Why is breast milk essential for infants?
Mother’s milk is the ideal food for babies. It contains just the right blend of fat, protein, and antibodies, therefore, it is the perfect nutrition source for a child’s development and disease prevention.
According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 60% more of moms choose to nurse as compared to a decade ago. 77 percent of babies are now breastfed.
Breastfeeding is natural but not as easy as you think.
Many new moms expect to get it right the first try but the truth is, learning how to breastfeed takes practice.
How often or long should you breastfeed? How do you know if the latch is right? It’s normal for new moms to have all these questions.
Here are breastfeeding basics to help you on your baby’s first year of life.
1. Learning how to latch
Again, it’s not as easy as it looks. Your baby needs to have a deep latch in order to get enough milk, as well as prevent your nipples from becoming sore or damaged. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or help, especially from lactation consultants in hospitals.
2. Create your “Nursing Nest”
‘Nesting’ instinct is common between humans and birds. All mothers build nests for their young ones.
Breastfeeding is crucial for the first 6 months, that’s why it is essential to create your own nursing nest. This does not only help you become organized and comfortable, babies also like to be nursed on a familiar environment.
So get things on your nursing nest that bring you convenience like breastfeeding pillows for back support and for positioning your baby properly, tissue, water, healthy snacks, a good book and the TV remote.
3. Nursing benefits moms too
It’s actually convenient — there’s no need for formula or mix-bottles. Aside from that, breastfeeding moms tend to lose 1 to 4 pounds a month even with the added calories.
Research also shows that mothers gain health benefits as well. Nursing has been associated with a lower risk for breast and ovarian cancers.
3. How to know if your baby is getting enough milk
Your breastfeeding baby is getting enough nourishment if he/she seems relaxed after feeding, continues to gain weight, wets at least six diapers a day and has at least 3 stools a day in the first month.
4. What you eat is what you feed your baby
You’re basically eating for two. Be mindful of what you eat, there are cases where your baby can suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort from what you’ve been eating. If this happens, you can eliminate the suspected culprit and reintroduce it a few days later, gauge your little one’s response to confirm your suspicion.
It is also necessary to keep yourself hydrated as it also affects your milk supply.
5. Opting for formula
Breastfeeding is best for babies. During the first two years, your goal should be to continue breastfeeding in a way that works for you. However, in the event breastfeeding is not possible, there are other options; which you should discuss with your doctor.