Updated: Nov 19, 2021
In this article, I'm going to share some tips which is going to make your breastfeeding experience easier. Some things are more learnt by experience and yes, this is also the truth that there is no one size fits all when it comes to breastfeeding basics.
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months and continuing along with solids for at least 1 year and beyond, as the mom and child feel comfortable.
Breastfeeding has immense benefits to the baby as it a source of live antibodies and has the right balance of nutrition suited for the child. Breast-milk also changes composition per feed, i.e it becomes thicker at the end of the feed due to more fat composition and is has more water in the beginning to quench thirst.
It also changes as the baby gets older to meet the growing and changing needs of the baby.
Your breast-milk might not be sufficient for the baby (quality and quantity wise) after a few weeks of their birth.
Mother's milk the the best food for your baby. And almost all women make sufficient supply of milk for their baby.
I have exclusively breastfed both my babies till 6 months. My first born weaned at 9 months due to my pregnancy. Maybe the supply dwindled or there might be a change of taste. I was 3 months pregnant at that time with my second. Some crucial things that I learnt from my experiences are:
Pump is always helpful in Breast-feeding
In my case it helped tremendously with breast engorgement in both my postpartum phases. And I also used to pump some milk in advance so someone else could feed my first baby. When I had my second I rarely got the chance to sterlize bottles, clean the pump or sit ideal to do so. So pump is not being used as much now. But if my baby girl who is 6 months old right now starts biting, then I might use it again.
Hydration is crucial
Always make sure that you are hydrated. Try to drink at least 2 litres of water everyday. It is good for your health and for the milk supply too. And there is no need to mention that we need a good and balanced diet too.
Do not lose heart
There will be days when you will feel baby is not being satiated even after feeding, or not looking well fed, and you may end up thinking that your supply is not good enough for baby.
Check if they are having at least 8 wet nappies in a day. If yes, there may be a chance that it is a growth spurt or teething phase. They feed more, but the supply will also increase as a result. Because the breast-milk production happens on a supply and demand basis. If this continues for more than 3 days and you also feel something is not right always consult the Doctor.
Pump it if you can't give feed
If there is a reason due to which you can not feed your baby, pump or hand express your milk every 3 to 4 hours so that breast-milk is produced due to emptying of breasts.
Sore Nipples are real
This is a common problem and it is very frustrating when you still have to continue the feedings. Keep nipple creams handy and cold compresses also help. Also consult a lactation specialist. Sometimes even a bad latch causes many problems.