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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

Both you and your baby benefit from breastfeeding and feeding can be a very loving time for you and the new bub to spend together. Breast milk has all the right amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins for your baby’s growth and development. Your breast milk also contains antibodies which will support your baby’s immunity and help prevent infections such as upper respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.

Health experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life until solid foods are introduced. After this age, breastfeeding can continue for as long as the mother and her baby are happy to keep going. Early breastfeeding, as soon as possible after birth provides the newborn with colostrum. This early form of breastmilk is high in antibodies and fat and is designed to boost the baby’s immunity.

Early breastfeeding, as soon as possible after birth provides the newborn with colostrum. This early form of breastmilk is high in antibodies and fat and is designed to boost the baby’s immunity. There’s also a great selection of Huggies’ top tips and techniques for successfully nursing your baby.

Why breastfeed?

Some mothers choose to offer their baby formula milk instead of breastfeeding. If you are considering stopping breastfeeding, speak with a healthcare professional who will be able to guide you about your options. Only in very rare circumstances is breastfeeding not advised. As mentioned above breast milk contains natural disease fighters (anti-bodies) to fortify your baby’s fragile immune system.

Breast milk is easily digested and adapts to the individual baby’s needs. What’s more, breasts are portable and don’t need to be prepared, warmed, washed or sterilised – a fact you’ll appreciate when your hungry baby cries for a breastfeed during a party, shopping trip or in the middle of the night.

Breastfeeding is also good for mums. Breastfeeding causes the release of certain hormones that help to support the emotional connection between a mother and her baby. These hormones have a relaxing effect. There’s also the physical closeness of breastfeeding, which further aids the bonding process.

Some studies show that breastfeeding contributes to post pregnancy weight loss. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of mothers developing breast and ovarian cancer. It is also protective against heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Breastfeeding has also been found to reduce the incidence of osteoporosis in women.

How To Breastfeed

Breastfeeding is supposed to be one of the most natural things a new mum can do – but is it really? New mums have been doing it for millions of years but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy, especially if this is your first experience with breastfeeding. Huggies’ guide to breastfeeding will help you get it right.

The first thing you need to do is position yourself correctly, make sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair or sofa with your feet up. Place a pillow behind your back and on your lap to support your baby. It’s important that you are relaxed and comfortable. Position your baby so they are lying sideways with their face positioned towards you and with their head level with your nipple. Use your fingers to support your breast as you offer the nipple to your baby. Make sure your fingers are out of the way so they don’t interfere when your baby latches onto your nipple.

If your baby turns their head away from your nipple, gently stroke their face (on the side closest to you). This will cause your baby to face towards your nipple. When your baby’s mouth is open wide, gently move them towards your breast (chin first). You need to make sure that your baby’s bottom lip and tongue make contact with your breast first. Once they latch on, support your baby so they are comfortable. To suck properly, your baby will need to squeeze the area behind the nipple with his mouth. When your baby is finished nursing off the first breast, put your finger into your baby’s mouth to release the sucking, and offer the other breast.

Breastfeeding Tips

  • Try to offer your baby your breast as soon as you can after giving birth, even in the delivery room if this is possible
  • Limit the amount of visitors you have right after you give birth so there are ample opportunities for you to bond with and breastfeed your baby
  • Breastfeed for as long as necessary. Some newborns may need an hour or so to complete a breastfeed
  • Try not to restrict the amount of time or frequency of breastfeeding
  • Don’t try to breastfeed a crying baby. Calm your baby down first and then start to breastfeed
  • If your nipples are sore or cracked make sure your baby is attaching and sucking correctly. Ask your maternity care provider, a midwife or child health nurse to observe you breastfeeding. Some mums find their own breast milk soothes sore nipples
  • Stop smoking cigarettes. Nicotine can filter into breast milk and decrease a mother’s breast milk supply
  • Avoid wearing underwire bras which can lead to mastitis

Breastfeeding is vitally important to for your baby’s health. It is also a very important part of the bonding process. If you are having difficulties with breastfeeding, there are many breastfeeding support groups and nurses out there who can work with you to solve your breastfeeding problems so you can enjoy this wonderful part of being a mother.

For more information see Baby Care.