Breast Feeding Tips

Read up on ways to make breast feeding your baby a success. Breast milk is natures way of providing the ultimate nutrition to a newborn.

Breast-feeding has long been known to offer many benefits to a newborn baby as well as the mother. Yet only a small number of women use breast milk as the sole source of their baby's nutrition.

Most women have already decided whether or not they choose to breast feed even before their baby is born. It's a very personal decision. If you are planning on breast-feeding your new baby there are some things you need to be aware of to make it a successful venture for you and your new baby. If you had not planned on breast-feeding I am hoping to change your mind.

First off lets discuss the benefits of breast milk. Baby's who are breast-fed exclusively for the first six months are generally healthier. Breast milk tends to be easier on a baby's digestive system and provides many great antibodies to protect them from illnesses such as colds and ear infections among other things. Babies who are breast fed generally do not experience colic like babies who are fed formula do. It is also a fact that babies who are fed breast milk do not spit up nearly as much of their feedings. Breast-feeding also provides a closer bond as you and your child have the skin-to-skin contact.

For the mother there are benefits as well. Mothers who breast feed generally loose their pregnancy weight faster than those who do not because the act of nursing a baby causes the uterus to contract faster returning it to it's normal size. Breast-feeding also releases chemicals that tend to prevent depression or the baby blues for the new mother. She feels connected to her new baby and bonds easier.

Lots a times a new other will be discouraged from nursing for a number of reasons. Initially she may find that nursing is painful. Nursing should not be a physically painful. Although there may be some minor discomfort in the beginning. One of the things you need to know is that a baby's suckling can be very powerful. If you are in the proper position for nursing a baby then this will subside as you get use to nursing your baby. If you find your nipples are tender after nursing go ahead and apply some lanolin to them. Lanolin works wonders and it's perfectly safe if your baby ingests and that remains on your nipples. Another thing to be aware of is that initially your body is trying to figure out how much milk to produce to keep up with your little ones appetite. So your breast may become engorged which can be quite uncomfortable. However it is only temporary. Taking a warm shower or placing warm washcloths on your breast to help drain the excess milk will provide some relief. These two things often discourage the new mother from continuing to breast feed her baby. Remember they are only temporary and can be overcome.

To make the breast-feeding experience good for both mother and child try these things. Make sure to wear clothing that is easy to remove or get out of the way to nurse your baby. Purchase a nursing support pillow that will help support your baby so you are not straining your arms and back muscles. Make sure to wear a nursing bra. This will provide strong comfort and support to your breasts. Avoid wearing an underwire bra. This may cause a lot of discomfort. Make sure to wash your breasts daily to avoid infections and also make sure to keep your nipples moisturized. Having chapped and dry nipples can make breastfeeding extremely painful. Using lanolin should help. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and eating nutritiously. All of these things will help to maintain a healthy milk supply.

Just because you are going to be out and about does not mean you cannot nurse your child. Although we are still a long ways from providing comfortable and private in all public places. I have found from personal experience that you can do a couple of things. Either expressing your milk beforehand and feeding your baby from a bottle is one option. This is especially nice for the mother who is not comfortable nursing in public places even if you are covered up. I have found some places like bigger department stores that have lounges next to their restrooms. Lounges provide a nice soothing environment for feeding your little one. They are generally quite and away from the noise. As breast-feeding continues to become a bigger factor in women's life's you will see more of these lounge type areas being offered by businesses to their customers.

Lots of times a woman will choose to stop nursing after she has to return to work. It's not that she necessarily wants to but really has not choice. Most employers do not offer a place for nursing mothers to express milk. At least no a comfortable place. We are often forced to do it in our cars or in a bathroom stall. Both of these options can quickly deplete your milk supply. As I have mentioned before you have to have all the right ingredients to be successful at this. Healthy and proper nutrition, a safe a comfortable setting.

If you feel like you need help and support to make breast-feeding your baby a success you can read many books on the subject or you can contact a breast-feeding specialist. There will more than likely be several listed in your local phone book. There are also classes offered at most hospitals to make sure you know how to breast-feed your baby properly. Do not be afraid to take advantage of these offers. Everyone wants you to have a successful breast-feeding experience.

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