Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tips for breastfeeding

December 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

Breastfeeding has many advantages for both the baby and the mother. Many substances are present in the breast milk that cannot be found in cow’s milk or commercial formula. Moreover, breast milk is likely to cause less health complications than cow’s milk would. Very serious studies have shown repeatedly babies who are breastfed during the first 6 months, and sometimes up to two years, enjoy better health. Why is breast milk so beneficial to the child?

First, in the first days following birth breast milk contains colostrum, a substance that is essential to the development of the baby’s immune system.  No milk substitute sold in stores can replace this precious element. The first milk provided by the mother contains many proteins, antibodies and immune globulins, which will further immune the baby to diseases in its first months of its life. Another great benefit of breast milk is that it costs nothing, unlike the specialized milk or cow’s milk bought in stores. Valuable savings for a small family who is already facing many other expenses related to the arrival of a new kid in the family. The baby accepts its mother’s milk better that any commercial ones. Breast milk is better tolerated, baby’s feces will be less smelly, and it will be easier for the little one to defecate. In some babies cow’s milk can cause constipation.

In recent years many new moms discover with pleasure the benefits of breastfeeding their child. However, despite this modern awareness, many mothers will experience small discomfort associated with breastfeeding. These problems can be a result of poor breastfeeding techniques. To reduce the discomfort associated with breastfeeding it is important for the mother to observe a few rules and techniques that will improve her well-being. With these techniques breastfeeding will become and experience as positive for the mother as it is for the child.

• First, we can prepare the nipple to breastfeed. One of the exercises is to pinch the nipple gently. Repeated regularly this exercise will lessen the discomfort when the baby starts breastfeeding.  We can start this exercise a few days before giving birth, for example.

• It is advisable to avoid using soap to clean the nipple before breastfeeding. Using a soft cloth dampened with clean water should suffice. Avoiding soap will also keep the nipple skin from drying out, which can bring great discomfort especially if the nipples are cracked.

• Allow the baby to hang on well is one of the most important steps in nursing. The baby’s mouth should cover the entire areola, not just the nipple. It is very important for the suction process. Otherwise, the baby may have problems to suck well and reject the nipple as a reaction.  As a result the baby will have to make more efforts to feed and possibly not absorb the amount of milk it needs. To help your baby breastfeed properly, try this: stimulating your baby’s cheek near his mouth with your nipple. His head would turn automatically at the stimulation with an open mouth ready to receive the breast. It is a natural reflex of the newborn.

• When you’re finished it is possible that baby won’t stop immediately and cling to the nipple to keep on sucking.  In such a case lightly slip your clean finger, on the side of his mouth. The baby will grab it, allowing you to remove your nipple.

• To prevent sore nipples and breast engorgement it is essential to control the time your baby is going to suck each nipple. It is generally advisable to spend 10-15 minutes on each breast to completely empty both breasts of milk.  The switch will also relieve the skin of the nipples, highly tested by several feedings throughout the day! Cold compresses of water can help the mother suffering from sore nipples after breastfeeding. There are also creams on the market, specifically designed to ease cracked nipples. These creams help to speed healing and reduce pain. These creams are commonly found in all good pharmacies and specialty stores.

Breastfeed is a rewarding experience because it helps build a strong bond with the baby. Do not deprive yourself of such a joy because of small discomforts for which there are solutions.  If necessary, do not hesitate to seek advice from your doctor, pharmacist, or a nurse specialist. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the disadvantages!

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