Tips For New Mums Just Starting To Breastfeed

After having my son, I was lucky to have someone who came to teach me how to breastfeed. The patience shown  and the helpful tips that were given to me made breastfeeding a pleasurable experience for myself and my baby. While breastfeeding can be the most natural, wonderful experience for many mothers and babies, I have heard stories from friends who were not given any guidance after having their babies  and this caused them to abandon breastfeeding earlier than planned.

The World Health Organization and Ministry of Health advise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a babies life. To encourage new mums who are just starting out, we at Mamalette have collated information that should prove useful to you in your desire to breastfeed your child.

Tip 1: Your first week of breastfeeding may be painful but is definitely gets better

While the mental image of your newborn suckling on your breasts as he enters the world is ideal, in reality, many new mothers can expect to feel at least a little pain for the first few weeks. This could be attributed to latching issues where your baby has difficulty in putting your nipple in her mouth. This can result in sore nipples and your baby not getting enough milk.

It is easy to feel discouraged at this age but patience and encouragement from your spouse or close relatives can help overcome this problem. The best advice for you is to not quit even if things are not going well. With perseverance breastfeeding should become a pleasurable experience for you and your baby.

Tip 2: You should learn how to prevent yourself from getting blocked ducts or mastitis

Blocked ducts occur when something has stopped your milk from flowing freely in that area.

This can lead to mastitis when the blocked duct hasn’t be cleared and the trapped milk becomes infected or causes inflammation.

Blocked ducts may be caused by wearing very tight bras, if you’ve been sitting for hours with a seatbelt across your breasts, if you’ve slept in an awkward position e.g. on your stomach, or if your baby is not latching on properly or is not feeding enough.

It is important to prevent blocked duct by avoiding the causes listed above. Also try to ensure that your breasts are emptied out regularly. If you baby is not emptying your breasts try to express.

Try and treat a blocked duct as soon as you can to avoid the development of mastitis or worse.

Tip 3: Your diet will affect the flavor of your breast milk

Your diet can also affect the taste of your milk and your baby might like some tastes more than others. While your baby probably became used to most of the things you ate regularly while you were pregnant, there may still be some foods he or she just doesn’t like when they appear in your breastmilk. Some mothers notice that their babies reject their breastmilk or throw up regularly when they eat certain foods. Taking precaution and being observant is recommended to ensure breastfeeding is beneficial for yourself and your baby.

Tip 4: Learn to talk to other women about their experiences

Some of the most useful tips I learnt about breastfeeding was from talking to other women. Ask other women around you, your mum, mother in law, aunties, cousins, friends etc about their experiences of breastfeeding. This willl help you to get a true picture of what it’s like and make you prepared.

While the above are just a few tips on breastfeeding. It is important to do your research and talk to your doctor if necessary about any concerns that you have. Doing so can make your breastfeeding experience a pleasurable one.

For the more experienced readers what tips will you offer a new mum who is just starting to breastfeed?

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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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