Exclusive Breastfeeding Tips For New Mums
Exclusive breastfeeding has many health benefits for both mother and infant. Breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months.
One of your first nurturing acts as a new mother will likely be feeding your baby. For many women, that will mean exclusive breastfeeding. As natural as breastfeeding is, you may still worry and stress about providing the proper nutrients for your baby. And you probably have a million questions about how it all works and how to do it correctly.
Our best advice: relax, you and your baby will get the hang of it eventually. To help calm your worries, we’ve put together a list of the best breastfeeding tips for new mothers.
Tips For A Successful Exclusive Breastfeeding
From the moment your baby is born, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances for breastfeeding success.
Stay together after the birth
Keeping your baby with you after the birth will promote a feeling of closeness and a strong hormonal response that is linked with exclusive breastfeeding success. In many cases it is even possible to have your baby with you immediately after a caesarean birth.
Get your position and attachment right
The ﬁrst few days after the birth offer the best opportunity for you and your baby to learn to breastfeed. Your breasts are still soft for a few days after the birth, then as breast milk changes from highly nutritious colostrum to mature milk, your breasts can become quite full and ﬁrm. Try and use the first few days to get your position and attachment right, this may help to avoid potential problems down the track.
Breastfeeding is a skill that both you and your baby are learning and for some mothers and babies it is harder than it is for others. Like anything new, it takes time and patience. Relaxation is important for both you and your baby. If you find you are getting frustrated or angry at yourself while you're trying to breastfeed, stop and try again in a little while. If your baby is distressed, and if it is possible, ask someone to keep them distracted until you are ready to try again. You could also express for this feed and try feeding from the breast for the next feed.
Feed on demand or according to need
While you are establishing your breastfeeding your baby will feed between seven and twelve times in 24 hours. This will settle over time. Frequent and effective feeding will help you to make enough milk for your baby.
Drink lots of water
You are breastfeeding on demand which is a lot, so you need to be hydrated at all times.
Keep baby in the room with you
There are many benefits to having your baby in the room with you in the hospital and at home; including that it reduces the risk of sudden infant death.
It also promotes breastfeeding. Having your baby in the same room as you will help you to recognise when your baby is hungry, tired or in need of a cuddle; it will make it easier for you to know when your baby is ready to feed.
It is important to provide a safe sleep environment for your baby night and day.
Avoid teats, dummies and complementary feeds
Because your new baby is still learning to breastfeed they can become confused if they are offered a teat or dummy. If your baby has ﬂuids other than breast milk they will breastfeed less and your breast milk supply will decrease. Frequent, unrestricted suckling at the breast will satisfy your baby and ensure that your milk supply continues to meets your baby’s needs.
Breast milk only for the first six months
When babies are exclusively breastfed, they need no other food or drink until at least six months of age. You can be confident that your baby is receiving enough breast milk in the early weeks if they have six or more heavy, wet nappies and at least one bowel motion a day. It’s also a good sign if your baby settles after most feeds.