New Delhi: Breastfeeding is as important for the development of a baby as it is for the well-being of the mother since it impacts both their health.
Breastfeeding extends beyond basic nutrition, also reducing the mother's stress-levels as well as the risk of postpartum depression.
Not only that, studies have shown that it also puts you at a lesser risk of some types of cancers.
Breastfeeding seems to be a most natural process, but to some, it may be a challenge. Be patient and feed often, say experts.
Mimansa Malhotra (PT), Lactation Consultant and Lamaze childbirth educator on behalf of Philips, and Shilpi Srivastava, Lactation Consultant at Mamma Mia, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, list some tips to keep in mind:
- Try to nurse within the first hour after delivery. That's when your breast produces colostrum or first milk. It is packed with nutrients in a small amount. And a small amount is just what a newborn needs.
- Feed often to increase supply. The rule is simple. The lesser you nurse, the lesser milk your body will produce. Ensure you are eating well and getting enough rest. You will need both as your body converts your calories to milk.
- Ensure that when your baby is latched, his/her mouth should take in as much of the dark part of your breast, the areola, as possible. The baby squeezes the milk ducts beneath that area to draw the breast milk out. If your baby is only sucking on the nipple, it will pinch and hurt you. Also, the baby won't be able to get as much milk.
- Don't be in a hurry to offer the second breast. It is perfectly alright to leave your baby on the first breast until he/she comes off on his/her own and then offer the second breast. Many babies take one breast at some feedings and both breasts at some. Don't be rigid and don't be scared.
- As the experts say breastfeeding is a learning process in which both the counterparts are learning, hence it needs a lot of patience and it may take a few days to weeks to master it.
- During the first week, the baby seems hungry all the time as the baby is trying to cope with the new environment and frequent breastfeeds will not only help him in adjusting but also help your body to make more milk to meet baby's demand.
- Breastfeeding is easier with the right help. It is always advisable to seek help from an expert if you are facing difficulty in breastfeeding because getting the right help at the right time will make a lot of difference to your breastfeeding experience.
- Breastfeeding is an art. A lactation consultant or the healthcare provider will guide you on the technique of latching and holding the baby to make breastfeeding more comfortable for you and for your baby
- Breastfeeding helps in bonding. It promotes skin to skin contact and lets you spend a lot of time with your newborn, helping in understanding his cues and requirements.
(With IANS inputs)