People assume that breastfeeding is a simple task. What they are not aware of is that breastfeeding is tiring and the primary source of fatigueness amongst new mothers. From the outside, it might just seem to be a simple task which involves a mother feeding her newborn but in reality, it is a tiring task and when it comes to breastfeeding a baby multiple times during the day, the mother has lost most of her energy at the end of the day.
It is not something that is done by choice, rather an obligation. A newborn will most likely not eat or drink anything other than what is provided by the mother. This is undoubtedly a tiring process. However, with patience, efforts, and a lot of support, you will get through it. This is also a perfect way for you to develop a bond with your child from the very beginning. Therefore, before instead of getting nervous about it, consider some things we are about to tell you so that you can breeze through the breastfeeding period.
Begin breastfeeding early
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding is not something that you should run away from. It is not as scary as some people put it. If you have just given birth, it is suggested that you start with breastfeeding as soon as you can but with a consultant at hand. Your newborn instinctively knows how to suck. In the beginning, the nipple may slip out of the baby’s mouth or might not be able to position it in his/her mouth correctly. But there is no need to worry.
It might also be that the baby does not have much energy because most babies are low on energy during the initial days of birth and that is normal. Therefore, if you are finding it difficult to feed the baby, seek help, or ask a consultant to help you out. And, don’t worry about your newborn starving, he/she can survive for hours without milk.
Nursing Your Baby
When it comes to nursing your baby, there are several ways that you can try. It depends on how comfortable both you and the baby are. For instance, you can use ‘The Cradle Hold’ technique, which requires laying the baby across your abdomen lengthwise and using one hand to support the bottom while the other to support the head.
Next, is ‘The Football Hold’ in which you will be laying the baby beside, lengthwise with the face-up. Now use your arm to rest the baby on it and face his head towards your breast. This position is useful if you have had a c-section. The purpose of mentioning these techniques is to provide a head start to new mothers, especially fathers. Since parents tend to be nervous, such holds can make both the child and parents feel comfortable and secure.
Breastfeeding is a tiresome process and as a new mother, you should always pack a healthy diet. A healthy diet will not only give you energy but provide a nutritional food source to the baby as well. Therefore, it is suggested that you intake meals that are full of minerals and important nutrients. Include proteins in your diet as it is an important source of natural energy. Furthermore, add some fibers as well. Fiber-rich foods such as pasta and brown rice will help you gain energy in no time.
Getting enough sleep is important for a new mother. It could be understood that a newborn will tear up your sleep cycle but you should not be allowing it. Lack of sleep will result in constant fatigue and body aches. Since you are a new mother, you need every bit of rest. Therefore, whenever you have the chance, take naps and ask someone else to watch your newborn while you rest yourself for a while.
Drink plenty of water
It needs to be told that water is a major component of breast milk. Doctors always suggest new mothers to drink plenty of water. If you were to get dehydrated, your energy levels will be dropping rapidly. Therefore, for all reasons, you should be drinking plenty of water. If not that, get someone to fetch some juice, soups, or milk. Your body is in a state of recovery after giving birth. And giving birth requires a lot of energy. This is why it is always suggested that you prep your body up with essential fluid requirements.
After giving birth, you might experience a crampy belly. Do not worry about it, it is perfectly normal. However, it can be painful. Some women have described it as ‘bad menstrual cramps’ that only get worse. But the purpose is not to scare you, rather to mentally prepare. The good news is that it will be over in a few days. In some women, it might last a day or two longer.
The reason that follows is that a hormone called oxytocin causes the shrinking of the uterus back to the normal position. As a result, the uterine bleeding stops as well. Although, it is a painful process but it is a sign that your body is healing the proper way.
Milk will look different
Sometimes you will observe that the milk is not the same each day and that too is normal. This is because the composition of the milk changes following the nutritional needs of the baby. Initially, when you begin breastfeeding, the milk will be a yellowish-white sticky substance. However, after a few breastfeeding sessions, the milk will become watery, thin, and appear pale blue. It now contains more fat and will be creamier and slightly thicker.
Accept breast leaking
Breastfeeding is something that you need to accept right from the beginning because there is nothing stopping it. The same hormone oxytocin has a role to play here as well as it triggers your body whenever you think of anything related to your baby. Even if you say his/her name or hear a baby cry the hormone will kick in. Although this hormone helps you bond with the baby it causes breast leaking as well. In such cases, you can wear nursing pads to help absorb the leakage.
Breastfeeding might hurt
Breastfeeding might hurt in the beginning because your nipples are not used to the degree of simulation. If you are in unbelievable pain, then there might be a problem with the latch. In such cases, talk to your doctor who could check for blocked ducts and recommend lactation. Some moms may land themselves in trouble due to not using breast pumps properly. This is because they set the pump at a high setting to save time. Start with the lowest setting and gradually increase it to where you feel comfortable.
Mothers have been breastfeeding their babies for a long time. While it may be easy for some, for others it could be difficult. Plus, while breastfeeding do not think of yourself as the only one breastfeeding and being tired, there are millions of new moms out there going through the same experience. There might be some pain involved but you do not need to be concerned about that. It should all be over in a few days and you will return as a normal healthy mother.