Breast Feeding Tips
Breastfeeding confusing at first. You
may not know exactly what to do or how to do it.
Hopefully these breastfeeding tips will help to get you
* Start Early - It is good to begin breastfeeding
within an hour after birth if possible, when the baby is
alert and the instinct to suck is strong. Although you
will not yet be producing milk, your breasts contain
colostrum, a thin milky fluid that contains important
antibodies to disease.
* Feed Frequently - You should try breastfeeding
your baby at least every two to three hours. This will
help to keep your breasts soft and lessen or even
prevent engorgement. Watch for signs that your baby
is hungry, such as changes in facial expressions,
sucking sounds or lip movements, and rapid eye
movement or restlessness during light naps. If you
keep an eye out for these signs, you can learn to
anticipate your baby's hunger. Breastfeeding on cue
will help stimulate your breasts to produce more
* Good Positioning - Having the right positioning
for breastfeeding will play a major role in reducing
nipple soreness. Use you hand to support the baby's
neck. The baby's mouth should be open wide with
the lips puckered out like "fish lips", not folded in. The
nipple should go back as far into his or her mouth as
possible. If you need help finding the proper
positioning, ask a nurse, midwife, or other experienced
mother for some help breastfeeding.
* Nipple Upkeep - When you first begin
breastfeeding your nipples may become very sore. After
each breastfeeding session rub a small amount of
breast milk on and around each nipple and allow it to
air dry. This will help to prevent cracking which can
lead to infection. In cases where your nipples do
crack, coat them with breast milk, vitamin E oil, or
lanolin to help them heal. Be aware that some
babies may have an allergic reaction to certain
moisturizing agents. Proper positioning while
breastfeeding is very important to avoid sore nipples.
* Look Out for Breast Infection - If you experience a
fever or painful lumps and redness in your breasts,
you should seek medical attention immediately.
* Postpone Using Artificial Nipples - If you are
going to be breastfeeding your baby, avoid
introducing pacifiers or other artificial nipples too early.
Artificial nipples require a different sucking action
than the real thing and it can be easy for the baby to
become confused. Try to wait until after a couple
weeks of breastfeeding before introducing any sort of
* No Supplements Needed - There is no need to
supplement breastfeeding with sugar water or
formula. Neither of these come close to comparing with the
nutritional complexity of your breast milk, and they
may interfere with the baby's appetite for
breastfeeding and lead to a diminished milk supply.
Breastfeeding your baby more often will in turn cause you
to produce more milk.
* Engorgement - When you first begin
breastfeeding, you will be producing a lot of milk, which
can make you breasts big, hard, and painful. You can
help to ease this engorgement by breastfeeding
frequently until your body adjusts to produce only as
much as the baby needs. While your body adjusts,
you can help to relieve the pain by applying warm,
wet compresses or taking warm baths. Some over-
the-counter pain relievers will help, but consult your
doctor before taking any sort of drug, since it may be
passed through your milk to the baby.
* Stay Healthy - A mother who is breastfeeding
needs to eat a healthy diet in order to produce
enough good milk. You should try and get an extra 500
calories a day, drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids, and
avoid drugs, alcohol, caffeine, and smoke. You
should also rest as much as possible while breastfeeding,
since breast infections are aggravated by fatigue.
Susan Tanner is a wife and mother of three. She is also the editor of pregnancy-guide.net. Pregnancy-Guide is an online community for mothers to find support and valuable information. Please visit Pregnancy-Guide at http://www.pregnancy-guide.net