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Every mother wishes to breastfeed her baby. However, breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to all mothers. It isn’t as simple as it may sound, and a lot of mommies experience some sort of difficulty. The baby may not latch, milk production is not enough, worries about if the baby is getting enough milk, are some common problems encountered by mothers.
My breastfeeding journey was a nightmare, as my baby didn’t latch properly, and I realised that only when she wasn’t gaining weight even after 15 days. However, I remained determined and persistent, as I didn’t want to deprive her of this liquid gold. From changing positions, sitting for long hours, having sleepless nights, I did everything to make her practice the latch. Eventually, after a struggle of 2 months, she latched like a pro. In the midst of all this, I continued to pump milk, to maintain my milk supply. I formula fed as well. Milk production was never a problem in my case. My breastfeeding journey continued for one year, after which my baby became disinterested in feeding.
Here are a few breastfeeding tips that I learnt through my experience, which may help ease your breastfeeding journey:
1. Feed on demand. Watch for baby hunger cues, and let the baby decide for how frequently and for long he want to feed.
2. Feed in the position that is the most comfortable for you.
3. Ensure that the baby latches properly – this means that the baby should suck on the entire areola, and not just the nipple.
4. Never stress on how much milk you are producing. The more you nurse, the more milk your body makes. Stress might actually adverse affect milk production.
5. In case your baby is not latching, you can always pump milk and feed the baby using a bottle, or bowl and spoon.
6. Stay hydrated, and drink plenty of water.
7. Always burp your baby after a feed.
Here, I am listing down a few things which will help you know that your baby is getting enough milk:
1. The baby has latched well, and the mouth has opened big enough to take a large part of the breast. Ensure there is no pain while you are breastfeeding. If you are experiencing any pain, or cuts on the nipple, it means that the latch isn’t proper.
2. You can see and hear the baby swallowing milk.
3. There will be a steady weight gain. No weight gain, or reduced weight, means the baby is not getting enough milk.
4. You will have a wet diaper every 2 to 3 hours.
5. When the baby is full, he will usually break the latch on his own, and might fall asleep.
6. Your breasts will feel tender and soft post breastfeeding.
I hope these tips will help answer your doubts and queries! A mom’s breastfeeding journey might not be very simple, and each mom has her own struggles and challenges. But, it is a very fulfilling and enriching experience, for both for mother and baby.
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