Top 10 Breastfeeding Dos an...

Breastfeeding an infant is providing that child with a great gift because there is no baby formula on the market that can offer the same benefits as breast milk. Breast milk has all the nutrients a baby needs to grow and thrive, and this includes tons of antibodies that boost their immune system. In fact, breastfeeding even has advantages for the mother, including a lower risk of breast cancer and other serious illnesses. Nevertheless, there are still important breastfeeding tips to keep in mind before you get started, and below are ten of the most important ones.


1. DO Take Good Care of Yourself

When you’re breastfeeding, you should treat your body like you’re still pregnant. Eat healthy, exercise when you can, and try to get as much rest as possible. In addition, you should drink eight to ten glasses of water a day to replace the fluids you lose when breastfeeding. Finally, skip the alcohol because everything you consume, the baby will also consume.


2. DO Avoid Certain Foods

Since the baby consumes what you’re consuming, it’s best to avoid foods that are too spicy, gassy, or unhealthy in any way. Stick with veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats whenever possible, and remember to add roughly 500 calories per day to your diet so you are able to produce the milk the baby needs to thrive. Without doing this, you may feel weak or even sick after you nurse.


3. DO Remember to Take Care of Your Emotional Health

Giving birth can be stressful, and postpartum depression is not that uncommon. One of the most important first-time mom tips to remember is that your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Before you breastfeed, make sure you aren’t stressed or have any negative feelings you’re covering up because it can affect your milk supply.


4. DO Consult with Your Doctor If You’re Experiencing Pain

Sore nipples are common when breastfeeding, but you may also have pain related to a C-section or even a vaginal birth. If it goes on for too long, you should consult with your doctor so you can get some painkillers that are acceptable for breastfeeding moms. Never take any medication without checking with your doctor first. This includes both prescription medicine and over-the-counter products.


5. DO Learn How to Express Your Breast Milk

Expressing your breast milk regularly allows you to store it for those times when someone else wants to feed the baby but you still want the child to be fed breast milk. An electric breast pump is well worth the expense because you’ll likely be pumping daily for as long as you’re breastfeeding. There are good manual pumps, but pumping is much easier with an electric one.


6. DON’T Start Using a Bottle Too Soon

If you want to give others in the household the opportunity to feed the baby from a bottle, don’t give the baby a bottle right away. Babies find it easier to feed from a bottle and might reject the breast altogether. For the best results, breastfeed exclusively for at least three to four weeks before introducing the baby to the bottle. Then, give them a bottle once a day and increase from there.


7. DON’T Forget to Sterilize

Sterilizing bottles isn’t just for moms who bottle-feed exclusively. You should regularly sterilize your breast pump and breast shield until the doctor says it’s no longer necessary. You should also keep the breast and nipple area clean and wash your hands before you start to breastfeed, at least for the first six weeks or so. If you’re not sure how long to sterilize, ask your doctor.


8. DON’T Give Up Too Soon

If you’re a new mommy and feel like breastfeeding isn’t going well for you, there is usually an explanation, so don’t give up too soon. Keep breastfeeding and in the meantime, seek help from a lactation specialist, your doctor, or organizations such as La Leche League. Most of the time, you can turn things around quickly once you know what the problem is.


9. DON’T Take Any Medications Without Your Doctor’s Approval

While you’re recuperating from childbirth, it’s only natural to experience pain and soreness, but many over-the-counter medications you take will pass on to the baby’s system. Because of this, you should never take any type of painkiller without the approval from your doctor. In most cases, Tylenol is one of the few medications that will be safe for you to take.


10. DON’T Give Your Baby Any Type of Sugar to Soothe Them

Years ago, moms often gave newborns sugar water or even honey when they couldn’t calm them down, but this is never a good idea. Babies not only do not need any type of sweetened product, but it can be downright bad for them, especially raw honey, which they should never consume until they’re at least one year old. In fact, many doctors recommend waiting until they’re two years of age before they consume honey.


While breastfeeding is natural, it can be a bit challenging for a first-time mom. That being said, there are dos and don’ts when it comes to nursing, and once you learn what they are, breastfeeding can be a lot simpler. The most important tip to remember is to stay in contact with your doctor and always check with them beforehand if you wish to take medication, consume certain foods, or anything else that you are unsure of when it comes to nursing.

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