Breastfeeding Guide for Beginners

The early weeks for new moms can be very painful, frustrating, depressing, tiring but rewarding too. Many women have breastfeeding goals such as three months, six months and one year. In the early stages of breastfeeding, these goals might seem impossible to achieve because the pain is too much to bear for six weeks to one year.  The initial weeks for baby are full of learning and development- let’s use baby’s skills and reflexes to create breastfeeding a success.

What do you need to know about Breastfeeding?

Talking about intellectual development, it can be tiring for babies at this stage. Skin-to-skin breastfeeding prevents over stimulation and encourages brain development. The over-stimulated baby is difficult to handle while feeding as the mouth is tight and closed eyes are unable to see mommy’s face.

Babies can see 8-10 inches at this age, about the distance between baby’s eyes and mommy’s face while breastfeeding. Babies see white, black and grey. By uncovering and allowing baby to see your bare chest, it helps you with the latch.

The most common reflex at the developmental stage is the reflex of sucking. Babies suck vigorously whenever something is placed at their mouths. It is the duty of the mother to make sure that the mouth is positioned in the correct way when the sucking begins to prevent painful latch and damage. It is okay to over-feed the babies who are younger than 4 months due to the reflexes.  

Your baby can communicate hunger to you from the first day. When your baby is hungry, they exhibit hunger cues such as rooting, lip-smacking, bringing hands to mouth so make sure you bring your breast as soon as you notice any of the cues. Babies are rewarded when they show these signs and then they are fed in time. If you miss out on any of these signs, your feeding might not go so well and the baby might get tired very quickly and easily.

Breastfeeding Latch:

The most important part of successful breastfeeding is the latch. Once you get a good latch, everything will go smoothly. If the baby isn’t properly latched, feeding may be painful. Positioning your baby while breastfeeding is very crucial and if done properly it can be a wonderful experience between the mother and baby.

If your nipples are sore due to breastfeeding you may use nipple cream to bring ease and comfort to your nipples.

How to confirm if your baby had a good latch?

  • The tongue is seen when you pull down the lower lip
  • Ears wiggle
  • The circular movement of jaw instead of normal chin movement
  • Rounded cheeks
  • No clicking or smacking noises
  • Swallowing sound is heard
  • Chin touches your breast
  • Your baby is relaxed at the end of the feeding or ends up sleeping.

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