So, you ate at a restaurant and you find that a mother had to unbutton their shirt to breastfeed their baby. You, as a soon-to-be-mother, was enthralled by how easy and natural it is for the mother to let their baby latch onto their breast and feed them with the milk that comes from them.
Actually, the milk that comes from the breast is natural and on the surface, you would also think that feeding your baby is as easy as it seems. But, until you have your own newborn, you will find that your experience may vary from others.
There are some that are quite easy to feed as their babies would instinctively latch onto the breast. There are also some that are quite difficult to breastfeed, which will prompt the mother to just buy formula milk and feed them from a baby milk bottle. And there are also some that would state that their experience is somewhere in the middle of the two.
Whatever the case may be, all mothers should know the basics of breastfeeding. Since you are reading this article, you’re most likely looking for helpful tips. Do not worry, the title of this article didn’t mislead you.
Today, I am going to talk about some helpful breastfeeding tips for nursing your baby.
Important Information About Breastmilk
Every mother should know that their breastmilk arrives in three stages. They are:
- Colostrum- This liquid comes out like a thin clear or yellow substance. This is actually quite potent in that it contains proteins and antibodies that your baby needs. The things that are contained in the colostrum also helps them ward off Jaundice and other possible health risks.
- Transitional Milk- This type of milk tastes like milk coupled with orange juice, but do not worry, babies like this stuff. Transitional Milk might be lower in proteins and immunoglobulins, but they are much higher in fat, lactose, and calorie count than colostrum.
- Mature Milk- This is now the milk that will flow from your breasts from 10 days and beyond. It may look white or somewhat bluish, but it contains all of the nutrients a growing baby needs.
Why Latching On is Important
Your baby should latch on to your breasts so that you won’t feel any discomfort from the process itself. You will know if the baby has latched on properly whenever they cover the entirety of your nipple, as well as covering some parts of your areola as well.
There is no cut-and-dry method for helping your baby latch on to your breasts, but you want to make sure that you only assist them from the head. Do not lead forward and just prop up a pillow from underneath them to help with positioning.
How Long to Breastfeed
Well, that typically depends on your baby. Usually, the feeding sessions would last 20-30 minutes on average. This means that your baby may or may not last that long.
Furthermore, it is best that you have your baby drain all of the milk from your breast as hindmilk– the milk that comes out last- contains the bulk of the fat and calories you want your baby to absorb.
How Often to Breastfeed
In the first few weeks, your baby needs to breastfeed at least 8-12 times a day. Even if they’re not hungry (since most of them cannot signal to you that they are), you might have to force it a little bit so that they will feed.
For babies that are at least a month or two of age, they will cry whenever they feel hungry. By then, you want to feed them at that point.