Nursing your baby is such a personal experience and an ideal way to bond with your little one. This is something that most moms-to-be think about before their babies are born. Many experts recommend that your baby is breastfed exclusively for at least six months, for a good reason. Breast milk contains all the ingredients that your baby requires to grow into healthy and strong toddlers. In this post, we will share five breastfeeding videos and valuable tips that will help you prepare for breastfeeding.
Babies who are breastfed exclusively for six months have access to all the antibodies in breast milk that protects them against bacteria or viruses that might infect them. They also run a lesser risk of developing conditions such as diarrhea, respiratory illness, or ear infection. The antibodies and nutrients present in breast milk are age specific for children from birth to eight years of age.
Four valuable tips on how to prepare for nursing
Though nursing is considered a natural skill and does come naturally to many moms, there are certain things that could be done prior to delivery, that can make it a little easier on you later. Here is how you can prepare for nursing prior to delivery.
Consider natural birth
Babies who come into this world naturally with little to no medical intervention are more likely to nurse well and babies who are born with medical help often have a lower rate of successful nursing. But this does not mean you will have trouble with nursing successfully. With the necessary help and support, moms can have success with nursing irrespective of the type of birth.
If you are delivering via C-section, do not feel disheartened. Many moms who delivered their babies with C-section have breastfed their newborns successfully. It simply boils down to ensuring the circumstances are favorable, and your baby grasps what to do. A good recommendation is to try and start nursing your baby from your breast in the first hour after delivery. This is referred to as the golden hour. If it is not possible, then try and breastfeed at the first opportunity that comes up.
Start stocking up on necessities
If you are planning on nursing, you are going to need some breast pads, nursing bras, and comfortable clothing suitable for breastfeeding. These are the basic necessities you will need for nursing. A good item to invest in, is a nursing pillow since it could help with easing the physical pain that some mothers experience while nursing, plus it gives you more positions to give a try. One of the key ingredients to successful breastfeeding is finding a position which works best for you and your baby.
Begin preparing a nesting area
Create a dedicated comfortable area in your home where you can breastfeed your baby. Consider adding a comfortable rocking chair, add a few pillows and start clearing space where you can store some things. Consider making a corner for snacks like fruits and nuts to nibble on since you are going to need extra calories when nursing. Remember to drink plenty of water or fluids as well.
Liaise with your care team beforehand
It is necessary to tell your team of caregivers before the time that you want your baby to be breastfed exclusively. Ask them if your baby could stay in the same room as you which makes it more comfortable to nurse your baby when he gets hungry. You can also talk to them about kangaroo mother care which is skin to skin contact. This is incredibly beneficial for baby’s physical and physiological development and it will help with initiating nursing.
How does your body prepare for nursing?
The human body is amazing, and you may have wondered how your body starts preparing itself for nursing before giving birth. When your body is getting ready for nursing your milk ducts starts growing and maturing during pregnancy. Milk generating cells starts developing as well and more blood cells than before starts reaching your breasts. This is why your breasts get bigger.
However, with some moms this does not happen but there is no reason why they cannot breastfeed. Your nipples might also get bigger since they are crucial in the nursing process.
Have a look at these five breastfeeding videos that will help you to get ready for breastfeeding.
5 Breastfeeding Videos That Will Help You Prepare For Breastfeeding
5 Tips For Successful Breastfeeding – Preparing For Baby
Getting A Good Latch Every Time
Breastfeeding Tips and Essentials
Breastfeeding – Getting Started
Breastfeeding Education – How To Boost Your Milk Supply
7 Natural Methods For Producing More Breast Milk
As mentioned before, there are numerous benefits for both you and your baby that are linked to nursing. Not only does your breast milk provide all the nutritional value your newborn requires, the powerful antibodies contained in your milk act as protection against allergies, infection, asthma and even obesity when he is older.
You might have heard that nursing helps to lose some of the excess weight you have gained during pregnancy a lot faster, plus it also lowers the risk of ovarian or breast cancer at a later stage. Nursing can be a challenge for some and generating enough milk is another issue. The most commonplace reasons for low milk supply are insufficient fluid and food intake, excessive stress levels, fatigue, and not feeding your baby regularly or for only short periods at a time.
If you are unsure about whether you produce sufficient milk to feed your baby, you can try these useful tips for maximizing your milk production in a natural way.
Include healthy anti-inflammatory foods in your eating plan
A healthy diet usually contains plenty of veggies and fruits, omega 3s like flaxseeds and salmon, whole grains, for instance, brown rice, and vegetable proteins. Try to get at least 2500 calories a day.
This is crucial – drink plenty of H2O
It is incredibly difficult for your body to generate milk if you are dehydrated. And water is the key to solving this issue. In addition to the prescribed eight glasses of water per day, you must add another four glasses. Remember, you can get water from certain foods like watermelon as well. And if you are not a huge fan of water, try adding fresh fruits to it to give it more natural flavor.
Catch up on some zzzz whenever you get the chance
Try to get as much restorative nightly sleep whenever possible and take naps during the day when your little one is sleeping. Your body will thank you and it will help to combat some of the fatigue that new moms experience.
Try to relax and lower your stress levels as much as possible
Stress will not do you any good and frequently practicing stress reducing techniques like breath work can go a long way in coping with stress.
Delegate chores as much as possible
When friends and family offer some assistance with household chores to help you out, do not be too proud to accept the help. This way you can focus more on nursing your baby and getting some much-needed rest.
The more frequently and the longer your baby latches on to feed, the more milk your body will generate. You can enlist the help of a lactation consultant to teach you the top positions and techniques for successful breastfeeding
Check out natural superfoods for nursing
Some foods like a bowl of oatmeal each day boosts milk supply naturally and is healthy for you. Some herbal remedies like wild asparagus and fenugreek is also known for boosting milk production. However, there is not enough research to back this up. Always speak to your doctor before taking any medications or herbs when nursing.
5 Tips On Getting Extra Help
Becoming a mom can be stressful and when it comes to nursing, it can be incredibly soothing to have someone to talk to, preferably someone that knows what you are going through, either through professional or personal experience. Here are some tips for getting extra help.
Lean on friends and family
Talk to a trusted person in your family or friend circle, like your mom, best friend, or aunt that has experience with nursing. Many women face some struggles during breastfeeding and can offer valuable insight into areas that you are having issues with. They can give you guidance on how to cope. They can also provide support since they are familiar with what you are going through.
Most women of older generations are happy to offer assistance to young moms since it is a way for them to pass down their knowhow and tips they have gained from their mothers or grandmothers. Just remember to take your doctor’s advice on board that you have received during prenatal visits.
Talk to your physician
If you have any concerns whatsoever relating to nursing, like which supplements are safe to take during this time, it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor. He can give you advice on which supplements or remedies are safe to take and will not have adverse side effects that could affect your baby.
Attend breastfeeding classes
It is a good idea to look for nursing education classes in your area and sign up. You can learn valuable tips and tricks with regards to nursing, including various positions that will assist your baby with latching on quickly, and hygiene. You will also meet other moms-to-be that can relate to your situation. You might even meet new friends that you can share your experiences with.
Speak to an expert
No matter if your baby is born yet or not. If you have any questions about lactation and whether you will be able to breastfeed, do not hesitate to speak to a lactation professional about any doubts you are having. If you need help, you can arrange to speak to someone beforehand.
Include your partner in the process
The entire breastfeeding experience can go on for longer than anticipated with the support of your partner. Take him with when attending antenatal or nursing sessions to offer emotional support. He can also try to alleviate some of the stress you are experiencing during this time. Breastfeeding a baby can take its toll on your body, particularly if you have chosen a complete natural route with nursing and feeding your baby on demand, not using a bottle during the first couple of months.
Your partner can show you that he cares about your wellbeing and that he is there for you. Simple things like making you a cup of tea or taking care of dinner while you nurse can help to take some of the stress of you. If you have other kids already, he can help out with bathing them and attend to other parenting tasks so that you can focus on your newborn.
Remember to decide on a birth plan in advance so that everything is ready for the arrival of the new addition to your family. Work alongside your doctor and keep making the necessary changes based on the doctor’s checks and recommendations. Your health plays an integral role, and you need to be healthy if you want to feed your baby without running into any issues. If you chose not to have a natural birth or can’t due to medical reasons but still want to nurse your little one with as little medical assistance as possible, its best to speak to your doctor about your plan so that he can advise you on whether it is a good idea or not.
We hope this article has been helpful and that our tips and breastfeeding videos will answer all your questions you have about nursing and that it will aid you with your nursing journey once your newborn arrives.