Breastfeeding is an important step in mother-child bonding after birth.Nothing else can substitute the benefits of breastfeeding. It is easily digestible, improves the immune system and brain development of your newborn.
Unless you have decided aganist breastfeeding your baby, you can put in all efforts to ensure successful breastfeeding.
Hospital staff can really help you with advice on feeding your baby for the first time. As soon as your nurse advices you to start feeding, try feeding the baby.The first few days and weeks are very important in establishing a feeding pattern. It will take 3-4 days for milk to form and those initial days the baby will be needing only the colostrum( the first fluid that comes out of your breast after giving birth).
Feed often and also at night
Feeding every two hours or so in the initial weeks and taking care to empty both breasts will help stimulate the production of more milk. Night feeding is also very important to increase the supply of milk.
Is the baby latching on correctly?
Make sure that you put the areola (dark area around nipples) also into the baby’s mouth along with the nipples.Then only the baby can draw enough milk.
Drink plenty of fluids
Drink lots of water and fruit juices to keep you hydrated. Keep water within your reach while feeding and drink before and during feeding. This really helps.
A diet rich in fibre, protein, minerals and vitamins are essential to produce milk. Rememeber,if your diet is balanced, its benefits pass on to the baby through the breast milk
Food items that may help increase the supply of milk
Some foods like garlic, green gram, raw papaya, almonds, green leafy vegetables,fenugreek, fruits, soups, coconut etc. are found to improve the production of milk.
Avoid extremely spicy food
Try to avoid extremely spicy food in the initial weeks of feeding as this may upset the baby’s digestion. Also, it is better to avoid or limit the intake of tuber crops like potato, cassava etc as this may cause wind trouble for the baby.
Be relaxed and try to be positive
Your state of mind has a lot to do with stimulating the production of milk. Keep unnecessary stress away and try to be positive.Even though you are busy with the baby, find some time to spend with family and friends even if it is just a phone call.
Get enough rest and sleep
If your health is going down, it will affect breastfeeding adversely. Try to get some rest and sleep while the baby is sleeping.