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How To Succeed In Breastfeeding?
This is a personal account of how I succeeded in breastfeeding. During my 38th week gestation, a friend suggested I use a moisturizing cream for my nipples to “prepare” them for breastfeeding. Normally, new moms wait until their baby is born to use such creams. I followed my friend’s advice and started using the cream (Lansinoh) approximately 4 weeks prior to my due date. This decision turned out to be very beneficial because I did not experience any sore, cracked or blistered nipples throughout my breastfeeding months. Remember, you need to prevent having an infection such as mastitis. Now bare in mind that skin types are not the same and what worked for me might not necessarily work for you. However, trying this method is not harmful in any way.
How long you breastfeed is very personal. Scientific evidence does suggest that the longer you breastfeed, the better it is for your child. The World Health Organization recommends that new moms breastfeed exclusively for six months. They also advise to breastfeed while introducing solid food after six months. The longer you breastfeed, the more beneficial it is for you and your baby. If you are a working mom, try to pump your milk at work for later feedings. Do not forget to store it in the fridge or the freezer for later use. The first few days after giving birth, what comes out when you nurse, is colostrum, which is essential for your baby. Your milk usually comes few days after delivery.
I honestly have to say that I did not know how to breastfeed. My son did not latch on properly; therefore, my milk was not coming and I did not experience a letdown. Needless to say that I panicked and needed some professional advice. It is very important to surround yourself with people who encourage and support you in breastfeeding. I made an appointment to see a lactation specialist. The help I received was tremendous. The lactation specialist taught me hot to hold my son so he can latch on properly. The position is extremely important. By the way, if you do not have a nursing pillow, do invest in one, as you will find out what a lifesaver it is. The lactation specialist also sat with us for approximately 45 minutes to show me what to do when my son would fall asleep on the breast. She taught me how to wake him up by gently stroking his lips and cheeks. Every child is unique and every breastfeeding experience is unique. What worked for me might not work for you but a visit to a lactation specialist is definitely something to consider if you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding. Once you acquire this skill, you will enjoy every bit of it.
What about engorgement?
If you are engorged, pump immediately. My advice is not to allow yourself get to the point of engorgement. Act accordingly and pump whenever you feel your child skipped a meal. Even if you pump a little, it is better experiencing pain later on. The more your child nurses, the more milk you will produce. So be careful about the risks of engorgement.
Do you wonder if you could pump your milk and bottle-feed your child? Do you think by doing so, your baby will not latch on properly? Are you concerned about your child being confused between your nipples and a bottle? You are right to wonder about these issues. I did too. The answer I received from my son’s pediatrician is to exclusively breastfeed for the first forty days and then to start introducing breast milk in a bottle once a day at first, then gradually increasing the occurrence of bottle-feeding depending on your schedule. By doing so, you and your child will have mastered the art of breastfeeding. You would have also established a bond with your child that is unique and irreplaceable. After 40 days, introduce breast milk in a bottle. This will not only allow you to get a break but will also let someone else to share the experience of feeding your baby. Get your spouse to feed the baby so he can develop a bond with her.
Breastfeeding is very private and special. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication from you. If you do succeed in it, the rewards are tremendous for you and your baby. I strongly recommend you breastfeed!
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