If there are no complications with the mother or the infant, breastfeeding can be started an hour after the baby is born. Breastfeeding is accomplished by placing the nipple and the areola, the brown area surrounding the nipple, into the baby’s mouth. Since newborns are generally sleepy and don’t cry if hungry, this should be done often. The mother must wake the baby every hour or every couple of hours to give it some milk.
It is proven that breast milk is the best for babies. This is because breast milk has the right concentration of water, proteins, fat and sugar required in the first few months’ of the infants’ development. Breast milk also has antibodies that protect the infant from harmful bacteria and viruses, and also defends the baby against disease and infection. One should not supplement breast milk with water or any other liquid during this time as it could interfere with the milk being introduced to the baby. This also lessens a number of vitamins that the baby has to take in.
The first breast milk the baby gets is a thick, yellowish milk called colostrum. As this is found in small amounts, the mother tends to wonder is the baby are getting enough nutrients. Rest is assured that is all the baby needs! As newborns are generally sleepy and seldom cry when it’s time to eat, it is up to the mother to wake up the baby every hour or couple of hours to feed it.
As the baby grows bigger, solid foods can be given along with breastfeeding. As the first few months of the baby’s development is very important, one has to consult the pediatrician often, regarding the health and weight of the baby. With breast compression, one can make the baby continue drinking, even if the baby falls asleep in the middle of feeding. With this, the baby is helped to drink more in each feeding. It is done by putting the thumb on one side of the breast, with the rest of the fingers on the other side, while pressing firmly. Maintain this as long as the baby drinks milk and should be stopped when the baby just nibbles. It can be repeated if the baby stops drinking.
Not all mothers enjoy breastfeeding. This is because some mothers feel uncomfortable or may get sore nipples from feeding. However, this does not mean that the mother cannot breastfeed the baby. Instead, such mothers can do this with help of a breast pump that costs according to the kind the person needs to buy and if pumping is to be done manually or electronically.