Breastfeeding Basics
that will Make a Difference

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for your newborn baby, and you should seriously consider utilizing this wonderfully perfect food source for your little one!

This is not an easy or simple matter (maybe later on but definetely not at first) so bear with me and carefully go through all the below Action Plan material. It will make life so much easier and boost your confidence if you can manage successfully nursing your baby.

The Basics:

- Breastfeeding depends strongly on a successful latching technique, so make sure you find out exactly how beforehand. Then, when feeding your baby for the first time and during your stay in hospital, ask a nursing assistant to also check that your baby is latching on correctly. Keep asking for help and advice until you get it right.

- There are several breastfeeding positions, which you need to familiarize yourself with. Experiment to see what works for you and your baby and also ask the nursing assistant to help with this because your feeding position has a big influence on your baby's ability to latch on properly.

- A baby that is latching on correctly will not damage your nipple, so if you notice broken or cracked skin get some help with your technique immediately and take special care of the damaged skin to help it heal as quickly as possible.

- It is really important that you as a mother take in adequate nutrition to help your body produce good quality breast milk. This will take some planning before your baby's arrival (prepare a few frozen meals) and you will probably need someone to help with cooking during those first hectic days.

- Your body can't produce breast milk without adequate hydration so you will need to drink sufficient fluids, which is probably more than your usual fluid intake (you may notice that you get really thirsty while/after feeding your baby, so do yourself a favour and have a healthy drink ready).

- Breast milk comes in 3 forms: colostrum (only the first few days) and after that mature milk which consists of foremilk and hindmilk. Each has a specific purpose and your body supplies exactly what your baby needs at that specific stage.

- Some women give baby only one breast per feed, others give both sides during one feed, first letting baby empty the one breast and then offering the foremilk of the other breast. This will depend on your milk supply and your baby's consumption. You should do what works best for you. The important thing is that you empty each breast out regularly to prevent painful breast engorgement and the subsequent problems associated with it.

Clueless Mom's Tips:

- Have a good quality meal replacement handy to take when necessary. You will be awake more hours of the day than normal and you will need the extra quality kilojoules to maintain your energy levels and milk supply.

- Using a breast pump to relieve breast engorgement will temporarily relieve discomfort but will stimulate even more milk production, worsening the problem. Rather massage engorged breasts with some arnica oil in a warm shower to relieve some of the pressure until your milk supply has settled to match your baby's needs.

- Help your breasts stay healthy by exposing them to sunlight for about ten minutes twice daily. Yes, I am commanding you to tan topless. Somewhere in a sheltered but sunny spot inside your home is fine, it doesn't have to be outside at the public swimming pool :).

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