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Nursing a newborn baby is no mean feat. It takes time and patience for both baby and mom to learn how to feed. You may face hurdles along the way before breastfeeding is a success. Learn how to interpret your baby’s expressions and signals, and breastfeeding patterns in newborn.
Those first few days after the baby is born can be quite difficult for the mother, especially the breastfeeding. During these times, remember that each baby is born unique and eventually forms his own breast-feeding habits and means of communicating with the mother.
Understanding Newborn’s Feeding Habits
1. Analyse his Movements Closely
An important part of breastfeeding is judging when the baby’s hungry. If he’s smacking or licking his lips, and opening or closing his mouth, he’s probably hungry. If the baby is sucking on his lip, tongue, hands, toys, etc., he’s definitely hungry. Breastfeeding a newborn baby requires giving a lot of attention to your child’s expressions.
2. Noisy or Chokey
At times, the milk flow may be too fast, and you run the risk of choking the baby. If your newborn appears startled, with eyes wide open and he’s swallowing with noisy gulps, you know the milk flow is too fast. To help the baby feed at a pace more suitable for him, hold him as upright as possible, and lean back after the baby latches on to allow the baby’s throat to be higher than the nipple. This is one of the best nursing styles.
3. Cranky or Hungry all the Time
If the milk flow is too slow, then your baby will look stressed or worried. His eyes will be wide open and the baby will not make much effort to suckle. He’ll take long pauses because the effort at sucking tires them out. At times, he may even doze off while waiting for more milk. The slow flow may turn your infant more aggressive and he may start rejecting the breast altogether. If the baby seems hungry and wants to feed all the time, then it may be because your milk flow is less. Massage the breast before feeding time to encourage milk flow, and also have the baby’s latch reviewed. If this does not work, then you may need to consult your doctor.
4. Watch out for Twisting and Wriggling
If your baby seems uncomfortable and is twisting and wriggling his upper body, and looks like he may throw up, you need to burp the baby. However, you don’t need to interrupt a feed just to burp the baby; do so only if the baby seems uncomfortable and fed.
Apart from the nutrition and health factor, nursing a newborn helps to forge a stronger bond between mother and child. Interpreting a baby’s body language may be tough, but soon both of you will be able to communicate. If your baby is nursing less and sleeps through feeding times, contact a paediatrician. If your baby is demanding feeds over 12 times in a day and seems perpetually hungry, have him weighed and check if he’s getting enough milk. If your baby is unable to latch on and suck effectively, speak to the neonatal nurse or your doctor.
Cheers to a happy and healthy mommy, raising a happy and healthy baby!