Thinking about breastfeeding can be a scary thought for new mothers. What if I can’t do it? What if the baby is still hungry? What if it hurts? These are just a few questions that will go through your mind. Breastfeeding your infant benefits not only the baby, but will help you burn up to 500 extra calories per day, making it easier to return to you pre-baby weight. Nursing also helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may help you avoid post-partum depression. Here Comes Baby Boutique has compiled a few great tips to help new mothers tackle the breastfeeding questions.
Breastfeeding.com is a great resource for information on beginning a nursing regimen. Experts agree that the sooner you begin to breastfeed the better for you and the baby. Because babies tend to be more alert and responsive immediately after birth that is the best time to introduce your baby to the breast. If you have had a C-section, you may need to wait a bit, but try to begin nursing as soon as you can.
Terriann Shell, an international board-certified lactation consultant recommends that you take a minute to settle into a comfortable, relaxed position before starting to breastfeed. Once the baby has latched onto the breast you don’t want to interrupt the feeding.
Nurse often, babies usually need to nurse 10-12 times within a 24 hour period in the beginning. Rooming with your baby will help you begin to recognize these important feeding cues:
Crying is a late feeding cue, if you learn to recognize the early ones, your baby will respond to the breast and be more willing to settle down and nurse regularly.
It’s best to seek help before you may need it. While still in the hospital, meet with the lactation specialist to get every one of your questioned answered. After returning home, and once you feel up to it, attend a breast-feeding support group meeting. These meeting are usually offered through your local hospital and sponsored by the Le Leche League or the International Lactation Consultant Association. Both of these organizations can also be a great source for more information on breast-feeding.
The majority of any breast-feeding problems can be overcome if you are strongly committed. Finding the help and advice that can see you through any issues is key.