Breastfeeding is the best way to provide essential nutrients to your newborn. Overall, children who are breastfed are smarter, healthier, and require fewer medical expenses. In addition, it is a great way for mom to bond with her newborn.
While breastfeeding, your breasts and nipples don't require any special care. The small bumps on your areola produce a special oil, which naturally clean, lubricate, and protect the nipples.
Breastfed infants have lower rates of hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhea, rashes, allergies, and other medical problems than bottle-fed babies.
Having a cesarean birth will not affect your body's ability to produce breast milk.
Breast Milk: Production through Mature Milk
Understanding the process of milk production will help you know what to expect during the first days of breastfeeding and will make it easier to solve any problems you may encounter.
Common Newborn Problems When Breastfeeding
Sometimes, as babies are adjusting to life outside the womb, they may experience common newborn difficulties such as jaundice or colic.
How to Breastfeed Your Baby
Plan to breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after birth, ideally within the first hour, when your baby's natural sucking reflex is strongest.
Monitoring the Breastfeeding Baby
One of the most important aspects of parenting is learning how to recognize and accept your child's unique character. Your newborn will develop a feeding pattern that is uniquely his own. It is best to observe and follow his nursing style by feeding him on request whenever he displays signs of hunger, instead of trying to change his natural feeding pattern by putting him on a schedule.
Preparing for Breastfeeding
Preparing for the breastfeeding experience before your baby arrives will enhance your breastfeeding success. There is an abundance of informative books, reference materials, classes, and knowledgeable people that can assist you in nursing your baby. The following ideas will help you prepare for what lies ahead.
Recognizing Signs of Hunger
Newborns rely on their mothers to read their hunger signs. Your baby may demonstrate signs of hunger for up to 30 minutes before he actually begins to cry. It is important to read his hunger cues before he becomes too frustrated and upset to latch on properly.
Role of the Father in Breastfeeding
Deciding to breastfeed may be a decision made by both parents, however most fathers believe that breastfeeding doesn't require their participation. The truth of the matter is the father plays a vital role in the success of the mother's nursing relationship with their baby.
Solving Sucking Problems
In rare cases, some newborns are not able to suck effectively at the breast due to sucking difficulties. These babies are able to latch onto the breast, but because of poor suction, slide off while nursing.
Vanessa M. Givens, MD
Sherri Li, MD
Frank W. Ling, MD
Thomas G. Stovall, MD
Margaret Z. Summitt, MD
Robert L. Summitt, Jr., MD
Val Y. Vogt, MD
Women's Health Specialists
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