Choosing to breastfeed the baby after birth is a huge choice for some moms. The art of breastfeeding offers a bond between mother and child, like no other bond on earth. This is not to mention the fact that colostrum is the best choice for baby's first meals of life. Breast milk is perfect in every way and moms who breastfeed will never have to worry about dirty bottles, formula or feeding on the go.
For the new mom, breastfeeding may not feel so natural, however. Beginning that bonding relationship between mom and baby will take some preparation and some knowledge about the keys to success with breastfeeding.
La Leche Classes
There are a number of classes available for the pregnant mom in regards to breastfeeding and breastfeeding basics. These classes are often taught by women who have chosen to breastfeed their own children and have real-life answers to the questions a pregnant woman may have.
If you do not feel comfortable speaking about breastfeeding with a group of strangers, the nurses at your obstetrician's office may be able to answer some of the questions regarding breastfeeding. The key is to learn about the basics and understand some of the most common problems moms encounter with breastfeeding.
The necessities of breastfeeding
While education is the number one preparative step when choosing to breastfeed, other elements of life will need to change a bit when breastfeeding is the source of nutrition for your baby. Mom will want to make sure the baby’s room offers a comfortable chair for breastfeeding in the middle of the night. Other important supplies include breast pads, breastfeeding bras, cleansing clothes for keeping nipples clean, and patience.
The first encounter between mom and baby
Many mothers believe babies are born ready to suckle on the breast. While this is the case with some babies, not every baby understands immediately how to latch on to the breast. The latch between the baby and the nipple will be the top priority. When the baby is latched onto the breast properly, mom will feel no pain and the baby will be able to receive a steady stream of breast milk. The latch sometimes takes a lot of patience on the part of mom.
For the first 6 weeks after birth, moms will have the freedom to establish a feeding schedule with their baby. After that initial period, mom may begin back to work or allow the baby to stay with family while she runs a few errands. If mom has been feeding baby at the same time every day, the breasts will recognize when that time comes and begin to let down milk. This can also occur when mom hears a crying baby, so moms will need to prepare when leaving the house by placing absorption pads in the bra to catch the letdown.
Breastfeeding is a natural process that requires more patience than some new and not so new mothers know. The link between mom and baby is there, you may just have to work on it a bit.