Tips for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is best for the mother and the baby. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, newborns should be nursed for at least six months, but preferably for their first year of life.
There are significant benefits of breastfeeding for both the baby and the mother. Breast milk provides all the antibodies necessary for a healthy baby. It also has the appropriate amount of sugars, fats and protein for the baby's growth and is easier to digest than formula. Mom gets bonding time with the baby and she also gains a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
Many new moms are worried about weight loss, so they should follow a healthy breastfeeding diet. Healthy nutrition for mom means healthy nutrition for the baby. Breastfeeding and weight loss essentially go hand-in-hand. Nursing helps to reduce the uterus to its original size and uses up excess calories. Complex carbohydrates are the best foundation for a healthy diet. These carbohydrates, along with plenty of protein, fats and few sugars, will keep you both healthy and aid in shedding those extra pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these foods:
- Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, squash and beans
- Fruits – apples, plums, oranges and peaches
- Whole grains –wheat bread, rye bread and brown rice
Breastfeeding problems are completely normal. There are four common problems while breastfeeding a newborn: mastitis, low milk supply, biting and poor latch.
- Mastitis is an infection of the breast. A doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to relieve the infection. Although painful, moms are encouraged to continue breastfeeding.
- If there is a low milk supply, the baby is not full at each feeding and may require feedings much more frequently. It may be necessary to supplement with formula in this situation.
- Biting often occurs when the baby begins teething. Give him something cold to bite on just before feeding. Also, instead of pulling the baby off, hold him closer, to give a feeling of comfort and safety.
- A baby who has a poor latch to the breast does not get as much milk as they need. Stay calm – if you are nervous, the baby will be nervous as well. If she begins to cry, don't force it. Sing to her rock her until she calms down. Babies latch on best when they are quiet and alert.
The two most important things to remember when buying breastfeeding clothes are comfort and function. Breathable fabrics like cotton will move with you. Most nursing clothes have two layers or latches. You can lift a portion of your clothing and unlatch a corner to expose the breast. Keep yourself in mind as well when breastfeeding. You will be comfortable if you can take care of your baby and look good as well. Select pieces with comfort and functionality, but ones that also make you feel great!