As a new mama, becoming an expert on everything related to breastfeeding can seem like a daunting task. With all of the advice available from healthcare professionals and other mums, it’s hard to know exactly what you need in order to make your experience as successful and stress-free as possible.
We’ve helped to streamline the essential tips every mother should have in her back pocket. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding success – no matter if it’s your first time or fifth. We’ve rounded up 15 must-haves for any mama trying to master nursing. With Unina’s guide, you’ll be more informed to breastfeed (and bond) with baby!
What are the benefits of breastfeeding? We’ve provided 6 of the best answers below!
Perfectly Balanced Nutrition For Your Baby
Breast milk is nature’s most perfect food for your baby! Every mum produces a unique blend of nutrients, tailored specifically to their little one. The combination of protein, carbohydrates, fat and essential vitamins & minerals are easily digestible. This makes breast milk the ideal source for healthy growth in babies.
Breast milk is a powerful source of nutrition for your baby! It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals that promote healthy growth during the first 6 months. After which, it can remain an important part of their diet up to two years or longer if you both desire. Every bit counts when it comes to breastfeeding, so keep offering what you can; any amount makes a difference!
Builds Baby’s Immunity And Gut Health
As soon as your baby is born, breast milk gifts them with the power of immunity. The colostrum that comes in those first few days helps to form a strong barrier against harmful germs and illnesses. It’s even more critical for premature babies! Breastfeeding can also offer long-term proven benefits such as reducing the risk of diarrhoea, ear infections or lung infections early on AND lowering their chances of being obese later down the line – so it’s nurturing them not only now but far into their future too!
Builds Intellectual And Emotional Health
Breastfeeding can be a great foundation for future success both intellectually and emotionally. Research suggests that children who were breastfed are more likely to do better on intelligence tests, stay in school longer and earn higher incomes as adults.
Alongside this, it improves the emotional health of your baby too! It helps build a secure and loving relationship that can last through their childhood. Breastfeeding is an important part of this bonding, as well as simply cuddling which gives babies trust and confidence to carry into life beyond the cradle!
Safe, Portable And Affordable Food Source
It’s almost too good to be true – breast milk is always fresh and at the perfect temperature for your little one, so you don’t have to worry about the breastfeeding pump, heating or boiling water! Bringing baby with you when travelling or shopping has never been easier.
With breastfeeding, you can provide your baby with the best possible nutrition and an eco-friendly solution for mealtime. Not to mention it’s totally convenient; no processing or packaging means a ready-made dinner that has been tailor made just for them!
Not only that, it’s budget friendly. In comparison to other methods it’s much more affordable. Some would even dare say, free!
Size Is Irrelevant For Breastfeeding
When you become pregnant, your body starts getting ready to nourish and nurture! No matter the size of the breasts, expectant mums can rest assured that their bodies are designed to help them provide enough milk for baby once they’ve arrived. Once a new bundle of joy arrives, hormones kick into gear and tell those magical mammaries that it’s time to make milk. It’s like an internal switch flipped on as soon as baby is born which initiates a mother’s production of colostrum. And don’t worry; if your little one needs more than what you have available at first – just keep up with frequent feedings because your amazing body will always rise to the occasion and give exactly the amount needed for your precious newborn!
Also Benefits Mama!
Breastfeeding has amazing benefits for mothers! Research indicates that in addition to providing much needed nutrition, breastfeeding can also protect from dangerous diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Plus it’s a great way to help you get back your pre-pregnancy body shape: using energy reserves during milk production, many mums find they lose weight while still giving their babies the best start nutritionally. So if you’re trying to figure out How to lose weight while breastfeeding, this could be an answer! Plus exclusive breastfeeding may even delay a mother’s return of her periods – an important note being that pregnancy is still possible despite menstruation not occurring right away following birth.
Now that we’ve got some of the wonders of breastfeeding out the way, let’s move on to which positions are best to breastfeed. There are countless options out there, but we’ve cut through the crowd and pulled out the four most common ones. Which are as follows….
The cradle hold is an incredibly popular way to breastfeed, but it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have had a C-section delivery, try the rugby or side lying positions instead. When attempting the cradle hold make sure your chair is comfortable. With the arms and cushions/pillows surrounding you – this will ensure maximum comfort while feeding! Lie your baby across your lap face towards you. Their head should rest on one of our forearms, nose pointing at your nipple. To help keep them lined up correctly check that their ear shoulder and hip are all in line. Give yourself extra support by resting your feet on a stool or small table rather than leaning forward which can cause backache over time
Get ready for a peaceful night spent snuggling your little one by settling into the side-lying position. Keep baby safe and comfortable throughout this bonding experience with proper alignment of their head, shoulder, ear and hip in line – no twisting here! Place some comfy cushions to provide back support during feeding time while also tucking an arm underneath your pillow or head (but not too close to his/her face!). Now enjoy all those cuddles you get when breastfeeding on your side – it doesn’t just offer convenience but quality moments as well.
Take a break and save your back with laid-back breastfeeding: lie semi-reclined in comfort on the sofa or bed. Use cushions to support yourself. Place baby tummy-to-tummy (or lay them gently beside you) so that you can gaze into their eyes while guiding them to latch. With this cozy setup it will result not just enjoyable nursing sessions but also an even deeper connection between parent and child!
Rugby hold / Clutch
The rugby hold makes Breastfeeding newborn easy and comfortable, especially for twins or babies who were born via cesarean section. To get ready to breastfeed: find a chair with extra cushioning. Bring your little one in close so their hips are right next to yours and guide them until the nose is even with the Breastfeeding nipple. Gently support their neck as you go so that they can latch onto your nipple easily and feed
Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding
When it comes down to choosing the appropriate Breastfeeding diet, there are many things to include and some to avoid. These are some of the things you should avoid.
Fish high in mercury
Fish is an incredibly valuable source of DHA and EPA, two types of omega-3 acids that are beneficial for the development of infants’ brains. However, caution should be taken when consuming certain fish as they may contain mercury which could cause harm if ingested in large quantities. Longterm exposure to high levels can lead to delays or impairments with cognition, fine motor skills, language production/understanding and visual spatial awareness in infancy – so it’s best to avoid such foods!
By making smart fish choices, breastfeeding moms can give their little ones a healthy boost of omega-3s without exposing them to mercury. Ideally 8–12 ounces (225–340 grams) per week from low mercury sources should do the job
Some mothers ask out of curiosity, “Can you drink while breastfeeding?” And the answer is quite simple…
Making sure your baby stays safe and healthy is a top priority. If you choose to enjoy an occasional alcoholic drink, it’s best to be mindful of the amount consumed. This as well as when. Research shows that breast milk will contain alcohol 30-60 minutes after consumption. This potentially lingers in your system up to three hours afterwards. To ensure the health of your little one, it’s recommend to wait at least two hours before nursing again.
Also, too much alcohol could be harmful for moms who are breastfeeding. Studies show that consuming high levels of alcohol can reduce breast milk output by up to 20%. It’s also been linked to a higher risk of sleep disturbances and delays in psychomotor skills development, as well as potential cognitive problems down the road.
So to solve the curious question, you can drink while breastfeeding. However it should be at a minimum and multiple hours before breastfeeding again.
If you’re a Breastfeeding mother, it’s important to keep an eye on your caffeine intake. If too much of this stimulant ends up in breast milk, it can cause issues for infants. Which leads to irritability and difficulty sleeping. It’s recommended mothers stay below 300 mg (about two or three cups) of coffee a day when breastfeeding their babies
Clean eating isn’t just a social media fad, it’s beneficial for breastfeeding too! Eating nutritious, well-rounded meals is key for your health and wellbeing. Rather than turning to unhealthy packaged snacks which may be high in added sugars, try opting for healthier options that are rich in fiber and vitamins. Even if it’s just something as simple as a homemade salad or smoothie! It can also have positive implications on the future. Some studies suggest that what mothers eat during breastfeeding might shape their child’s food preferences later down the line.
It appears that taste buds might be formed even before a child’s first bite! Studies of infant animals have linked the flavor in breast milk to later food preferences as they grow up. Even more concerning, those whose mothers had an unhealthy diet often displayed far stronger cravings for fatty and sugary snacks than their peers with healthier diets. While it remains unknown if similar patterns are true in humans, there’s mounting evidence suggesting parents should pay extra attention to what young ones eat. Eating right today may lead to healthy habits tomorrow!
Pungent And Strong Flavours
When it comes to breast milk, the flavors you eat can be passed on in the milk. Some mums find that their baby doesn’t respond well after nursing with strongly flavored foods like onion or garlic. While this isn’t an issue for every mother and their baby, if your little one is displaying signs of fussiness during feeding time then a chat with your dietitian or pediatrician can help determine which food changes should be implemented in order to ensure both yours and baby’s comfort.