milk or transporting milk.
An effective breastfeeding baby usually has little trouble breastfeeding even if his/her mother's nipples appear to be flattened. A less effective breastfeeder may need some time to figure out how he/she can draw the nipple into the mouth with latch-on.
Breastfeeding should not hurt, and the skin on your nipple should not break down any more than the skin anywhere on your body should break down. However, mild tenderness is fairly common for the first week or two of breastfeeding. Then it should go away.
Infrequent or insufficient breastfeeding is the most common reason for a delay in milk coming in. This is also a common reason that women may experience a drop in milk production.
A baby must be able to effectively remove milk from the breast during breastfeeding if he or she is to obtain enough milk to gain weight and "tell" the breasts to increase or maintain milk production. Therefore, ineffective milk removal can result in poor weight gain due to inadequate intake of milk by the baby, which is then followed by a drop in the amount of milk being produced for the baby.
Perhaps the most common cause of slow weight gain is related to mismanaged breastfeeding. Click the above link for some tips for navigating poor weight gain.
Occasionally, a delay in the time when milk "comes in" turns into an ongoing problem with low milk production. Sometimes, a mother has been producing sufficient amounts of milk, and then milk production slowly, or quite suddenly, decreases.
Although your milk is best, it may not always completely meet the nutritional needs of very small premature babies or some very sick newborns. Fortunately, adding to, or "fortifying," a mother's milk does not appear to diminish the nutritional and anti-infective benefits your baby will gain from receiving your milk.
If you don't encounter breastfeeding problems, you can nurse your baby for as long as you like. At some point you'll make the decison to stop, however. Weaning is as natural as breastfeeding.
June 15, 2016