Have you made the decision to breastfeed but are unsure of where to start or how to begin? I’m sharing some of my best breastfeeding tips and advice for new moms. I’ve been there… with all three, in fact. Each experience with my three children was different. My first born was premature and spent the first three months of his life in the NICU. My second was also born premature and spent a little over a month in the NICU. My third was born just at the cusp of full term and came home with me. They were all also breastfed for varying lengths of time. For my older two, we made it to six months. That was a combination of bottle and breast, but always with breastmilk. My youngest, on the other hand, is an extended breastfeeder.
Breastfeeding and the New Mom
Having a new baby is hard enough but when you choose to breastfeed you sometimes feel that you made this experience even harder. If you haven’t breastfed before you might feel a little intimidated.
After all, breastfeeding is a natural event. But it is also a learned art. Women aren’t born knowing how to breastfeed their little babies. And learning how to breastfeed the correct way will decrease the woman’s discomfort and increase the likelihood that the mother and baby will have a successful experience.
It is actually pretty easy and a very fulfilling way to nourish your newborn once you get the hang of it. Remember as with most things practice makes perfect! Breastfeeding is new to you and to your little one but with a little practice you two will become pros in no time.
During the first week of your baby’s life, your breasts will produce colostrum for your baby to drink. Colostrum is rich in antibodies and aids the baby’s immune system. It also helps him pass his first bowel movement, which is called meconium.
Meconium is black and tarry looking and is in the first few diapers after birth. Then he begins to transition to a brown substance and after your milk comes in, it becomes a yellow, mustardy stool that is loose and watery.
After the first week of life, you should see 6-8 wet diapers each day and at least 3 bowel movements a day. His urine should be clear and he should become more alert with each passing day. Your baby should also be gaining weight and growing, as this is the surest way to tell that they are getting enough nutrition. If you have two days in a row that deviates from the above indicators, then you should call your pediatrician immediately.
Some of the Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are a number of benefits, which result from breastfeeding for infants. Among them, immediate milk that does not have to be heated as it is already at body temperature. In addition, some experts believe that breastfeeding decreases the risk of certain ailments, while increasing the healthy development of teeth and gums.
Along with the infant, there are positive results that stem from breastfeeding for the mother. Among them, a nurturing feeling toward her infant, a quicker return to the mom’s pre-birth weight and may help to prevent certain illnesses later on in life.
Breastfeeding refers to the process by which a mother feeds her infant with milk directly from her breasts. Assuming the mother does not have certain illnesses, breast milk is widely believed to be the most beneficial for feeding young infants. It is even said that breastfeeding can strengthen the bond between mother and child.
Making the Decision to Breastfeed
Deciding whether or not you want to breastfeed is a personal choice. Getting breastfeeding information is what will enable you to make the decision that’s ultimately right for you and for your baby. There are a lot of factors that can impact the decision you make. Today, women have choices and you can decide to breastfeed, bottle feed or even to do a combination of the two.
Breastfeeding Tips and Advice for the New Mom
- How to find breastfeeding success in the first few days
- Breastfeeding success tips for the first six weeks
- How to increase your milk supply
- Tips for breastfeeding in public
- A (former) breastfeeding mom’s guide to choosing and using a breastpump
- Breastfeeding through mastitis