Pregnancy Center in Columbia offers Advice on Breastfeeding
It doesn’t matter if you are on your first baby or your fifth, breastfeeding is a new experience with each little life. If you are pregnant and planning in nursing your baby, or if you are currently having problems, keep reading as PCMT’s pregnancy center in Columbia offers tips on how to get the job done and potential issues with the process.
According to the pregnancy center in Columbia, breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t always come naturally. It’s a learned activity on your part.
One of the first things you must learn is how to hold your baby properly. There are three different ways to position a feeding infant. The first is known as the cradle hold. To do this, place the baby’s head in the fold of your elbow, supported by your opposite hand. His or her bottom should be supported as well. A second, called the football hold, uses one arm. The baby’s head is positioned in your hand with his body against your side and his face toward your breast. The lying down hold has you put the baby on the bed as you lay next to him on your side.
Latching is something your baby will do on his own, but he may need your help. The advocates at the pregnancy center in Columbia explain that the mouth should cover the majority of the areola (the round, flat, and pink portion of the breast) so that the nipple (the extended portion of the areola that contains that milk ducts) can be taken into the mouth as far as possible. When positioning your baby to breastfeed, aim his nose toward your nipple. This ensures that he is in control and has a better opportunity to latch correctly.
It is important to avoid introducing a bottle to your newborn until he is proficient at breastfeeding. Even if you plan to supplement with bottle feeding, wait until he has mastered the breast. During the first three to four weeks of your baby’s life, he will be hungry constantly. He may need to feed up to 12 times each day and will exhibit signs of hunger including nursing a phantom breast, restlessness, and crying.
Perhaps most importantly, the advocates at the pregnancy center in Columbia stress that you have to maintain your own health throughout the breastfeeding experience. If you find that your baby is not gaining weight or refuses to let go after a few minutes, he may not be getting enough milk. Stay hydrated and strive for between 2,000 and 2,500 calories each day. This should come primarily from fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Keep in mind that everything you put into your ability to produce healthy and wholesome milk for your growing baby.
It is important to note, states Pregnancy Centers of Middle TN, that failure to intake enough milk may also be a sign that your baby is tongue-tied. Talk to your pediatrician after a few days if he continues to struggle, particularly if you notice that his tongue does not move beyond his lips.
Above all, remember that, while breast milk is best, your ultimate priority is to ensure that your infant is nourished. There is no shame in giving your baby formula, and you should know that he will not suffer because of it.