The pregnancy journey is bitter-sweet. Growing a human inside you is definitely amazing but as the months go by, sleeping positions are a hellish task, not forgetting you need a good pillow for support.
Did we even mention the search for baby names, which is sometimes full of confusion, especially when you have so many options to choose from? But once the little one is born, you totally forget about all the hassle you went through.
After the child is born, the mom embarks on the journey of breastfeeding. Do you know why breast milk is referred to as Liquid Gold? This is because it is the major source of infant nutrition. Breastfeeding your baby is one of the joys of motherhood, and you should learn how to breastfeed your baby properly for him/her to benefit from the liquid gold.
As a first-time mother, you may be struggling with latching your baby. The painful and sore nipples during your infant’s first weeks of breastfeeding may make you think of introducing your baby to formula. You may also struggle to understand how to breastfeed a newborn baby.
Related Article: How to Dry Up Breast Milk Naturally and Fast
What To Expect As A First Time Mother
No one ever prepared you for the pain that comes from breastfeeding your newborn. You can even swear your newborn baby has teeth that are on a mission to rip your nipples out. This comes down to how your baby is latching, as proper latching will minimize pain. So how can you do that?
First, rub your nipple against your newborn’s cheeks. This will alert him that it is feeding time. You can then rub your nipple on your baby’s upper lip. This will prompt him to open his mouth wide enough for you to insert the nipple inside his mouth.
Target to have three-quarters of your areola inside your baby’s mouth. This way, you will minimize nipple pain and your baby will correctly breastfeed. You can also apply lanolin cream to the nipple area to heal the cracked nipples.
Strive to breastfeed your baby within the first hour after birth. This is important to establish a good milk supply. Your baby will also benefit from colostrum from the milk. In the first 24 hours after your baby is born, you will need to establish direct skin-to-skin contact with your newborn. You should also remember to wake your baby up to breastfeed to establish milk flow.
How Long Should You Breastfeed?
According to the World Health Organization, mothers should exclusively breastfeed their babies for their first six months. This liquid gold contains antibodies that protect babies against childhood diseases and is a source of energy and nutrition. WHO also recommends a baby be breastfed for a minimum of two years.
Do mothers benefit from breastfeeding their little ones? Yes, when you breastfeed your baby you decrease the chances of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart diseases, postpartum depression, and even type 2 diabetes.
Well, the benefits of breastfeeding seem to be immense and could warrant your waiting longer before you can wean your baby off breast milk. When the time gets for you to stop breastfeeding, it’s also important to know how to dry up breast milk naturally and fast.
If you are a working mother, you can express/pump and properly store your breast milk so that your baby can feed on it when you are not home.
Can You Breastfeed With Implants?
You may have felt that your perky boobies are slowly getting flabby and felt the need to get your sexy back again. A quick perusal got you an appointment with plastic surgeon X. Questions lingered over your mind if you will ever breastfeed again. If you haven’t had the procedure, you would like to know if you will breastfeed again after nipple piercing.
Most women can still breastfeed after breast augmentation surgery, as the surgery mostly doesn’t involve the milk ducts or areas of milk production. Today’s silicon used for implants is safe and unlikely to interfere or mix with the milk. Incisions made around the areola will affect nipple sensitivity and interfere with the let-down reflex, thus affecting milk supply. Implants placed over the pectoral will also interfere with the ducts.
You can contact your plastic surgeon for clear details of the breast surgery you had and if they interfere with breastfeeding. Your baby will benefit from even a small amount of breast milk that you produce, and you can always supplement with formula if need be.
Can You Breastfeed With Nipple Piercings?
Yes. It is possible to breastfeed your baby with nipple piercing. However, care must be taken for it to be effective. If you have nipple piercing, make sure they are fully healed before you breastfeed, which could take even a year. A nipple piercing that takes longer to heal could leave a scar that may impede milk flow.
When breastfeeding your baby, it is best to remove the piercing as it could be a choking hazard to your baby. Even a well-secured nipple ring could still come loose and chock your baby. Good hygiene, like cleaning the nipple ring before re-inserting it, should be practiced to prevent infection.
Can You Breastfeed While Pregnant?
You may have been exclusively breastfeeding your baby when you found out that you are pregnant. Well, breastfeeding is not a contraception method, even though it may work for a chosen few. So, you may have asked yourself the above question after you found yourself pregnant while still breastfeeding your baby.
Yes, you can still breastfeed your baby while pregnant. If your baby is not ready for weaning, you can continue breastfeeding him. Your body will continue producing enough milk for your older baby while still producing the needed nutrients for your unborn baby. You can also continue breastfeeding your older baby even after you have given birth to your newborn. This is tandem nursing.
However, breastfeeding while pregnant is said to cause mild contractions thus, unsafe for complicated pregnancies. If you are expecting multiples, or you have had a miscarriage before, it is good to seek the opinion of a doctor or a midwife.
How To Know Your Newborn is Breastfeeding Well
A well-fed baby will have at least six wet diapers in a day. This means that the baby should spend 10-15 minutes on each session breastfeeding. You should also make sure the baby spends time breastfeeding on one breast before you can change him to the next breast. This will help the baby get the foremilk and the hind milk which are both beneficial for a baby’s growth.
The foremilk is low in fat and calories but full of lactose, and it is the milk that comes first when the baby starts feeding. Hind milk is high in fat and calories and comes some minutes into breastfeeding. Hind milk is creamy, thick, rich and makes the baby fuller for longer.
You will know that your baby is feeding well if he is gaining weight, your breast feels softer after feeding him, and he looks satisfied and sleepy. If your baby is always fussy, restless, and not gaining weight, talk to your lactation consultant or doctor, and they will help you in this breastfeeding journey.