In a perfect world, breastfeeding would happen quickly and effortlessly, but in reality, as natural as breastfeeding is, the experience can be frustrating and confusing for a lot of mothers. So how do breastfeeding moms stay healthy and steady in the natural nursing journey? We say being well informed is the first step.
From the moment you conceive, your body starts creating an amazing new feeding system. Choosing a well-fitting, supportive maternity and nursing bra is essential for your comfort as your body changes in preparation for the breastfeeding journey.
A healthy baby can be ready for the first breastfeed within minutes of being born, and the first hour after birth is a perfect time to start skin-to-skin contact. You can do so by placing baby on your chest, and this signals both of your bodies to release more of oxytocin - the “love hormone”, which helps milk release. During skin-to-skin, the baby also gets the first chance to find and latch onto your breast. Research showed allowing this learning experience in the early hours after birth improves breastfeeding outcomes in the long run.
Many mothers worry they have an inadequate milk supply, so if you are concerned about your breast milk supply, it’s essential to seek advice from a lactation consultant early. The truth is, the way your baby nurses affects your supply. The more frequently and effectively the baby breastfeeds, the more milk you will make as your breasts start producing once the milk is removed by feeding or by expressing.
Another problem that causes a lot of breastfeeding mothers in distress is unbearable pain. Many moms find their nipples cracked, blistered or even bleeding when they come out of the baby’s mouth, and chances are your baby is not latching correctly. Make sure your baby’s mouth and body are positioned correctly, and there is no other latching problem. After all, breastfeeding is a learned skill, and just like anything you’re doing for the first time, it takes practice and patience to master.