Breast Feeding Tips and Guidelines

December 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Baby and Beyond

There are many advantages of breastfeeding, both for the mother and the baby. There are many substances in breast milk that is absent in cow’s milk. Also, there are far less problems and complications associated with breast milk than with any other milk.

It’s common knowledge that it is best for the baby if they are breastfed for the first two months. Even if breastfeeding is continued for a year or more, it is proven time and again that its more beneficial for the baby. So why is this? Firstly, breast milk contains certain essential substances, like colostrums, which contain natural antibodies that are required to keep the new born free from illness.
Cow’s milk or other commercially available milkĀ  cannot simulate the colostrums as available in breast milk and hence are unable to add the extra protection from illnesses as compared to a mothers milk.

Another big advantage is that babies tend to adapt better to breast milk. Their feces don’t smell that bad and they do not have any difficulty defecating, as when compared to cow’s milk. Also, saving on cow’s milk means more savings for the family.

Many first time mothers report breast problems related with lactation. More often than not, these problems occur due to improper breast feeding techniques. It is very important for mothers to observe proper techniques as this will in turn benefit both the mother and the baby. Following are few tips that will help you understand the proper techniques of breast feeding.

The first and foremost task you need to perform is to prep your breast for milk production. There are tons of exercises that one can perform to make sure that the nipple is ready to deliver breast milk to your baby. One of the most simple techniques is to routinely pinch your nipples in a circular fashion.

Secondly, and this is what many mothers fail to accomplish is, to keep the nipple clean before the baby is ready to feed. If you have decided to breast feed, then you should avoid using soap or any detergent (body wash/gels) on your nipple and surrounding area. If this is unavoidable, you should clean your nipple using a wet cloth.

Thirdly at the time of feeding one must ensure that the baby is latched on properly to the nipple. The mouth of the baby should properly cover the entire areola and not just the nipple. This is especially important to stimulate the let down reflex which enables the milk to flow through the ducts and out from the nipple.

A simple technique to aid the baby to latch on to the areola properly is to stimulate their rooting reflex. This reflex is very strong in the first few months of the baby’s life. When you tap or stimulate their cheek or near the mouth with your nipple, their head turns automatically towards it. They’ll open their mouth and this is the sign that they are hungry and ready to be fed.
When done, you can use your little finger to open their mouth slightly towards the side, your baby will stop feeding and your nipple can be removed.

To preventĀ  nipples from getting sore and to prevent breast engorgement you need to keep track on the time your baby feeds on each nipple. It’s advisable to alternate breasts after every 10 minutes. This would not only prevent engorgement but also ensure good flow. Also after every subsequent feeding time, make sure you start with the breast you last stopped with, this will make sure that the milk in one breast is completely empty before you move on to the next breast.

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