We all know that breast-feeding is beneficial for the baby and the mom. Globally, exclusive breast-feeding is recommended for the first six months for optimal nutrition and health protection. Up to the baby’s 12th month, breast-feeding along with complementary foods is prescribed. The breast-fed baby is protected from different diseases and illnesses because of the unique antibodies present in the mother’s milk. A nursing mother’s risk of diabetes, postpartum depression and breast and ovarian cancer is dramatically reduced while breast-feeding.
Cost-wise, breast-feeding helps to eliminate the costs and wastes that are otherwise incurred during formula and feeding bottle production. Although breast-feeding is the most natural and age-old way of feeding an infant, new moms need information and support to carry out this process smoothly. Follow the steps given here to be successful at breast-feeding your child.
During the Third Trimester
The third-trimester is the best time to start learning about breast-feeding to help you breast-feed your baby immediately after he/she arrives.
- Enroll in a Breast-feeding Class
Getting yourself enrolled for a breast-feeding session at your hospital, physician’s office or any other group class can help you later when you have concerns and queries regarding the same.
- Read Vigorously
Refer to books, pamphlets and magazines from your local library, clinic and hospital. Knowledge on breast-feeding can make you adept at your new role as a breast-feeding mom.
- Spread the News
Inform your family, friends, doctors, hospital nurses, pediatricians and employer on your plans of exclusive breast-feeding and request their support.
What Can You Expect at the Hospital?
Healthy newborns are self-equipped at suckling the breast. What they need is uncompromising bonding time with their mom to practice and for mom to build up a good milk supply.
- Feed as Much as Possible
Babies lying beside their moms are best-fed as mothers respond to their hunger cues immediately. Removal of more milk from the breasts helps you make more milk. Formula feeding can disrupt this natural process.
- Seek Help
Many hospitals have a lactation specialist who can help you with breast-feeding difficulties, if you are experiencing any. They can also help you with the right positions to hold your baby while breast-feeding.
The More You Give, The More You Get
Most of the infants feed several times through the day and night, especially during the first few weeks. No worries. Your breasts can make enough milk in response to your baby’s needs. Instead of feeding at regular intervals, allow your baby to decide his/her own feeding schedule depending on the needs.
- Pamper Yourself
The new moms who breast-feed their children must eat nutrient-rich foods and fluids to produce enough milk and stay fit. It is advised to get ample rest and be stress-free.
- There is No Harm in Getting a Helping Hand
You can get in touch with your pediatrician, lactation specialist or a registered dietitian nutritionist if you feel that you need help in the following situations:
- Anxious on how to breast-feed while working or going to school.
- Have an infant with special needs.
An RDN can plan a healthy diet plan to help you breast-feed your infant with the right nutrients. Get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to help you plan such diet plans.