Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms: Top 8 Dos and Don’ts for Moms
World Breastfeeding Week 2022: Considered the elixir for your baby, breast milk and breastmilk play a vital role in your baby’s development. Over the years, there has been an emphasis on the health benefits of breastfeeding to create awareness about the impact of nursing on your baby’s overall development.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. However, if we go by the statistics, only two out of five women start the practice within the first hour of childbirth.
Lactation Consultant in Jaslok Hospital and Research Center Mansi Shah shares do’s and don’ts for lactating mothers.
- Receive education about breastfeeding in the prenatal period – as it helps parents be prepared and anticipate breastfeeding needs. Remember that breastfeeding is like learning a new skill, especially for first time moms and learning any new skill becomes easy with proper knowledge, patience and repetition, so don’t give up.
- Initiate skin-to-skin contact soon after birth and, with the help of your health care provider team, initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth. Avoid/don’t take analgesics that can make baby drowsy, less inclined to suck and may delay initiation of breastfeeding.
- Feed colostrum frequently. In the first two or three days after delivery, the mother produces a colorless to yellowish fluid known as colostrum. It is small in quantity but sufficient for the baby when mothers feed the baby frequently. It provides eminent nutritional and health benefits. Do not throw away colostrum as impure milk and do not make the mistake of not breastfeeding the baby during this period, thinking that milk production has not yet started. Also, some babies cry a little more during this period, don’t be tempted to give the baby any other milk or liquids like water, sugar water, honey etc (pre-lactial feed) as it increases the risk of infection.
- After delivery, keep the baby in the same bed/room with the mother. “Bed in” or “rooming in” provides many benefits such as promoting on-demand feeding, helping the mother to recognize and recognize early baby cues. Breastmilk is less and most importantly it also helps in developing a strong emotional bond between mother and child. Do not keep the baby in a separate room of the baby.
- Breastfeeding is a pleasurable experience. Practice correct attachment and positioning and the mother will not experience pain during breastfeeding. Don’t let the pain continue. If the pain doesn’t go away after the baby’s first few sucks, have the baby remove the latch and re-latch with the correct attachment and position.
- For the first -6 months of life (exclusive breastfeeding) give the baby only breast milk. Do not give water during this time as mother’s milk contains enough water which will meet the water requirement of the baby even in summer. Hiccups are very normal baby behavior, it does not mean that the baby is thirsty.
- Use a monthly adequacy test that is urine and weight to determine your own infant’s sufficiency of breast milk. Urine – The child should urinate at least 6-7 times in 24 hours, and weigh at least 500 grams per month. This indicates that the baby is getting enough breast milk from the mother. Don’t always associate a baby’s crying with hunger or insufficient breastmilk.
- Do not use a bottle to give water or milk to the baby as this increases the risk of vomiting, diarrhea, nipple confusion and accidental aspiration. A safer alternative to this is feeding Vati/Cup/Vati-spoon. Also, don’t use a pacifier or teat.