As a new mom, you’re faced with a difficult choice–whether to bottle-feed or breastfeed your newborn. Breastfeeding boasts benefits such as helping you bond with your newborn and strengthening her immune system. Proper breastfeeding can be frustrating, and may leave you wanting to reevaluate your decision, however, time-tested tips can make breastfeeding your newborn less challenging.
Begin feeding your newborn as soon after his birth as possible. The earlier you start, the quicker and easier it is for the two of you to get into a feeding routine.
Cradle your newborn, placing his body close to yours. WebMD suggests lightly touching your baby’s lip with your nipple to encourage him to open his mouth and latch on to your nipple. As your baby readies to eat, move his mouth closer to your breast, placing your nipple just above his tongue. Pay attention to whether your newborn has both of his lips around your nipple, as this will help him get milk and reduce the chances of you feeling pain during feedings. Your newborn should have his mouth opened wide and his lips curled out to ensure proper feeding.
Your newborn may keep you on your toes with her eating schedule. Parenting, an online resources for families, cites that newborns should eat at least eight to 12 times a day, and should be woken up to eat, if necessary. During the day, your little one may eat every two to four hours, while at night, she may wake up to eat every four hours.
The first couple of times you breastfeed, you may experience mild pain as you and baby get used to the process. After the first few sessions, you shouldn’t notice any pain while your baby is eating. If you do experience pain, it may be because the baby isn’t properly latched onto your nipple. Readjust the baby and try again.
Feeding the Baby Enough
Be sure your newborn gets enough food during each feeding. After a feeding, check your baby’s attitude to see if he’s calm and relaxed or fussy. If he’s calm, he’s likely satisfied his appetite. Keep track of how often you change your newborn’s diapers. Baby Center, an online parenting resource, cites that a newborn should have six to eight wet diapers a day and at least three bowel movements a day during the first month.
Ask for Help
If you notice that your baby isn’t latching on, or you have a concern about breastfeeding, contact your lactation consultant with your questions. No question is too small; it’s better to be safe and get feedback from a professional to ensure that feedings are going as they should.