Breast Feeding - How to breast feed baby, Breast Feeding Picture
Feeding your baby well is critically important. Babies approximately triple their weight in the first year of life and two thirds of their total post-natal brain growth occurs in this first year also. Breast milk is the best milk for babies as it is specially formulated by nature to give them all the nourishment they need for the first 4-6 months of their life. There are many advantages of breast milk. It is free, more digestible for the baby than formula feeds, protects the baby against some infections like gastro-enteritis, reduces the risk of some allergic condition in later life, and helps promote bonding between mother and baby.
If you plan to breast feed your baby then the ideal time to start is soon after delivery - within the first hour. Many babies will be alert at this time and will have strong rooting and sucking reflexes. A rooting reflex is where the baby turns its head when its cheek is stroked as it tries to find a nipple to suck on. After the first hour or so after delivery, the baby may become sleepy as it will be exhausted, like you, after the efforts of delivery.
How to breat feed the baby
Make sure that you are sitting comfortably, remember you are likely to be feeding for half an hour or so. Sometimes a pillow or cushion on your knee is useful to help support the baby. When you are trying to feed, hold your baby with its chest turned towards yours with its head opposite your breast and its nose close to your nipple. This makes it easier for the baby to latch on to your breast. Allow the baby's mouth or cheek to brush against your nipple. This will stimulate the baby's mouth to open. When his or her mouth is open wide, gently bring the baby to your breast and allow the baby to take your nipple into its mouth. You can help by placing the nipple into your baby's mouth, but avoid pushing the baby on to the breast or pushing your nipple into his or her mouth. The baby needs to get a mouthful of your whole nipple. This should include a good part of the darker skin, called the areola, which is around your nipple and not just the tip of the nipple itself. If the baby just takes the tip of the nipple, this will make it difficult for the baby to feed and also cause problems for you with sore and cracked nipples. Once latched on the baby should suck on your nipple.
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