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    Breastfeeding & Lactation

    A Complete Guide on Breastfeeding for New Moms   

    Updated on 10 November 2022

    Expert Verified

    Dr. Surabhi Agarwal

    Normal delivery, Women health-related Issues, Childbirth issues - MBBS| MS (Gynae, Obs)

    Breastfeeding your newborn baby is an extremely essential habit that you’ll be developing after becoming a mother. No doubt it is a learning process for both baby and the mother. It builds a special bond between the mother and the baby and also protects the baby from various ailments. Breastmilk is the healthiest food for a newborn baby.

    Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies & Moms

    Breastfeeding is strongly recommended by doctors because:

    • Breast milk has all the essential nutrients that are needed for the growth of the baby.

    • It’s a complete meal for the newborn baby because it contains all the vital minerals and vitamins. It has dozens of immunity-boosting substances that are lacking in formula milk.

    • It is a boon for the newborn baby because it directly impacts the neurological development of the baby.

    • It protects the baby from various ailments like enteritis (gastric disease) and pneumonia (respiratory disease).

    • It helps in burning those extra calories and protects the mother from cervical cancer and breast cancer.

    • It reduces the risk of postpartum depression.

    Tips to Make Breastfeeding Easier

    You need to release all the milk from your breasts after you have delivered a healthy baby. Within the first few hours of your post-delivery, thick and yellow milk called colostrum should be discharged. It helps in developing your baby’s immune system and is an important source of antibodies. Before starting the feed make sure you and your baby are sitting in a comfortable position. You should make eye contact with your baby and some of the common breastfeeding positions are- the cradle hold, laid-back breastfeeding, and the side-lying technique. The process of breastfeeding can be easy for you if you learn the correct technique once from the lactation consultant/nurse.

    You must comfortably hold your baby and he/she should be facing your breasts. Bring your nipple close to the baby’s upper lip and the baby will open his/her mouth. Make sure the baby’s mouth is covering the areola (the darker area surrounding the nipple). Make sure the process is not painful and if it hurts when your baby latches then you can slide your finger between the mouth and your breasts by detaching the baby. You can correct your position and can comfortably begin again.

    Tips to Keep in Mind While Breastfeeding

    To improve your chances of success during the process here are some easy tips:

    • You must begin breastfeeding after a few hours of your delivery.

    • You must take help from the nurse or lactation consultant at the hospital.

    • You’ll come to know about the production of the milk in your breasts and you need to discharge it otherwise milk ducts will make your breasts harder and that’s very painful.

    • If the baby doesn't latch well, you can opt to use a manual breast pump to release all the milk produced which will help you from the pain and also can be stored under the right temperature for the baby to feed on later.

    • Make sure you have several well-fitted nursing bras and don’t forget to pack some in your hospital bag. Also, look out for dresses with a zipper closure or a snap-open/close option for easy breastfeeding.

    • You must breastfeed your baby around 8-12 times in 24 hours period or your baby will start crying when he/she feels hungry. It completely depends on the production of the milk in your breasts as the process is natural.

    • Make sure you are paying attention to your diet because during breastfeeding you need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

    • Sitting and breastfeeding your little one in a calm environment is quite beneficial.

    • Overfeeding your baby can be harmful so be careful.

    • Keep your body clean and don’t apply anything on your breasts or nipples because that’ll be sucked by your baby.

    • If you notice any plugged ducts or mastitis (Breast infection) then you must immediately seek medical help.

    Closing Thoughts

    Breastfeeding is a gift of a healthy life that you can promise to your little one. The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous for both you and your baby. It may be challenging initially but with time, you will get the hang of it. And remember, there's always help available.

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    Verified Article by

    Dr. Surabhi Agarwal

    Normal delivery, Women health-related Issues, Childbirth issues - MBBS| MS (Gynae, Obs)

    Written by



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