The 20 Do's & Don'ts New Moms Should Know!
If you are a new mom, chances are you have been flooded with a tsunami of breastfeeding tips, wherever you go and whatever you do. People will watch you, judge you, teach you, test you (and your limits) and make you uncomfortable in all possible ways.
With all this breastfeeding advice and experiences, you may end up feeling more confused than ever.
Here are some tried and tested tips on breastfeeding, guaranteed to make you a breastfeeding guru!
- Start breastfeeding your baby immediately right after she is born. Breastfeed after every two hours. Even if the flow of the breastmilk appears to be slow or completely blocked, keep on trying. The more you try to get the hang of it in the first 7 to 10 days, the easier will it get for you. Read our article on the 8 effective ways for improving the flow of your breast milk.
- Breastfeeding your baby after you have a nice warm bath improves the milk flow.
- Ask for privacy when you need to breast feed your baby in public. If you are uncomfortable, stressed on in the middle of too much noise, your baby won't be able to get the feed properly.
- Never delay your baby’s feeding time just because your baby is not crying for the feed. Making a feeding routine now helps a lot in the long run. Crying is the last and final sign of hunger. Early indications may include one or more of these activities: Your baby starts to push out her tongue; lick her lips; bring her hand near her mouth; lick her hand; or open her mouth in left and right directions.
- Always change the diaper before starting the feed. Studies have revealed that newborn babies take the feed better when they are wearing a clean and dry diaper.
- Put the areola (the dark area around the nipple) inside your baby's mouth along with the nipple. Your baby's tongue movement on the areola is said to create a stimuli to fasten up the flow of the milk. Putting only the nipple will end up making your nipples sore and they will eventually bleed. Remember that breastfeeding is not supposed to cause you pain and discomfort, other than in the first few weeks when you are new to this art. If it does, refer to our article on breastfeeding problems.
- Make sure you keep yourself clean. It is advisable to wash your hands and wipe the breast region with a damp cloth before and after each breast feeding session. Sometimes carelessness on your part could be the reason behind your little one's health issues.
- Sterilization is not just for formula feeding mums, it is also for breastfeeding mums who use breastfeeding accessories such as breast pump and breast shields, etc. that needs to be properly sterilized after use.
- Drink plenty of water. Before sitting down with your newborn baby, make sure you drink a glass of water, juice or any healthy hydrating fluid. It is believed that drinking a glass of water or juice right before breastfeeding helps increase your milk flow.
- Express and freeze breastmilk if you feel that you need to go somewhere without your baby. Instead of leaving your baby with a nanny and formula milk, your baby could always use the breast milk in bottle. You can even freeze this miracle milk. Refer to our article on expressing and storing breast milk for a complete guideline on how to store breast milk at room temperature in fridge and freezer.
- Take care of your diet. Make sure you do not eat anything that causes gas or constipation in your baby’s stomach as what you eat may affect your baby’s digestion. However, make sure you include all sorts of proteins and vitamins in your diet. Make a habit of drinking milk regularly, if you are not already doing so.
- Also, your breast milk may slightly have the taste of the food you intake. So make sure you do not eat anything too spicy or with a very strong flavor. This is one of those important breastfeeding tips that many mothers tend to ignore. Like adults, babies can also sense flavor, and may not like it. Don’t eat any painkillers or medicine unless your doctor says it’s okay to.
- Look into this list of breastfeeding accessories and pick the items you really want. Welcome all sorts of help you can get, while keeping in mind your budget.
- If you have a premature baby, you may find breastfeeding a more challenging task. Preemies may take some time to properly latch on. Patience is the key word here. Read our article on breastfeeding tips for your premature baby.
Breastfeeding Tips: The Don'ts
- Don’t give up no matter how hard you find newborn breastfeeding. Give your baby and yourself time to understand each other and cooperate. After all, breastfeeding is a new process for both of you. For all kinds of breastfeeding help, refer to our breastfeeding section.
- Do not ignore your pain if you are experiencing sore nipples. Talk to your doctor and ask him/ her about the right ointment for your nipples, and meanwhile use a breast-shield. It is also a good idea to extract some breast milk by gently squeezing one of the nipples using your thumb and fingers and put this breastmilk on the sensitive skin – it works magic in healing the sore nipples.
- Don't start breastfeeding when you are feeling angry or depressed. This is one of the often-ignored breastfeeding tips. Your mood plays an important role in this process. Even your baby can sense your low mood, and this can directly impact your milk flow.
- Do not make a backup bottle. Never get too impressed with the convenience of any bottle-feeding mom. You are going for a better option - stick to it. Read our articles on benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding versus bottle feeding for help and motivation.
Caution: In case your doctor advises you not to breastfeed your newborn due to certain medical issues, use formula milk. Refer to our article on when not to breastfeed.
Share your breastfeeding experiences with a trusted friend who has been through this process. You will be amazed to know that a lot of difficulties you face now were also faced by her in her initial days of breastfeeding. You will also benefit from some really handy breastfeeding tips and tricks from her.
Breastfeeding may seem quite easy as an observer and very difficult when you start it. However, within a couple of weeks you will get the hang of it and soon you will be giving new moms breastfeeding tips.
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