To all the new moms out there, here is a superb piece of information about breastfeeding. As it is new for you and the baby and you should be exposed to ups and downs, here you go with dos and donts.
Do’s of breastfeeding
Feed at regular intervals/based on the baby’s requirement
The first 15 days after the baby is born, his sleep cycle would not be organized and he would tend to either sleep all the time or find it difficult to adjust with the new environment and keep crying all day.
In that situation, you won’t know if the baby is hungry and needs to be fed. So, it is advised to feed the baby every 2 hours in the first couple of weeks even if the baby is sleeping. This time interval will change over time and you will know the baby’s cue for hunger after a month or so. He may also sleep while feeding too. Still, you should wake him up and check if he is sucking for at least 10 minutes on each breast.
After 1 month, he would know how to efficiently suck and so feeding time will also be reduced and hence feeding should be based on baby’s requirement. If he is sleeping throughout the night, it is perfectly fine.
Drink plenty of water
Drink lots and lots of water and other fluids like fruit juices and tender coconut.
Water improves the breastmilk (BM) supply too. As BM is majorly comprised of water, you may feel dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids.
The first month after Caesarean delivery, doctors advise to keep yourself very well hydrated else you may develop heavy headaches to the extent that you feel difficult even to move your head.
Keep yourself calm and composed – good music, books etc
Do you know that babies can feel and respond to your moods post-delivery too?
It may sound weird but it is true. It is very essential that you keep yourselves calm, composed and happy while feeding your baby.
The skin to skin touch when you put your baby on your breast can do wonders.
Read good books, listen to calm music, keep all positive thoughts around you – in short, be the person you were, when you were pregnant. Your mood swings and anxiety affect the baby and keep them in the same mood too. It is natural to experience mood swings, anxiety, stress post-delivery. But, try keeping them away for the welfare of the baby.
Eat healthy foods that enhance BM
Check out for foods that enhance BM supply naturally.
In addition to that, eating healthy also means avoiding junk foods. Say a big NO to all junk foods, packaged foods, foods with sweetening agents, chocolates, and cakes. In short, eat only native homemade stuff to have a prolonged BM supply.
Practice yoga/breathing exercise daily
Practice breathing exercise. This helps all the body parts to get the right amount of oxygen and helps in their good functioning – easy healing of the delivery stitches and aids in good milk secretion. Yoga also calms the mind and makes us feel relaxed after all the anxiety and mood swings post-delivery and keeps us away from postpartum depression.
Dont’s of breastfeeding
Don’t feed in lying position
Night feeds may be tiring. But it is bad to practice feeding in the lying position. This has serious impacts like choking.
Do you drink water or eat in the lying position? Then why force your baby to have his food while lying, just for your comfort risking his life?
Avoid jasmine flower
It is said that the scent of jasmine flower for a long time decreases/stops BM supply. It is widely used while weaning. It is not sure whether this is proven scientifically but said by the elders. So, why risk by testing it? It is better to avoid till the time you are breastfeeding your baby.
Avoid mood swings/stress
The new born baby’s sleep cycle would not be the same every day and this may be tiring. You may have to be awake whole night soothing your crying baby and again he would keep you engaged all day. This may stress you out along with the pain in the stitches and physical weakness.
You might have been a very active strong independent woman pre-pregnancy and now you would be getting a lot of help from your mom, husband and almost everyone. This itself stresses you out badly but you must understand and accept that every woman – how much ever independent she was earlier, undergoes this phase and there is nothing to be worried/stressed about this. Also, the impact of the hormones would take a toll on your mood along with this. Act wisely and avoid these feelings overpower you. This is not good for you as well as your baby. Stress greatly affects BM supply and you could feel that while feeding. So, it is better to avoid that.
Avoid/limit mobile usage
It is very common these days to use a mobile while feeding the baby. The radiations may be harmful to the new born and hence it is better to keep them as far as possible. Even during pregnancy, doctors advise not to keep mobile phones, data modems, wi-fi modems in the same room pregnant mothers stay.
Don’t overfeed/ feed after long intervals
Sometimes, your BM supply may be more or the baby may sleep for a long time during the day and you may feel your breasts very heavy. In such cases, do not overfeed the baby than the usual or force feed him. He would gulp up everything at that moment and may puke later. BM is precious and do not waste it. In such cases, you may pump and store BM for future use or donate it for the needy.
Finally, whether the baby is breastfed or formula fed depends on the mother’s milk secretion and surely is not something to be judgmental about.