Now that your baby is here, your mothering duties get more concrete and diverse. The most important of these, of course, is to breastfeed your baby. What should you do to start breastfeeding?
Try to breastfeed as soon as possible after your baby joins you in your room after delivery. Because after a tiring and long delivery, your baby is probably hungry.
It is best not to give your baby things like sugary water until you start breastfeeding, so please talk to your doctor. Because sugary foods kill your baby’s appetite. Of course, it would be much better for your doctor to decide on this, but still it is good to be knowledgeable.
Do not push it if your baby does not want to breastfeed at that moment. Maybe, your baby has other issues. You can start breastfeeding once they have come to themselves. On the other hand, if you are new to breastfeeding, the hospital staff can give you information and show you how to breastfeed.
Do the following when breastfeeding your baby:
- First, make sure you are in a comfortable position. It is okay to breastfeed from where you are lying. If you wish, you can assume a slight sitting position by supporting your back with a pillow.
- Of course, you should wash your hands before you start breastfeeding. It is important to keep your hands and even your breast clean. This way, you also reduce the risk of a possible infection. Meanwhile, being in a quiet and calm environment while breastfeeding the baby makes breastfeeding more successful.
- Your baby’s face should be turned towards your nipple. Don’t just hold your baby by the head. Support your baby’s back with your arm and the hips with your hands. Remember that their muscles are not fully developed yet. Make sure they are in a comfortable position that won’t tire them out either.
- Always make sure your nipples are clean before breastfeeding. You can wet a clean cloth with clean water and use it to wipe your breast. Also be careful with keeping your hands clean. Remember that your baby’s immune system is not yet as developed as an adult’s, so they are more susceptible to infections, etc.
- When breastfeeding from the right breast, support your breast with your other free hand and help the baby to suckle comfortably, i.e. your nipple sits comfortably in your baby’s mouth.
- Make sure your baby’s lips touch the nipple first, and then gradually bring it closer. It is important that the baby also takes the dark area around your nipple into their mouth. Many babies will automatically begin to suck the nipple in some way from the first moment of their birth. And you will need to be patient. Sometimes babies don’t open their mouths large enough and you may have to try a few times.
- Do not force your nipple into your baby’s mouth. Let them suckle at their own pace.
- Be careful not to let your breast cover your baby’s nose. It can also be dangerous for a baby to fall asleep while breastfeeding. That’s why you should keep the baby awake while breastfeeding.
- A sign that the baby is successfully breastfed is if their chin is moving regularly. Also, as your baby suckles, some milk accumulates where the edge of the lip comes in contact with the breast.
- Even if your baby stops sucking, their mouth may still be in your breast. Do not try to pull your breast in such cases. Your nipple might get hurt. So, get your other free hand off your breast.
- Switch to the other breast if the milk flow reduces or stops. Begin the next feeding on the breast that they fed from last. This way, the baby will be fed equally on both breasts.
- When your baby is full, they may fall asleep or stop feeding. This should tell you that your baby is full. This might not always be the case but it usually is.