Many mothers think that breastfeeding is the easiest part of motherhood. But, like most other things, practise makes perfect. Here are a few tips to ensure success.
- Ensure that the baby is correctly latched onto the breast. Avoid artificial teats and nipple shields. They are meant for women with inverted nipples not for assisting in getting the baby onto the nipple easier.
- Relax and enjoy the feeding time as much as possible. Make a cup of tea. Do not be afraid of chatting to your baby during a feed and stroking and loving your baby.
- Try to follow a pattern of feeding that suits you and your baby. The important factor to remember is to ensure that your baby has at least six to eight feeds in a 24 hour period. If necessary wake him to achieve this goal.
- Try to rest but be practical about it. Do not do a “spring clean” of the home in the first week at home. Be realistic. Certain chores need to be done but accept all offers of help from friends and family. Remember you are resting of necessity during a feed. It is difficult to breast feed “on the trot”!
- Do not be embarrassed to ask questions. Consult a professional person with whom you are comfortable. Well meaning friends and family can offer confusing advice which can make mom unnecessarily anxious.
- Breastfeeding is a natural process. Keep it so as much as possible. Do not be governed by the clocks and time or by any preconceived ideas. Each mom and baby is an individual and needs time to find their own pattern which is comfortable for each of them.