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Breastfeeding 101

The Beginners Guide To Breastfeeding For First Time Mom: What You Need To Know

If you are a new mother and have decided to breastfeed, you’ve made a smart choice about how to feed your baby. However, actually feeding your baby can be a bit more challenging than you expected.

There is a lot of information about breastfeeding, and it can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right support and guidance. This article will serve as a brief guide to breastfeeding, so you can get the hang of it.

Before The Baby Arrives

You can learn a lot about breastfeeding before your baby arrives. This is a good idea, so that you aren’t taken by surprise if you experience some of the issues that other mothers have faced.

You can learn about the variety of ways to hold your baby during a nursing session, and you can learn about the proper way for the baby’s mouth to be positioned.

You might consider joining a breastfeeding moms group, so you can see others getting answers to questions about nursing.

When the Baby Comes

After your baby is born, you will have a lot of emotions, and you will be worn out from the delivery. However, you’ve got to remember to offer your baby the breast as soon as you can. A lactation consultant will meet with you to make sure that the baby is positioned correctly.

In the first few days, your breasts will only have colostrum, which may be clear or golden and doesn’t look like milk. However, colostrum has a high number of immunoglobins and antibodies in it, making it extremely good for your baby.

After a few days, your milk will come in. You will definitely notice; you may feel very uncomfortable. Your breasts will feel very full, so nurse your baby for about 10-20 minutes on each side.

As time goes on, you will discover that your milk supply will level out, producing just enough milk to nourish your baby. After about two weeks you will feel as though you’re used to it.

Problems

If you are very lucky, you will have no breastfeeding problems at all. However, if you do, they can usually be remedied with a little effort.

breastfeedingThrush is a yeast infection that can affect both you and your baby. You will see white patches in your baby’s mouth, and the patches may be painful. Thrush sometimes goes away on its own, but usually you will need to see your pediatrician for Nystatin, an antifungal medicine you will apply to your baby’s mouth.

Another breastfeeding problem is mastitis, an infection of the breast. You may get a fever, and you breast will feel hot and sore. To treat this, apply wet, warm compresses to the affected area. If you get a fever, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen and talk to your pediatrician about receiving an antibiotic to resolve the infection.

Another problem you may have while nursing is the feeling that you don’t have enough milk for your baby. That is only rarely true. To bump up milk production, feed your baby from both breasts more often. The more your baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce. If you want to try the supplement fenugreek to increase milk production, that is also an option.

You’ll find that none of these problems require you to stop breastfeeding. In fact, nursing your baby can often help these problems go away more quickly.

Nursing in Public

There will be times when you and the baby leave the house. Unless you plan to be out for less than two hours, it is not unlikely that you may need to nurse while you’re out.

However you handle this situation is up to you. Many mothers nurse in nursing areas, but sometimes that is not an option. Instead, some mothers nurse in the car, or away from people with a blanket draped over the baby’s head and their breast. Do whatever makes you and your baby most comfortable.

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how to nurse your baby and how to live as a nursing mom. Seek out other nursing mothers for support and ideas. In no time at all you’ll be a breastfeeding pro.

Breastfeeding 101 November 3, 2014
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