Breastfeeding Your Baby- How to Get Started

5 min read

Written by Sindhuja Prabhu

Sindhuja Prabhu

Breastfeeding Your Baby

Congratulations, new Momma / Momma to be. If you want to know how to start your breastfeeding journey, you have come to the right place! Here is everything you need to know – we will tell you about breastfeeding your baby to make this a beautiful journey, for both you and the newborn.

Breastfeeding your baby is one of the most natural and magical journeys that can be experienced by a mother. Breastfeeding is not so easy for many mothers. Sadly, this is not addressed enough. Many mothers in different forums discuss the problems and difficulties they face while on this “most natural” journey. Read on to know more about it.

In This Article

Breastfeeding Your Baby

When a woman is pregnant, the body prepares itself to breastfeed the baby after birth. Breast milk is filled with nutrition and antibodies that can protect a baby from many infections for the rest of their lives. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother (helps shrink back the uterus) and the baby (provides nutrition).

When Should You Start Breastfeeding Your Baby?

You can and should start breastfeeding your baby right from the time they are born. The first milk the breasts produce is called the colostrum and is extremely nutritious. Ensuring the baby receives this as their first food can be very beneficial for them.

How to Prepare for Breastfeeding Your Baby?

mom using breast pump to pump breastmilk

Though breastfeeding is one of the most natural things around us, a mother who plans on breastfeeding a baby should be prepared:

  • Eat the right foods to help increase your lactation – you can consult a nutritionist
  • Be mentally prepared for a journey that can be tough yet very satisfying
  • Invest in a breast pump if needed

Breastfeeding a Newborn

Breastfeeding a newborn should be easy right? Wrong! Here are some tips to help you start on the right path:

  • Ensure the baby is comfortable (clothing and the temperature of the room need to be comfortable)
  • Ensure  a good latch
  • Try different positions to figure out which is the best for you both
  • Dim the lights in the room
  • A calm and quiet room is better than a noisy one
  • Focus on the baby to ensure you don’t smother them with your breast, and they don’t choke or fall asleep

Comfortable Positions for Breastfeeding Your Baby

mom breastfeeding after C-Section

While breastfeeding your baby might be one of the most satisfying experiences, it can get uncomfortable and quite painful too, if you are going to nurse in the same position time after time.

Here are the best 8 positions to try out to breastfeed your baby:

  1. Cross – Cradle
  2. Football hold
  3. Reclined
  4. Side-lying
  5. Koala hold
  6. Dangle feeding
  7. Lying down
  8. Cradle hold

Breastfeeding Duration

This depends on the flow of the milk and how frequently the baby-nurses. Generally, mothers are recommended to feed the baby 10-20 minutes on each side, every session. If your flow is good and the baby latches well, you can nurse for 10 minutes on each breast.

Is My Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?

If your baby feels drowsy soon after a feeding session (initial months) or continues to play and follow their routine (6 months +), they are getting enough. It’s important that the infant gets enough milk while breastfeeding your baby.

If you feel your baby is not latching properly or is not nursing as long as before; and the time gap between feeding sessions is decreasing, then it’s an indication that your baby is not getting enough.

Frequency Of Breastfeeding

The number of times you breastfeed your baby in a day is completely up to you and your baby. It changes as the baby grows.

  • New Born: Every 1 – 3 hours as they are just learning to latch and may not drink much
  • 1-3 Months: Every 2 – 4 hours
  • 3-6 Months: Feed on demand or 2-3 hours – The milk will be thicker during this period
  • After 6 Months: Other foods are introduced. Feed the baby after every meal and this can be slowly reduced as the baby grows or eats more solids.
  • Cluster Feeding: This can happen at any stage. Babies tend to nurse every hour. This can be tiring and frustrating for the mother.

Breastfeeding After a C-Section

Cesarean delivery can complicate breastfeeding a little. It might derail you initially but with patience and effort, you can get right back on track in no time. Keep these points in mind:

  • Not all hospitals allow the mother to feed the baby soon after a C-section. However, this is very important and you can ask your doctor and insist on feeding your baby immediately.
  • You cannot sit up and feed for at least 2 days after cesarean delivery. You will have to nurse your baby in a “lying down” position.
  • Due to medication and lack of food (one cannot eat for a few hours before surgery), the milk flow will take time. Be patient and consistent in your efforts and your supply will increase gradually.

Breastfeeding Requirements

reastfeeding Requirements

So, what are things one needs to buy to make this breastfeeding journey comfortable for both mother and baby? Here is your list:

  1. Feeding Pillow
  2. Feeding apron
  3. Washcloth
  4. Burp cloth
  5. Chair
  6. Pillows For Mother

Problems Faced While Breastfeeding

If you are facing issues with breastfeeding your baby, you are not alone mama! We have got you. The 10 most commonly faced problems are:

  1. Latching Issues
  2. Breast Milk Supply
  3. Cracked/ Sore Nipples
  4. Tongue Ties
  5. Nursing Strike
  6. Feeding Positions
  7. Breast Engorgement
  8. Blocked Ducts
  9. Mastitis
  10. Breast Abscess

New mothers can face a number of issues related to breastfeeding and it can be very difficult or even impossible for a few mothers. One has to remember it is OK! Though breastfeeding is the best, if it’s not working for you, it’s not your fault! Seek help and enjoy motherhood.

Sindhuja Prabhu,M.Sc (Psychology),PGDBM

Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.

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