Breastfeeding Tips

a woman sits on her bed and breastfeeds her child

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing a new mother can do. A new mother should start breastfeeding her baby immediately after birth.

Breastfeeding Tips for the New Mother

It starts the newborn off developing a close attachment and oneness with the mother, and it bonds the mother to her baby by holding him or her close to the heart. It is the most special time between mother and child possible.

Mothers may be fearful when first starting to breastfeed. They may feel uncomfortable during the process, but lactation specialists in the hospital will be able to reassure the new mother and provide helpful tips.

When to Nurse

For a new baby, nurse on demand. Do not try to put the new baby on a schedule. A new baby may demand feedings up to twelve times a day. It advises waking a baby every three hours if he has not been fed. Nursing will increase the mother's milk supply. Nurse the baby for as long as the baby wants to eats. Some babies take ten minutes; others may take up to forty-five minutes.

When the baby is born, he or she should be in the same room as the mother. This makes it easy for the mother to breastfeed the baby. Some mothers feel comfortable breastfeeding around visitors, others should feel comfortable asking visitors to give mom and baby a few minutes of privacy for feeding. A new mother should not be pressured to nurse around family and friends if she is not comfortable doing so.

A Pleasant Experience gives useful tips about making breastfeeding a baby a pleasant experience. After the mother has washed her hands, she should find a comfortable position to nurse her baby. A favorite seat that provides the mother with good back support, headrest and arm support is important. A pretty nursing cover, or a bright shawl, is useful for the times when the baby has to be nursed in public, and can also be used at home to snuggle the baby while feeding.

A mother may alternate breasts for each feeding. This will supply hindmilk which is good for the baby. A supportive hindmilk will also make breastfeeding easier. Some mothers purchase nipple shields to put inside their bras to prevent any leaks and/or drips from staining clothes.

Some babies like to be rocked while nursing; others enjoy hearing the mother sing. Play pleasant music to calm both mom and baby. Dad can sit in the room, or next to the mother and child on the couch, to participate in the nursing experience. Dad can also talk softly to the baby while mom is nursing.

The Working Mother

The new mom should not feel guilty about leaving her newborn to go back to work. Most families require two incomes to make ends meet. There are breast-pumping machines that work efficiently to express mother's milk for storage. Many employers provide private space for mothers to pump milk during the day and refrigerators that can be used to store the milk. Expressed milk can be frozen, and freshly pumped milk is good for up to 24-hours.