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Breastfeeding is the best way to provide your infant with the nutrients that she or he needs in order to be healthy, and it is also good for the health of a new mum as well. Often, however, it is not easy to get the hang of breastfeeding, especially when it is a new experience for a first time mother, and can even be different for each subsequent child. Here are a few basic breastfeeding tips that will help you get started and that will make for a happy and healthy mom and baby.
Knowledge is Power
Getting educated and arming yourself with knowledge about breastfeeding before the baby is even born will give you a major advantage for that first, often frustrating, feeding. Many books, articles, videos and healthcare professionals are there to answer any questions you may have. Knowing what to expect with regards to how it will feel, how to introduce your baby to your breast and how often you need to nurse will make all the difference when it is time to try it out.
Taking note of when and how often the baby feeds as well as any observations you have during the feeding will help you to remember what works, and from there you can develop a nursing method that will make it easier and more efficient. Include information on when you nursed, for how long, which breast you used last and record anything you did differently and whether it worked or not.
Set up for Success
To make breastfeeding more comfortable for yourself, make sure you have everything you need within arms reach. Have your breastfeeding pillow handy for those impromptu feedings, as well as a burping blanket, a cloth to wipe up spills and extra baby clothes if the current ones get soiled. During the first few weeks you will be breastfeeding often, so make sure you have comfort items for yourself as well, such as a snack, a glass of water, some breastfeeding tops and anything else that will make it a more comfortable experience for you.
Bring on the Burps
Burping midway through and after the feeding is an essential part of breastfeeding, and if some of the milk comes back up, don’t be discouraged as this is perfectly normal. Burping is necessary for your baby to avoid excess gas from developing during digestion, and will reduce a lot of discomfort he or she will feel later on.
Take Care of Yourself, Too
The health of the baby depends on the health of the mother, especially during those first months of breastfeeding. Make sure to fuel up: eating plenty of good food and drinking water regularly will not only keep your baby well nourished, but will also help maintain your own energy levels. Nursing can also cause a lot of soreness for you, so have a warm compress available for yourself after nursing and some lanolin cream for sore nipples to ensure a positive breastfeeding experience in the future.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Nursing is hard work, and will often require you to be available every couple of hours throughout the day. Getting sleep when it is available is essential for you to stay healthy during this hectic time. This often means that you should take advantage of the moments when you baby is sleeping to get some sleep yourself!