Breastfeeding may be easy for new mothers while others need a bit of practice and patience. With this handy breastfeeding basics guide, you’re on your way to providing healthy and nutritious breast milk for your little one.
Starting Your Journey
Your body needs a “trigger” to start producing breast milk. Provided by your baby when it suckles, newborns should be immediately placed on the breast as soon as the baby is delivered.
At first, the breast will produce just a small amount of thick, yellowish liquid called colostrum. Extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies, colostrum is good for your baby. The more frequently you put the baby to the breast, the faster it will be to start producing milk – usually in three days.
Once milk comes in, moms will feel a tingling in the breast when you are ready to feed. Milk can leak a bit and this is known as the “let down” reflex. Often, moms experience mild tummy pain, but this is normal as your womb is contracting as you nurse.
How to Breastfeed
1. Position yourself
• Since breastfeeding lasts for about 30 minutes, it’s important that you are comfortable and relaxed. Strategically place a pillow and a low footstool to provide support.
2. Positioning your baby
• Remember to bring your baby to the breast – and not the breast to the baby.
3. Latching on
• Patience is the key as it may take a few tries to latch on properly.
4. During feeding
• The baby always gets a thin “foremilk” first to quench the thirst. The calorie-rich “hindmilk” satisfies hunger and will come afterwards.
A Few Points to Remember
• Babies do not “nipple feed,” instead, they “breast feed.” Proper latching on makes it easier for the baby to drink, stimulates your milk supply and prevents sore nipples.
• Some babies suffer from wind or colic. If yours does, burp the baby against your shoulder after feeding. If the baby feeds from both breasts, you may also want to burp in between.
• Establish a good breastfeeding routine if your baby’s birth weight is low (under 2.5kg/5lb) and track the weight gain in the early weeks.