Breast milk is the best food for your new little one. Breastfeeding provides more than just nourishment; it’s a time for mother and child to bond in a very special way. You will receive instructions in the hospital on breastfeeding techniques and be encouraged to feed your child in this natural way. The benefits are a two-way street; both mother and child benefit from breastfeeding.
Many women find breastfeeding a near religious experience. As Shakira says, “Breastfeeding has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “I love it! I can’t stop!” Breastfeeding does more than feed your baby; it helps lessen the effects of postpartum depression and helps to flatten that post baby tummy.
1. Think the Benefits Through
That new little life is in your hands so you want to do what is best. Breastfeeding helps your child build a strong immune system, it gives you a chance to bond with your baby and you’ll never have to look for a bottle in the middle of the night.
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2. Know the Tricks
Like any new relationship, there’s going to be some rough times. You and baby won’t be on the same schedule at first. You’ll have milk engorged breasts and a child that just wants to sleep, or you’ll have a child who nurses a bit before falling asleep, leaving you uncomfortable. Give it a few days; you’ll both get on the same schedule soon. In the meantime, we offer a few tips.
3. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
For some women, nursing leads to an infection known as mastitis. Basically, it’s a clogged milk duct that becomes inflamed and sore. Severe cases can lead to fever. If you think mastitis is interfering with breastfeeding, check with your doctor. Mild cases may be controlled with natural remedies too. Don’t give up; you’ll get through this.
4. Get Resourceful
It’s a natural process; we get it. But sometimes you just don’t want to bare your breast in public. This is a time to be resourceful: shield baby’s head and your boob with a blanket or tuck baby’s head beneath an oversized shirt. Find a quiet place to nurse baby; many ‘family restrooms’ have benches for nursing moms.
5. Know Your Baby
Sometimes you and your baby come together just right: you produce the milk, baby drinks. Sometimes it’s not so easy: as baby demands, you can’t seem to produce or you produce and baby sleeps. So our best advice, relax. It’s all going to work out in a few days we promise. In the meantime, get to know your baby and his or her rhythms, pump and store the milk, introduce supplements (with your pediatrician’s approval) and continue to do what is best for baby.
6. Stay Toxin-Free
Nursing mothers share with their child. Just as when you were pregnant, what you consume the baby receives. Do we even have to mention that you shouldn’t smoke or drink alcohol? Some foods can affect your milk too. Onions, or garlic, even chocolate can cause upset tummies for little ones. Bottom line: keep it toxin-free, and keep it safe and simple.