Among all the blessings of nature, the benefits of breastfeeding are almost unparalleled. There are countless propositions, theories, and suggestions floating about in the real and virtual world! These may help a new mother understand and follow the ways in which she can effectively and successfully start breastfeeding her young one.
Not only this, now we have trained professionals such as health visitors, local breastfeeding support teams, and cafes who are always ready to help in case assistance is required.
Some ideas may be scientific, some may be practical, some may simply sound more convenient. These varied view points about breastfeeding may have been passed through generations or simply be new age theories.
But it’s not an experience that we can call generic. Sometimes it can be confusing and tricky to handle the challenges of breastfeeding in everyday situations. So, let us explore some additional facets about breastfeeding that escape the information leaflets, yet can be helpful to know.
1. Breastfeeding is not Necessarily Hurtful
It is a myth that breastfeeding is always painful. There are certain conditions such as the heightened sensitivity of nipples and breasts post-delivery. High hormonal activity leads to engorged breasts and repeated touch between the baby and the nipple can lead to pain and soreness. However, that should ease once the baby latches properly and the mother has found a few comfortable positions to feed the baby. If the problem persists, breastfeeding specialists/teams in the hospital or community can find out if there are any underlying causes.
2. Breastfeeding shouldn’t be a Nap Time
A mother should be careful not to fall asleep during breastfeeding as it poses a risk of suffocation for the baby.
3. Feeding and Schedule
It is better to feed the baby when she is hungry. It will lead to a fulfilled tummy and deeper sleep, thus helping establish a proper schedule. There can be some exceptions when they are exhausted, down with cold or illness, or in a cranky mood.
4. Keeping a Track of Time
It is helpful to keep a track of feeding time to know the hunger gaps. It will help you plan your sleep or any other thing that you need to do.
Breastfeeding is an unparalleled opportunity to bond with your baby. Make ample eye-contacts and verbal and non-verbal gestures to connect and make it more meaningful.
6. Maintain Privacy
While breastfeeding, it is better not to make eye-contact with the people around. It helps to be more detached and carefree, in the case of any embarrassing eventualities.
Breastfeeding can also be an opportunity to finish off a few things that may be vital to your good spirits. For example finishing a meal (be careful not to drop on the baby) or catching up on a movie long pending.
8. Being Fine with Accidental Exposures
After the exhaustion of delivery and tirelessly raising an infant, being careful of ‘inappropriate’ exposure is the last thing on a mother’s mind. So, it is okay if there is a little peek-a-boo through the shirt.
9. Feed-Friendly Clothes
It is very important to buy feed-friendly clothes which are comfortable, have detachable straps, and breast flaps to ensure smooth, uninterrupted, breastfeeding process. Do not go for clothes that are tight and do not support easy latching.
10. Cooling off
While feeding, the mother can feel hot due to prolonged body contact with the baby. A glass of juice or some cooling drink could be perfect to beat the heat.
11. Meal for Two
Though eating for two is common in pregnancy, feeding makes an equal demand on the body. Being the supplier of all baby nutrients, it might be a good idea to pile up some extra calories.
12. Happy despite Nappy
It is almost universal that babies decide to poop when they are starting to feel full inside. A few minutes of delay in nappy change will not be much, so you can finish feeding your baby and then go on to cleaning, making their bum and tum both comfortable.
13. Calm them Down
With constant gorging and suckling, the soreness in breasts may sometimes put you off. Put a pair of cabbage leaves (from the refrigerator) to cool the nipples and rest the breasts, and they are good to go again!
14. Get Assisted
Feeding a baby need not involve mummy alone. Especially, during cluster feeds, the mother may not even have enough time to feed herself. It is the perfect time for the daddy to chip in and help feed the mommy or do some errands.
15. Peace Breaks
Breastfeeding is a vital source of calm and peace, both for the baby and mum. The mother can get some much-needed space and rest, while the baby also sleeps blissfully, to get some energy before the next bout of frolic and play.
And now that you know these secrets about breastfeeding, the experience is going to be even more fulfilling.