For every new mom breastfeeding is a different experience that they might find difficult to cope with at first. Many mothers enjoy breastfeeding their newborn, whereas some might not actually prefer it that much. How you breastfeed your baby has a lot to do in making the experience pleasant for both the mother and the child. It is important for the mother to accept that it is a new experience for her as well as for her baby and some learning time is needed for both in order to make the process comfortable. Mothers should be patient in this span and they should ask for assistance from experienced lactation specialists or nurses to make the process of breastfeeding comfortable and enjoyable for both.
There are some particular dos and don’ts during breastfeeding that your doctor must be informing you before you leave the maternity home. It is important that you keep these points in mind in order to make the experience of breastfeeding enjoyable as well as healthy for your child. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts during breastfeeding that lactating mothers need to keep in mind,
Dos during breastfeeding
Breastfeeding your child soon after delivery is important. The breast milk produced during the first 2-3 days of delivery is expected to be scanty and thick. This breastmilk is particularly termed as colostrum and it is highly nutritious for the baby. Colostrum plays an important role in building the immunity system of the child and though scanty, it is sufficient for the newborn. Here are some points that you should follow right from starting of breastfeeding,
Develop proper breastfeeding habits
It is really important that you develop proper breastfeeding habits from the very beginning. If you breastfeed the child in a way that is uncomfortable for you, the child will be practiced in that way only, without knowing that it is painful for you. So, from the very beginning take care to develop proper breastfeeding practices.
- Holding your baby close to your chest in a comfortable posture is important before you start feeding. While holding, make sure that the spine of the baby is well rested in your arms and the baby does not need to twist or turn improperly to reach your breast.
- Proper latching is very important in order to make breastfeeding effective and comfortable for both the child and the mother. Improper latching not only increases the risk of the baby to get choked on the milk but also makes breastfeeding uncomfortable for the mother.
- Make sure that your baby feeds from the breast and not from the nipple, which can be painful. Try to place the nipple inside the mouth of the baby and make him feed from the breast. This will not only make breastfeeding more comfortable for you but will also make it more comfortable and easy for the child, reducing the chance of choking.
- During the first few months after delivery, feed your baby 8-10 times in 24 hours. The span of each feeding needs not to be long but do not wean the baby forcefully. Once he is full, he will automatically doze off indicating the time to unlatch.
- While removing your child from the breast, make sure to unlatch properly and then only move the baby away. During the first few days after delivery, feed the baby every time he or she is hungry, without any restrictions about time.
Take a healthy diet
For breastfeeding mothers it is really important to take a balanced and healthy diet. What you eat is surely going to affect the quality as well as the quantity of the milk, which is directly related to your baby’s health. It is suggested to feed the baby only breastmilk for the first 6 months of his life and hence ensuring the right diet for the mother during this time is extremely important. Here are some points to keep in mind about the diet of a breastfeeding mother,
- Taking a balanced diet that offers sufficient amount of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals is important in order to ensure the best health of the mother as well as the best quality of the breast milk.
- Vegetables like broccoli, Squash, bell peppers along with whole grains and fishes in sufficient quantity can be a good healthy diet for a lactating mother. Including fruits like oranges, apples, melons, guava, berries, peaches and plums in the diet of the lactating mother ensures that there is plenty of vitamins and minerals in the body that can be passed on to the child through breast milk.
- Increasing the intake of dairy products is a healthy option for the lactating mothers. The fat and calcium present in dairy can be helpful to improve the production as well as the quality of the breast milk. You necessarily need not to drink milk for that; you can depend on cheese, paneer, yogurt, ghee and butter to get the necessary fats as well as the calcium which will improve the milk quality.
- For lactating mothers it is recommended to increase their daily consumption of calories by at least 500 notches than their pre-pregnancy calorie intake. During breastfeeding a lot of calorie is burnt in the production of breast milk. Hence consuming extra calories is vital in order to make sure that sufficient amount of breast milk can be produced without taking any toll on the health of the mother.
- It is also important to increase your total daily fluid intake while breastfeeding. A lot of water goes into making breastmilk and dehydration is the worst thing that you can suffer from during breastfeeding your child. So, drink sufficient water at frequent intervals and also include juices, smoothies and soups in your diet in order to make sure that your body is well hydrated all the time.
Keep an eye on your baby’s poop
This is not certainly an enjoyable part of breastfeeding but while your baby is solely relying on your breastmilk for diet it is important to ensure that everything is going fine with his nascent digestive system and for that checking the poop is the most effective way. Keeping an eye on the poop of your baby will let you know that if he is getting sufficient food that he needs. During the first few months, within 24 hours your baby should be soiling his nappies 6-8 times. You can adjust the number of feedings depending on it. The poop of your baby will also tell you if the breast milk is okay for him or if you need to increase intake of water or solid food. If your baby shows signs of digestive discomfort talk to a specialist to know the changes you need to make in your diet to make the breast milk more palatable for him.
Don’ts during breastfeeding
Some of the most important don’t s during breastfeeding include the following,
Do not try to lose weight quickly while breastfeeding
You might not actually like your post-pregnancy body and it is usual for you to think of losing weight quickly. However, while you are breastfeeding, losing weight quickly can seriously affect the quality as well as the quantity of the breast milk, which is directly related to the health of your baby. So, while you are breastfeeding, do not try to lose weight quickly. Rather take 1-2 years of time and lose weight slowly over a prolonged period of time. This is healthy not only for the baby but also for your body.
Never opt for a crash diet while breastfeeding
When you are breastfeeding your baby, opting for a crash diet is the worst thing that you can do for both of you. A mother loses lots of calorie through breastfeeding and not taking sufficient calories during this time will not only impact the quality and quantity of the breast milk produced, but will also make the mother feel weak and tired all the time. Crash dieting is never good for health at any condition and it is the worst thing for a mother during breastfeeding.
Do not depend on caffeine to make your day
Caffeine is not really good for your health or digestive system and naturally it is even harsh for the body and digestive system of your child. Intake of more caffeinated products like, coffee, soda and certain chocolates is sure to not go well with the new digestive system of your baby. It does not mean that you cannot indulge in these foods for the whole span of pregnancy, but you should try to avoid them or keep their intake to minimum at least for the first 8 weeks of breastfeeding.
Do not include lot of spices in your diet
Spicy food is not really ideal for a breastfeeding mothers. Garlic and cinnamon can also affect the digestion of a newborn child negatively. Moreover, spicy foods are often the cause of constipation in lactating mothers, which can be harmful for the digestive health of the mother which is again related with the breast milk production. So, while you are breastfeeding, it is best to not to have too much spices in your daily diet.
Do not use any drug or medicine without asking your doctor
This is a point that often breastfeeding mothers miss out. Whatever medicine you take during breastfeeding might pass on to the child through breast milk, which might wreak havoc for the new digestive system of the baby. While there are certain medications that do not pass to the milk or affect the child, some medications can drastically alter the quality and quantity of the breast milk. So, while you are breastfeeding, make it a point to not to take any type of medications without asking your doctor exclusively about it.
Do not indulge in intoxicants
Any type of intoxicants is certainly not your thing while you are breastfeeding your child. An intoxicant can make you completely oblivion of what is happening to your child for some time. If you are not in complete sense while you are breastfeeding your child it can easily cause an accident. Also some intoxicants might pass to the baby with the breast milk which is very unhealthy for the nascent systems of the child. However, if you love to indulge in wine or beer, keep the portion to minimum and do not feed your baby till the alcohol has washed off completely from your system.