Breastfeeding Tips & TechniquesDr. Rabia Kapur
Reading Time: 3 minutes Lactation and Fitness Consultant
Lactation and Fitness Consultant
Breastfeeding is one of the most precious gifts a mother can give her baby. Although breastfeeding is natural but it comes with its share of challenges. Some mothers may be unable to produce sufficient breastmilk, while others might find it difficult to get their baby to latch on successfully. It may be tempting to shift to bottle feeding but for your baby to grow strong and healthy, you should exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months. Here are a few tips and techniques to help you.
Create a breastfeeding station
Set up a cozy corner to nurse your baby. You need a comfortable chair, a breastfeeding pillow or cushions, and a table where you can keep other things you may need. For example, you’ll need to have burp cloths and a bottle of water at hand. You may also want to keep a few nursing pads. Similarly, if you’re using a breast pump or manually expressing milk, you need space to keep the storage containers. Remember, once your baby latches on and starts feeding, you won’t be able to move around without disturbing him.
Position your baby correctly
For your baby to latch on deeply, he needs to lift his head a little. If you position your nipple at the baby’s mouth, this won’t happen. Instead, hold your baby such that your nipple is pointed towards his nose and the baby’s tummy is touching yours. This ensures he doesn’t need to turn his head and can latch on properly.
Don’t wait for your baby to get ‘too’ hungry
When a baby is too hungry, he may get cranky and latching may become more difficult. Newborn babies should be fed on demand. As the weeks go by, you may increase the gap between feeds. It is important to catch the signs of hunger early, rather than waiting for the baby to cry. Watch out for tell-tale signs that your baby is hungry. For example, some babies stick out their tongues while others open and close their mouths.
Express excess breastmilk
Some mothers may produce more milk than required by the baby. If not expressed, it can cause engorgement. Not only is this painful for you, but it also makes it difficult for the baby to latch on. Left as is, the condition will only get aggravated. To avoid this, nurse your baby regularly. In addition, you can express the excess milk produced between feeds. Rather than let this go to waste, donate the expressed milk to a human milk bank.
Consult a lactation specialist
Reading about breastfeeding and trying to feed your baby can be very different experiences. If you’re not able to feed your baby properly, ask for help. Lactation consultants can teach you how to position your baby and how to make sure they latch on correctly. If you feel you’re not being able to produce sufficient breastmilk, they can also advise on dietary changes that could help. If you don’t have a lactation consultant nearby, try attending a breastfeeding support group and ask friends who are nursing to show you how they feed their babies.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience. Your baby gets the nourishment required as well as a unique opportunity to bond with you. Don’t miss out on it. If, despite all your efforts you still feel your baby isn’t getting sufficient breastmilk, consider giving him donor milk from a Human Milk Bank like NeoLacta Lifesciences rather than formula. Here, breastmilk donated by other mothers is pasteurized, processed and tested so that it is safe for your baby. It’s the next best thing to your own breastmilk.