Since August is National Breastfeeding Month, we wanted to take some of the stress and worry off your shoulders. By talking about some valuable tips, we’ll help you make the most out of this experience with your baby.
ASK FOR HELP: Don’t be afraid; in most cases for new mothers, asking for help is absolutely necessary. You can try to prepare for breastfeeding during your entire pregnancy, but once your baby is in your arms and it’s time to nurse, it’s a whole new ballgame. Did you know that babies are ready to nurse within 1 to 2 hours after birth? This may seem stressful since you just finished delivery, but don’t worry, you’ll do great! Maternity nurses can help and offer assistance to make sure you’re on the right track.
BREATHING: When you begin nursing, you may notice that the baby’s nose is touching your breast. This is okay as long as the baby still has an adequate air supply. If you’re afraid the baby isn’t breathing as easily as he/she should, it’s okay to press down on your breast to make more breathing room for your little one.
PACE: The first few weeks after your baby is born, it may feel as though you’re breastfeeding constantly since newborns require feedings every 2 to 3 hours. Don’t stress, your baby will always let you know when hunger creeps in. Let your baby set the pace for his/her appetite. When it’s time to eat, your baby will often display signs of restlessness, stirring and even sucking motions; just pay attention.
CALCIUM: During the months that you breastfeed, it’s important to maintain a well-balanced diet. Calcium is an absolute must; make sure you consume 5 servings of milk or dairy products each day. If dairy isn’t your favorite, you can get the calcium you and your baby need from broccoli, sesame seeds, tofu, and kale. Calcium supplements are also an option.
MEDICATIONS: Pay close attention the medications you are taking while nursing; this is very important. Many new mothers are unaware that their breastmilk can absorb certain medicines. It doesn’t matter what it is, could be over-the-counter or prescriptions. Be sure to talk to your doctor and don’t take anything without discussing it first.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Breastfeeding is extremely beneficial to your baby; but did you know there’s a number of pluses for you as well? For example, nursing your baby can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, breast and/or ovarian cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Also, your uterus will expand in size during pregnancy, but breastfeeding will help it revert back to its pre-pregnancy size.
At Touchette Regional Hospital, the board-certified obstetricians and registered nurses (RNs) provide quality care for you and your newborn. The arrival of your new baby is an exciting time, our RNs are highly skilled and experienced in breastfeeding and lactation and are dedicated to your needs. When it comes time to welcome your bundle of joy into the world, we hope you’ll come to Touchette. A bright start to a beautiful life starts here.