Madison
-2° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Secrets to easier breastfeeding

Published On: Mar 26 2013 03:02:09 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 08 2013 10:32:46 AM CDT
mom, mother with baby

iStock/NiDerLander

By Pure Matters

Breast milk is nature's nearly perfect food. It not only contains all the nutrients that your baby needs, but studies show that it also helps protect your infant against infections -- especially in the first year. And mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of some health problems, including breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Plus, there are no bottles to prepare or wash and no formula to buy. And you have a ready supply of milk all the time. To make breastfeeding even easier for you and your baby, try these tips.

Do a little prep. You're less likely to get sore, cracked nipples if you prepare in advance by rubbing your nipples with a terry cloth to "toughen" them. And when you lather up, skip your nipples -- soap dries them up and washes away an oil that helps your baby smell the nipple.

Set your milk supply. Get your baby used to nursing and establish your milk supply by breastfeeding exclusively for the first six weeks. Hold off on bottles.

Let herbs help. Much like oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone, the herb fenugreek helps stimulate milk production in nursing mothers. Other flow-increasing herbs include chaste berry and fennel.

Get comfortable. Be sure your baby's mouth is open wide before putting her to your breast; she should latch onto the areola (the darker area around your nipple). You should see more areola above her top lip than below her bottom lip. Treat yourself and your baby to a horseshoe-shaped nursing pillow to make your sessions more comfortable.

Switch it up. Leave the baby on your breast as long as he is swallowing every suck or two. If you see him drifting off to sleep or if he lets go of the breast, burp him and switch sides. Let him nurse on the second side as long as he wants -- until he falls asleep or lets go again. Newborn feeding usually lasts at least 20 to 30 minutes and occurs 8 to 12 times each 24 hours in the early weeks.

Stay alert for plugged ducts. Binding clothes, your own anatomy, fatigue, or prolonged periods without nursing can cause clogged milk ducts. This can cause areas of the breast to get hot, red, and sometimes hard or swollen. A plugged duct can lead to an infection if ignored. In most cases, you can treat this problem by applying hot compresses to the reddened area, and by expressing milk manually and allowing the baby to nurse.

Did you know that less than an hour after birth, a full-term baby is physically able to nurse? Your baby knows what to do -- now you do too.

Source: http://resources.purematters.com/healthy-body/pregnancy/secrets-to-easier-breastfeeding

Advertisement
  • Adrian Peterson on sidelines, December 2013

    Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

    NFL players in trouble with the law

    A judge overturned Adrian Peterson's suspension from the NFL on Thursday after the running back admitted to using a switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. Here are are some other NFL players who have been in trouble with the law.

  • Comp1

    Net neutrality: What to know

    The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in favor net neutrality after a debate over whether the Internet should be regulated in the same way as public utilities. Here's what you need to know about net neutrality.

  • Zimmerman's parents after verdict read

    Gary W. Green/POOL

    Look back: George Zimmerman verdict

    Today marks the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death. a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of Martin's death on July 13, 2013. Take a look at scenes from the courtroom on the day of the verdict.

Advertisement