7 Important Lessons I Learnt About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be overwhelming, when I got pregnant I had to find out as much as I could get about breastfeeding before my baby is delivered, being a new mother is tough enough without having to struggle with breastfeeding issue and now that my son is 6 months I can’t say I’m an expert in breastfeeding but through the mistakes I’ve made and learnt from I often offer advice to new moms who are having issues with breastfeeding.

Here’s a list of things you need to know for a successful exclusive breastfeeding;

1. Do your research

Read up about breastfeeding during pregnancy, attend breastfeeding class in your hospital, get as much information as you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born.

2. Nurse as soon as you can after delivery

If there’s no complication that has to be addressed first before you can breastfeed your baby, then start breastfeeding immediately your baby is born. That will help you bond adequately with your baby although if complication stops you, you have more time to bond.

3. Experiment with positions until you find the one that works

Try different breastfeeding positions and see which of them works best for you, if you had C-section the football hold is best for you or the cradle hold. And when you are resting, the laid back or side-lying positions is most comfortable.

4. Skin-to-skin is important during the six weeks

Skin to skin contact should be established immediately after birth, there are so many benefits to it, including temperature regulation and it will help your baby keep warm.

5. Bring a good nursing pillow with you to the hospital

When packing for the hospital, take along a good nursing pillow, you never know how long you’ll be in the hospital, so you can nurse as comfortably as possible.

6. Learn baby’s hunger cues instead of watching the clock

You don’t have to time your baby’s feed if you watch out for the signs that he’s hungry, instead of looking at the time and saying “again” when my baby shows signs of hunger I put him to my breast and let him nurse. Signs of hunger include; rooting, putting hands in mouth, restlessness.

7. Know if baby is getting enough

Being worried that their baby is not gaining weight is what makes most mothers supplement with formula. To find out if your baby is getting enough feed, count your baby’s wet diapers and check their weight gain.   

8.  Ask your husband for support

We all need support, if there’s no one else to call besides your husband then solicit his help, he can change baby’s diaper while you breastfeed, bring you water and snacks and do whatever will make breastfeeding easy for you.

9. Don’t worry about your milk supply 

You might have supply problem, but instead of spending so much on buying remedies, talk to your doctor so he can refer you to a lactating nurse who would help you find the cause, and if it’s no medical problem, then, simply nursing more frequently and doing skin to skin with your child more often will help. The more frequently your baby sucks, the more breast milk your body produces.

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Is Lying Down To Breastfeed Dangerous?

Can lying down to breastfeed your baby really be dangerous? Yes, in some cases. There are times when mothers have to breastfeed their baby lying down, like when baby wakes up in the middle of the night to feed or when you are too tired to sit up, hold him and breastfeed him. Since babies often wake up in the middle of the night to feed, so the mother finds a safe and easy position to breastfeed her baby i.e lying down to breastfeed.

”My two kids who are now 3 years old and 5 respectively were breastfed while lying on my side countless times when they want to feed and I’m too tired to sit up and nurse them and nothing ever happened to the two of them. I don’t see breastfeeding lying down as a problem”

However, breastfeeding baby to sleep can be dangerous in two cases;

1. Falling asleep while breastfeeding baby

The danger in breastfeeding baby while lying down is if the mother should fall asleep, she can squash her baby to death.  If this happens, the death is often classified as SIDS but it is in fact suffocation, and no mother can feel good knowing she caused the death of her baby.

If a mother accidentally falls asleep while breastfeeding her baby, her breast might cover the nose of her baby while she’s asleep, cutting off the air supply to the baby’s airways, such mother might wake up to a lifeless blue baby and it will be her fault, this guilt is just too much to risk such.

Only mothers who gave birth through C-section are advised to breastfeed while lying down and they should not be tired enough to sleep off. Nursing while lying on your side can cause your baby to choke to death.

2. Ear infection

Nursing your baby while lying on your side can give your baby ear infection. When breastfeeding your baby, it’s easy for the breast milk to swim into one of his ears, when this happens, the fluid builds up in the middle of the ear creating a warm, moist environment where germs love to grow and tada! Bacteria and viruses will invade and thrive in your child’s ear causing them to become cranky, pained and have fever, all of which are symptoms of an ear infection.

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