Expecting mothers often panic before having a baby, mostly because they are afraid they won’t be able to take care of their newborn. One of the most important things to educate yourself on is breastfeeding.
Not only is it essential for your baby’s health and development, but it has also been proven that children who are breastfed grow up to be smarter and have stronger bonds with their mothers than those who aren’t. On that note, here are 4 crucial things that breastfeeding moms should know.
Let the Baby Set the Schedule
Mothers may think that they know better than their baby, but that’s not always true. At this point, your newborn is more aware of their needs than you, and they should be the one to decide the intervals between feeding times. You need to forget about setting an alarm or waking a baby who is sound asleep because your schedule says so. You should also let your little one set the pace. Sometimes a baby needs only ten minutes, while other times, they need an hour to feed. It all depends on their sucking reflex, hunger, and how much nutrition they need.
When to Use Pacifiers?
Some mothers prefer using a pacifier when their baby cries, but you should address the reason behind the distress before handing one to them. For instance, hunger, stomachaches, and dirty diapers can make the newborn fussy, and pacifiers won’t calm them down in these cases. On the other hand, a pacifier is beneficial when used to soothe the baby in stressful situations. Some studies have also shown that pacifiers can decrease the rate of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) among newborns. However, you need to be careful when choosing pacifiers for breastfed babies, especially if you don’t want to wean them early. You must ensure that a pacifier doesn’t feel too different than your pliable breast otherwise, your little one may get confused and lose the ability to latch and breastfeed probably.
Maintaining Milk Supply
It’s not uncommon for your milk supply to be inconsistent after giving birth. A breast pump can help you adjust any discrepancies in the amount of milk. It can also come in handy when you want to release the pressure that accumulates when the baby refuses to latch on. Moreover, you can use it to pump some milk and keep it refrigerated for the times when you are busy or at work. A breast pump can also help increase your milk supply. Frequently emptying the breasts will improve the quantity and quality of milk.
You should keep in mind that your life choices and health affect your baby. First of all, you need to stay hydrated. While water is the best fluid, fresh juice and milk are also great. If you need your daily dose of caffeine, keep it to a minimum. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will keep you and your infant in good shape. Cigarettes and alcohol are not the wisest choices when you are breastfeeding, as they interfere with your newborn’s sleep and mental health. Steering clear from any nicotine or alcoholic drinks is the best decision you can make.
The breastfeeding phase can pass smoothly if you know how to do it right. You should start by reading more and ask questions whenever you are in doubt. Breastfeeding your baby can improve your mental health and boost their emotional development. Remember that you can no longer adopt an unhealthy lifestyle because you are now responsible for another life.