Most women dream of breastfeeding their baby and when they get pregnant they are already preparing for this incredible process and moment. However in practice it is not always all a dream and the woman may have a lot of difficulty in getting to feed her baby and if she does not have a psychological preparation and emotional support she can easily give up.
So if you followed some procedures even before the baby was born preparing the breast and following breastfeeding tips after birth can be enough to overcome the difficulties. Obviously the tips should be put into practice along with the mother’s desire to breastfeed her baby and persistence.
How to Prepare for Breastfeeding
First we have to confess, it is not very easy to start breastfeeding and it takes a lot of persistence to achieve it. So it is inevitable to prepare the breasts to breastfeed and help to make this moment really incredible. For women who believe that when the baby is born, they will offer the breast and everything will be beautiful and incredible, start preparing yourself psychologically as well.
Until the breast gets used and the baby learns the correct grip, you may feel pain and discomfort and in some cases, even hurt the nipple. It is at this time that the strength of the lionesses comes in and the desire to breastfeed and feed her child speaks louder and remains firm in the purpose of overcoming this obstacle. Some give up already in that first step, when they feel pain they already introduce the bottle giving up breastfeeding.
The pain happens due to the lack of preparation in the breasts and also due to the baby’s wrong grip , which should grab practically the entire areola of the breast, not only the nipple as most think. The baby’s mouth must be wide open to make the correct grip, in addition to the position that should be comfortable for both.
Therefore, preparing in advance is always the best option! Knowing what to do on the spot, in addition to preparing your breasts for breastfeeding is the best way to avoid greater pain, wounds and discomfort that will make you give up this big dream.
What to do for prenatal care
The first and big step to prepare to breastfeed and succeed already begins in prenatal care , knowing what type of nipple and what can be done to prepare it. Many women with the excuse that they have a straight or inverted nipple simply do not breastfeed their babies without even trying, or at the first bite they say it is not possible.
This history can change if you start to prepare yourself since pregnancy and ask your gynecologist for guidance. You can check if your beak is inverted by gently squeezing the areola about 3 centimeters, if your beak is normal it will pop out, if inverted it will retract.
And the first tip for this issue is the use of plastic shells that have exactly this purpose, to project the nipple outwards. These shells should be used initially during pregnancy in order to prepare for after delivery and the nipple is already more formed and prepared for the baby to handle.
Bra and Sun Exposure
The second very precious tip is to use a bra suitable for this phase. During the gestational phase the breasts tend to grow more and become sensitive, so it is appropriate to use more comfortable, cotton bras , with greater support and avoid bulges and irons that can hurt.
One option is the breastfeeding bra that can start to be used in the beginning of the third trimester and even get used to it since it will be used for a long period. Third tip and essential to maintain the health of the breasts and even better, nothing is spent because it is nature itself that provides the rays of the sun.
During pregnancy, the pregnant woman should sunbathe on her nipples for 15 minutes , taking care of the time that should be before 10 am and after 4 pm. Sunbathing your nipples will strengthen them and help prevent cracks and cracks during breastfeeding. For those who cannot be exposed to the sun, there is a second option, a 40w lamp can be used and be 30 centimeters away from the nipple, the procedure should also be performed on average 15 minutes.
The fourth tip that is also highly recommended by doctors is breast massage , also very good for those with an inverted beak and it can be started from the 4th gestation period.
The breasts should be stimulated 1 to 2 times a day, with both hands ensuring one on each side of the breast, pressure should be applied until the nipple is reached, on average 5 times the same procedure and then repeat for another 5 times with hands now below and above. This procedure helps to make the beak more protruding and facilitate the baby’s grip.
Breast care is also recommended as not using soap and other products to wash the nipples during pregnancy as well as not using moisturizers in this area.
Do not rub the nipples in the bath with loofahs or dry them with towels and do not force the milk out with your hands before delivery. The nipple area should be carefully washed with water only during pregnancy and dried gently. By following the recommendations properly, your nipples will be strengthened for when you start breastfeeding.
A good vegetable sponge can help to make the breasts callused to prevent cracking. Just use it on the breast during the bath every day. Lanolin-based ointments are also a good choice. Talk to your doctor about which one is best. These ointments are perfect because they do not even need to be removed at the time of breastfeeding and help in healing the wounds of the first days.
The maternity hospital will certainly allocate a nurse or speech therapist to help in this first phase. The holding of the breast by the baby is essential for the arrival of milk or initially when breastfeeding colostrum. This colostrum is very rich in antibodies , a true natural vaccine that the mother’s body provides to the baby.
Although colostrum is not rich in fat, it is actually a very important “watering hole” for the baby because it helps prevent diseases even in the first days of life. This antibiotic-rich watering hole that comes first in the breast after delivery.
Colostrum goes down by stimulation of prolactin , the hormone responsible for breastfeeding in the woman’s body as soon as the woman gives birth and may even seem insufficient in the first two days after delivery because the baby keeps asking for the breast all the time seeming not to be satisfied, but insisting is fundamental to stimulate the milk to descend more quickly.
Suckling all colostrum is very important for the baby, never forget that. Avoiding formulas at this stage is the best secret. The advice given by the World Health Organization is exclusive breastfeeding on demand!
The position to breastfeed will be the main key for the mother to be able to feed her baby successfully, because in the correct position he will be able to grab the breast in a way that does not hurt her , causing injuries and wounds that often cause breastfeeding to cease.
In order to breastfeed properly, the baby must take the breast with the mouth wide open , without leaving spaces for air intake and must not make any noise except that of your little baby swallowing the milk. Otherwise, you will not be able to eat properly bringing irritation by hunger in addition to injuring the mother’s breast.
There are some forms considered to be the correct positions for breastfeeding that, in addition to being comfortable, help with the perfect grip, leaving the baby sated and the mother satisfied with being able to do it in a peaceful way.
The most used and perhaps most comfortable feeding position is the mother sitting and the baby lying on her lap horizontally (head slightly higher than the rest of the body), with the arms holding the baby.
A good choice for baby rooms are the breastfeeding chairs, which are used in this position. For older babies, this is a very comfortable position. The baby is placed with legs spread, sitting in front of the mother’s body and thus sucks quietly.
There are also positions for picking up and breastfeeding both initially and for those who have time on the road but still find themselves with difficulties. The best and most used position for the baby to feed correctly is the one in front of the breast with the tummy in the belly of the mother, the famous eye-to-eye position .
The closer together the better it is to breastfeed and in this particular position the baby can feel and hear the mother’s heartbeat, which was her favorite intrauterine sound.
An unusual but very effective position for breastfeeding is the inverted position, ideal for those who have very full breasts and clogged milk (engorged breast). The baby is held as if he were going to wash his head , a new position taught in maternity wards. At that time, the left arm holds the baby to feed the left breast and the right to the right breast.
The elevated position, that of the horse is ideal for babies who have reflux , can be used with babies of all ages. The baby is seated on the mother’s leg as if he were going to ride a horse, so he is elevated, preventing sleep and facilitating the descent of milk to the stomach.
Choose the best position to breastfeed always remembering that breastfeeding lying down is also an option, the myth surrounding otitis has been proven to be overthrown so enjoy it. Be very careful with this position so as not to leave the breast covering the baby’s nose, avoiding shortness of breath.
Another very comfortable breastfeeding position for both is lying on the bed . The mother lies on her side and the baby lying next to her sucking comfortably. But it is worth a warning for moms who end up falling asleep with their babies in bed: at a very young age it can be a dangerous position, and mommy turns around and ends up hurting the baby, therefore, extra care. Standing, the mother holding the baby by the back and legs , can breastfeed safely as well.
A great tip for all positions is the support for the arms, forcing the arm raising the baby can cause pains for the mothers so the more support the arms have and resting on top of a pillow or support for better breastfeeding the better. A good tip is the breastfeeding pillow and a place where mom can lean firmly, especially in the first days after giving birth. The handle of the beak is the most complex for those looking for recipes on how to breastfeed properly. The baby should take the right nipple so that he / she can enjoy the feeding more with the effort that he / she will make sucking and also stimulate more the milk flow.
To remove the nipple from the baby’s mouth there is also a technique so that the mother does not get hurt. Just place your little finger in the baby’s mouth and gently pull. Never pull the breast without this help, you can hurt and even split the breast and believe me, it hurts a lot. To help adapt breastfeeding, people seeking lessons on how to breastfeed should prepare even before birth.
If you have found another position to breastfeed your baby that is working well, that he is feeding properly and is not hurting you, why not continue? Breastfeeding is not just food, it is a time for exchanging affection , love and especially a unique moment for mother and child. Therefore, it should be carried out in the way that they feel most comfortable possible.
What to do when you can’t find the ideal position?
Not finding the right positions for breastfeeding, in addition to mom’s emotional wear and tear, she may suffer from back pain, her breasts are bruised and very full from not being emptied in breastfeeding as she should and the baby does not gain weight and cry wanting the breast as long as possible all because it is not well fed. Try to place your back always supported and also your arms. To help, use pillows and breastfeeding pillows. Remember, take the baby to the breast and never lean over it.
If you have doubts and are suffering from that moment, seek help from a breastfeeding specialist . Nowadays there are these professionals who help mothers with doubts and who are unable to breastfeed as they should and dreamed. Milk banks have this free service even by phone. To find a nearest milk bank, your phone and to trace a route, visit LOBALE . Assess the possibility of becoming a donor, premature newborns thank you.
How to Feed While Breastfeeding
During the breastfeeding phase it is normal for you to hear the complaint that hunger is much greater. This is because every body and body is working 24 hours a day to maintain the production of breast milk at full throttle, so due to the huge expenditure of energy, increased appetite is inevitable . Breastfeeding women feel more hungry! But eating is essential to ensure a milk full of nutrients , vitamins and minerals that are very important for baby’s nutrition.
But in addition to vitamins, breast milk can also carry substances that cause gas in the baby. Certain foods such as high consumption of beans, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as the consumption of soft drinks can even cause colic. Therefore, knowing how to choose the right foods for this stage is a guarantee of the absence of pain in the baby. A correct and balanced feeding in breastfeeding still brings several benefits such as:
- Facilitate baby’s digestion of milk
- Supply of vitamins and nutrients needed by the body
- Helps you lose weight when healthy foods are eaten every three hours
- Avoid the chances of anemia in the mother
What You Should and Shouldn’t Eat
- You should remove caffeine-containing foods like chocolate or soda and alcohol from the menu to prevent colic in babies. Try replacing coffee with tea or drastically reducing your consumption.
- Teas not recommended are gorse, ginseng and angelica.
- Fatty foods, fried foods, sausages and processed foods that do not provide any nutritional value should be avoided.
- The only fats recommended and considered healthy are vegetables such as olive oil, nuts or avocado.
- Prefer sauteed, grilled or raw vegetables.
- Fruits with peel that can be eaten are also great sources of vitamins like apple, pear, guava, persimmon or tomato.
- Grilled chickens and fish are good sources of protein.
Nothing prevents red meat intake, but this can be reduced to 2x a week in smaller portions and give preference to lean meats.
Cow’s milk should be avoided as it provides a possible allergy or intolerance to cow’s milk protein if inserted early. The breastfeeding mom should look for a new source of calcium with milk derivatives and even soy-based juices that are enriched with this vitamin. Light foods like cereal bars can be a good alternative, as well as fruits because they facilitate intestinal transit and are great sources of energy.
Legend has it that beans, cabbage and eggs cause gas in the baby as well as the appearance of colic. It is worth consulting a pediatrician and verifying the veracity of this information, but observing what can make the baby irritated can avoid future annoyances. Natural juices and coconut water are great substitutes for carbonated soft drinks and carbonated beverages, which in addition to expanding the stomach and containing a lot of sugar can also cause colic in children. In addition to hydrating coconut water and natural juices, they help produce more milk. Paying attention to fluid intake is also essential for good milk production, not only the diet must be controlled. Drink 2 liters or more of waterand natural juices a day make it easier. Some doctors assess the need for supplementation in addition to feeding while breastfeeding, there are women who lose a lot of weight and need extra help.
How to Overcome Difficulties
For moms who believe that having a straight or inverted nipple will not be able to breastfeed, know that you are wrong. Nowadays the preparation for breastfeeding can start even before the baby is born and for those who have a nipple like that, there are some ways to help such as the silicone shells that can be used during the gestational period inside the bra, talk to your doctor about the subject and he will recommend the appropriate follow-up. The silicone shell has a ring that will put light pressure on the nipple, projecting the nipple tip outward.
If you do not want to use the shell, an exercise can be performed manually . With your fingertips, pulling lightly to form the beak. This procedure should be performed around 5 times a day, obtaining a satisfactory result for the mother and baby. Another very precious tip is exposure to the sun, which will make the nipples more resistant and prevent painful cracks from appearing while breastfeeding. After these tips, the long-awaited time will come, breastfeeding. Believe it is delicious to breastfeed, but in the first days of adaptation even for the most experienced mothers, we need to be persistent and hold on, because the nipple is very sensitive, apart from the pain in the breast when it is very full of milk. The best breastfeeding tips to overcome difficulties and to breastfeed your baby fully and satisfactorily are:
- Rest with each baby’s nap, especially in the first few weeks. You need to be well and willing to be available at each feeding, even at night.
- Drink plenty of water and liquid foods such as soup, juices, teas and jellies.
- Consume more nutritious foods, especially fruits and vegetables.
- Find the most comfortable position to breastfeed.
Unfortunately we women do not have a breast gauge that allows us to know how much the baby suckles and how much milk is in the breasts. For this reason, it is always advisable to offer the fullest breast , alternating so that the two are empty and produce the same milk. Allow the baby to breastfeed until he is satisfied. You will know that you are breastfeeding correctly when you see that your baby is gaining weight and growing as expected. But always remember, milk production will depend on a set of factors that only mom can do, excessive sleep, poor diet and nervousness totally affect breast milk production.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.