Breastfeeding Suggestions & Benefit
Many new mothers worry about breastfeeding. How do you establish it? What do you do if you have nipple soreness? Is there a specific diet you need to maintain? What happens if a duct is clogged? Are there really any benefits to it? The following article will help answer these questions.
- Find a comfortable position away from stress to nurse. This allows easy milk flow.
- Bring the baby to the breast rather than the other way around. This avoids pulling on the nipple which creates poor suction and nipple soreness.
- Allow the baby to develop their own patterns; attempts to schedule increases parental anxiety and imposes stress on the baby. Allow time for adjustment to the outer world. A pattern will develop between you and your baby.
- Babies will feed between 8 to 18 times a day. Some learn the skill of suckling more quickly than others. Allow for your baby’s uniqueness.
Temporary soreness usually occurs when beginning breastfeeding. These suggestions may help:
- A quality diet with high vitamin C intake.
- Apply warm black tea bags to the nipples between feedings using a bandaid to keep it in place.
- Apply lanolin cream on the nipples after feeding unless you are allergic to wool.
- Air drying the nipples after feeding is helpful.
- Break the suction by placing a finger in the baby’s mouth before removing the baby from the breast.
- Apply vitamin E out of a capsule directly to the sore nipple.
- Don’t wash breasts with soap. Use only water.
- Try different positions for holding the baby which help him or her to grasp the areola.
Be sure to:
- Drink many fluids. Have a glass of liquid with every feeding.
- Eat plenty of high quality foods. Remember, you are still eating for two, so what you eat can affect your child.
Try to avoid:
- Coffee and chocolate frequently cause colic.
- Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts may cause colic in some babies.
- Dairy may cause congestion or rashes. Watch for signs and try removing dairy for a few days.
- Treat as soon as possible to prevent inflammation of the breast.
- Nurse more frequently.
- Continue nursing on affected breast. Cessation of nursing can increase stasis, increase discomfort, and even endanger milk supply.
- Nurse frequently but just enough to empty breast.
- Apply warm towels.
- Gently massage breast inward toward nipple to encourage drainage of lymphatic tissue.
- Castor oil pack: Soak washcloth in the oil and apply to the breast. Cover cloth with plastic wrap, then hot towels for 20 minutes. Wash the oil off with baking soda solution.
- Carrot poultice: Grate a raw carrot and apply directly to the breast. This will help draw out infection.
- Drink 2 quarts of water a day.
- Take vitamin C and Echinacea to support your immune system, as directed by your physician.
Benefits of Breastfeeding:
- Nursing contracts your uterus which helps to prevent postpartum bleeding.
- The nutrients in your milk change according to the needs of your baby. For example, the nutrient ratio in a woman’s milk changes if her baby is premature to help accelerate their neurodevelopment.
- Antibodies are passed in the breast milk, providing a great deal of immunity to your baby during a time when the baby’s immune system is developing. This can result in fewer allergies, colds, and ear infections. The mother’s nipple has the ability to detect any pathogen within the baby’s saliva and within 2 hours will have antibodies to those pathogens present in the breast milk.
- Breastfeeding is particularly protective against some common childhood conditions including eczema, otitis media, and iron-deficiency anemia.
- According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal (July 1993), studies indicate that one-third to one-half of current infant deaths in North America are because of a failure to breastfeed fully (i.e., to give breast milk exclusively for the first 4 to 6 months of age, then breast milk plus solid food until 12 months).
- Breastfeeding appears to provide substantial protection against breast cancer and osteoporosis.
- Average annual cost of formula feeding in the first year of life is between $1275 and $3055.
- Last but certainly not least, breastfeeding provides for bonding between you and your baby!