Motherhood is a boon for every woman in her life. The first thing to practice after delivery is to feed the new born. Breastfeeding, one of the most natural acts in the world, takes practice. Learning how to hold and support your baby in a comfortable position is mutual understanding with the new born. Finding a nursing hold that works both mother and the infant is well worth the effort. After all, the mother and child should spend hour’s together breastfeeding every day.

 

The first time the mother holds her newborn in the delivery room, it is always good when she put his/her lips on her breast. The mature milk doesn’t come immediately after the birth, but breasts produce a substance called “Colostrum”, that will help protect your baby from infection. This colosturm is very helpful to the baby in his whole life, which helps him fight with more than 600 types of virus in future.

 

Breastfeeding is an art that requires patience and lots of practice. No one will expect them to be an expert in the beginning, so its good to ask a nurse to show what to do while in the hospital. If a premature baby is born, mother is not allowed to nurse right away, but should start pumping milk out into bottle. The baby will receive this milk through a tube or a bottle until he's strong enough to nurse. Remember that although breastfeeding is natural, it can be difficult in the first days of your baby's life. Take the time to get encouragement and advice from a lactation consultant or friends who have nursed. Their support and tips will be always valuable.

 

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Once feeing is started, it should be remembered that nursing shouldn't be painful. Mother should pay attention to how her breasts feel when baby latches on. Baby’s mouth should cover a big part of the areola below the nipple, and nipple should be far back into baby's mouth. If latch-on hurts, baby’s suction should be broken by inserting mother’s little finger between baby's gums and her nipple. This should be done till the baby is used to the latching process properly.

 

The doctors say that more the mother nurses her child, the more quickly mature milk will come in and the more milk will be produced. Nursing for 10 to 15 minutes per breast, 8 to 12 times every 24 hours is pretty much on target. Medical practitioners say that mother should nurse her newborn whenever he/she shows signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting around for her nipple. Crying is a late sign of hunger, ideally mother should start feeding her baby before he starts crying. During the first few days, mother may have to gently wake her baby to begin nursing, and he may fall asleep again in mid-feeding. To make sure her baby's eating often enough, wake him up if it's been four hours since the last time he nursed. Once your baby becomes alert for longer periods, you can settle into a routine of feeding every one to three hours (less at night as he starts to sleep through).

 

NURSING POSITONS:

The feeding position is very important for both mother and the child. Since feedings can take up to 40 minutes, pick a cozy spot for nursing. Here are some positions that are good while nursing:

1. Best position to nurse is holding baby in a position that won't leave arms and back sore. It works well to support the back of baby's head with mother’s hand, but the position really depends on what's comfortable for mother.

2. If the sitting position is chosen, a nursing pillow can be a big help in supporting the baby. It is always advised not to feed until both mother and baby are comfortable because feeding requires sitting (or lying) in that position for a while.

 

Here are some positions that are very helpful for the safe and comfortable nursing.

 

1. The Cradle Hold

This is a classic breastfeeding position.

1. In this position, the mother to cradle her baby's head with the crook of her arm.

2. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with lots of pillows.

3. And then, rest her feet on a raised surface in order to avoid leaning down toward her baby.

4. Holding the baby in mother’s lap or on a pillow on her lap is better so that it helps the baby to lie on her side with her face, stomach, and knees directly facing the mother.

 

If nursing on the right breast, rest her head in the crook of your right arm. Extend your forearm and hand down her back to support her neck, spine, and bottom. Secure her knees against your body, across or just below your left breast. She should lie horizontally, or at a slight angle. Mostly, this cradle hold often works well for full-term babies who were delivered vaginally. Some mothers’ say this hold makes it hard to guide their newborn's mouth to the nipple, so mother may prefer to use this position once baby has stronger neck muscles at about 1 month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.

Best For: This position is best for the mothers who like to feed their little ones by sitting.

 

2. The Cross-Over Hold

This is also known as the cross-cradle hold.

1. This position differs from the cradle hold in that mother don't support her baby's head with the crook of your arm. Instead, her arms switch roles.

2. If mother nursing from your right breast, mother should use her left hand and arm to hold her baby. Rotate baby’s body so her chest and tummy are directly facing mother. Mother with her thumb and fingers behind her head and below her ears, should guide baby’s mouth to your breast.

This hold may work well for small babies and for infants who have trouble latching on.

Best For: This position is best suitable for the infants who cannot latch properly and for mothers who should not put the pressure on their back.

 

3. The Clutch or Football Hold

As the name suggests, in this position mother tucks her baby under her arm (on the same side that she is nursing from) like a football or handbag.

1. First baby should be positioned at mother’s side, under her arm. Baby should be facing mother with her nose level with mother’s nipple and baby’s feet pointing toward mother’s back.

2. Mother should rest her arm on a pillow in her lap or right beside her, and support her baby's shoulders, neck, and head with her hand.

3. Using a C-hold, mother should guide her baby to her nipple, chin first. But be careful not to push baby towards her breast so much that baby resists and arches her head against mother’s hand. It is good using forearm to support baby’s upper back.

Mother may try this hold if she had a Cesarean section. This avoids having the baby’s rest on her stomach. And if her baby is small or has trouble latching on, the hold allows mother to guide baby’s head to mother’s nipple. It also works well for women who have large breasts or flat nipples, and for mothers of twins.

Best For: This position best suits for the mothers who had C-section.

 

4. Reclining Position

This position helps the mother to nurse while lying on her side in bed.

1. To support this position, mother can place several pillows behind her back for support. Another ways to make comfort is to put a pillow under mother’s head and shoulders, and one between her bent knees, too.

2. The goal is to keep mothers back and hips in a straight line. With your baby facing you, draw her close and cradle her head with the hand of your bottom arm. Or, cradle her head with your top arm, tucking your bottom arm under your head, out of the way. If your baby needs to be higher and closer to your breast, place a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under her head. She shouldn't strain to reach your nipple, and you shouldn't bend down toward her.

Best for:

This position best suits for the mothers who had C-section.

The mothers who want to nurse their infants lying down due to C-section or difficult delivery, sitting up is uncomfortable.

For mothers who are nursing in bed at night during the sleep.

 

BREAST FEEDING PROBLEMS

Although women have nursed their babies for centuries, breastfeeding doesn't always come easily. Many women face difficulties early on. Some of the most common problems you may encounter in the first six weeks include:

1. Engorgement: It is called as an ‘overfull breast’. The breasts that are overfilled with milk make the mother very heavy and give her a lot of pain. This many also be due to the baby not latching properly.

2. Sore nipples: While nursing the new born, the nipples may rupture due to the new pore openings on nipples.

3. Mastitis: This is a breast infection where a fungal infection may occur on the breasts due to soreness.

 

It is not good to suffer in silence. Lactation consultant or personal doctor should be consulted. Especially if mother is suffering with a breast infection, and if physical discomfort is getting in the way of nursing properly, it’s mandatory to consult a doctor.

 

DIETIERY CHANGE FOR NURSING MOTHERS:

The diet of the mother also plays an important role in the nursing baby’s health. The food if contained with the toxins will directly enter the breast’s milk and irritate the child.

Here are some methods to make some changes in mother’s diet.

1. The intake of caffeine can be limited.

Many of the new born mothers have a doubt whether caffeine is safe while breastfeeding. When caffeine enters the bloodstream, a small amount of it ends up in breast milk. The baby's body can't easily break down and excrete caffeine, especially in the first few months of life. So over time it may accumulate in his system.

Drinking a lot of coffee, for about more than two or three cups day is not advised. This caffeine intake might cause one or both kid and mother to become irritable, jittery, or agitated, and it can contribute to sleeping problems.

To cut caffeine intake, it is good to be aware of other sources, like tea, soft drinks, "energy" drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream. Caffeine is usually present in the following:

1. Coffee.

2. Black tea, green tea.

3. In many of the soft drinks such as pepsi, coke.

4. Caffeine is mostly present in energy drinks such as Red Bull, SoBe No Fear.

5. In deserts such as dark chocolate, hot cocoa, coffee ice cream or frozen yogurt.

6. Caffeine also shows up in herbal products and over-the-counter drugs, including some headache, cold, and allergy remedies.

 

2. Avoid Junk foods: Junk foods like chocolate, spicy foods and other irritants that get into breast milk can be avoided.

3. Increase in Liquids intake: Drinking lots of fluids is very good because oxytocin that is released by mother’s body while breastfeeding will make her thirsty and help remind her to drink. This liquids intake also stimulates the milk production.

4. Prenatal Vitamins: Nursing mothers are well advised to continue taking their prenatal vitamins. Folic acid also can be found abundantly in asparagus, cabbage, corn, chick- peas, and spinach. Many other foods, such as wheat and orange juice, have been enriched with folic acid. Eat primarily unsaturated fats. Sunflower, corn, rapeseed, and olive oil provide fatty acids that are essential for building the baby's nervous system.

5. Beware of pollutants: Like nicotine, pesticide residue easily passes through mother's milk. If you are nursing, stay away from insecticides (especially in airborne forms such as aerosols or coils). Try to use natural insect repellents such as citronella. Eat primarily unsaturated fats. Sunflower, corn, rapeseed, and olive oil provide fatty acids that are essential for building the baby's nervous system.

A normal healthy diet is all mother needs while nursing her baby. It is recommended that nursing moms get an extra 400 to 500 calories a day, but new research shows that there is no need to boost in calories.

Well-balanced diet is necessary to main mother’s own health, but there is no need to follow complicated dietary rules to successfully nurse the baby.

 

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NURSING TIPS

There are very simple and common tips that can be followed for easy and comfortable lactation for the baby. These tips are for every nursing position.

 

Support Mother’s body. The main common point is to feel comfortable and support the mother’s body.

TIPS:

1. It is always better to choose a comfortable chair with armrests, with support of pillows to lend extra support for mother’s back and arms.

2. Mostly couches aren't supportive enough to sit on while breastfeeding.

3. Avoid bending towards the baby. A footstool, coffee table, or stack of books works just as well.

4. A pillow or folded receiving blanket on mother’s lap can also keep from hunching over.

What ever the nursing position, it is better to be sure to bring baby to mother’s breast, rather than the other way around.

 

Support Mother’s breasts.

Nursing mother’s breasts get bigger and heavier during lactation, so special care should be taken always to support her breasts.

TIPS:

1. While nursing, it is better to use mother’s free hand to support her breast with a C-hold (four fingers underneath the breast) or a V-hold (supporting her breast between her index and middle fingers).

2. It is important to keep mother’s fingers at least 2 inches behind the nipple and areola so that her baby doesn't suck on them instead.

 

Support Baby:

Feeling comfortable and secure will help the little baby nurse happily and efficiently.

TIPS:

1. Always mother should always support her baby’s head, neck, back, and hips and keep them in a straight line.

2. Mother can use her arm and hand, pillows or a folded blanket to support her baby.

3. Mother can swaddle or gently hold her baby’s arms by her side to make nursing easier.

 

Variation in Routine:

It is always advised to experiment with all the nursing positions in order to find the best nursing position that both the mother and the child find most comfortable.

TIPS:

1. It is always advised to regularly alternate breastfeeding holds to avoid getting clogged milk ducts.

2. This variation in the routine also helps in avoiding sore nipples as each hold puts pressure on a different part of mother’s nipple.

3. If the nursing of the breasts are alternated, the breast from which the mother generally nurse for first time at every feeding, this will boost milk production.

 

Relaxing before Nursing:

Before starting the process of nursing, it is always advised to relax first.

TIPS:

1. Relaxing can be in a format as: Few deep breaths, Closing of eyes, and thinking peaceful, calming thoughts.

2. The very best way is stay hydrated before nursing, as this will help producing milk. Always drink a glass full of milk, or water or juice before nursing.

 

Ideal Time to Stop:

Ideally, baby will decide whether she had enough when she's drained one or both breasts. If mother needs to change the baby's position or switch her to the other breast. If the mother wants to end her feeding for any reason, gently insert finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth. A quiet "pop" means the suction is broken and then the mother can pull her away.

 

It is always good not to panic the newborn if he is finding any trouble while latching or staying on his mother’s nipple.

It is always advised to keep in mind always that, every baby is different. If the baby seems to be bothered when mother consumes any different food, then it is always good to cut it out of her diet for a while to see if that makes a difference in the baby.

Always the food intake of the mother should be tracked to avoid the bothering of the baby.

By following very simple tips, the mother can enjoy her "Motherhood" and can share her Love with the baby.

 


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