As a nurse and a new mother as well I would like to share some of the tips and skills I’ve learned from my experience and also from my occupation. I gave birth last July to a beautiful baby girl but my kid is a premature so I experienced having doubts to things that I know bout breastfeeding or childcare. I went through to a lot of discourse of whether I should breastfeed or use formula milk but due to the support of my husband and my parents I’ve decided to go on purely breastfeeding my daughter and the result…. a very healthy baby girl and not to mention she reached the appropriate weight and length according to her age.
As my mom always say feed yourself first before you feed your baby which literally means that you yourself should be hydrated and full or had a snack so as to help milk production and what you eat is what your baby eats also. I personally drink a glass of warm milk before I start feeding to boost my energy and helps me from getting hungry while feeding. Now let me first start off with the hygiene… It is very important to practice hygiene to prevent having thrash and other infections that would be harmful for both you and your baby. Before starting always remember to wash your hands properly since you need to cup your breast to promote proper latching. Wipe your breast with a clean cloth to wipe off sweat and use a wet cotton to clean your nipples. Before placing your baby to your best you would like to squeeze of a few drops of milk by manually squeezing your areola which is about 1 inch from your nipple. I learned this from the practice of my mom and grandmother that this would help prevent baby from pooping whenever they fart and I do this every time and it really works my baby doesn’t pass out poop whenever she farts so you’d better try it if you want to save on the cost and on the effort of changing diapers even though it’s not yet full.
Secondly, find the perfect and most comforting position and spot for you. Your comfort is also your baby’s comfort and in every way would promote an easy breastfeeding experience for you and your baby. Having pillows for support will be very useful for your comfort and to help prevent back pains and shoulder aches. I personally have a chair in front of a window where I frequently feed my baby because of the view I get and it’s well ventilated and the airflow is soothing. Better have a few cracker or snack within reach so that if your baby feeds for half an hour or so you don’t have to be interrupted just to get something to eat or drink.
Now that your clean and comfy it’s time to start feeding. Cradle your baby in you arm always remember to support your baby’s back to prevent injury then with your free hand cup your breast so as to position your nipples in front of your baby’s face. If your nipples are inverted or flat you might want to manually stimulate your nipples to help it protrude so that your baby can latch on it correctly. Move your baby to your breast and not your breast to the baby. Make sure the baby’s mouth is open and with the lips out to promote proper sucking motion. When you hear clicking sounds whenever the baby suck stop the feeding by placing a finger on your baby’s chin and gently pull down to open the baby’s mouth, never pull your nipple out of your baby’s closed mouth or while they are sucking to keep your nipples from injury, then start latching again. For first time moms you may not get it right at first try but as they say practice makes perfect. Feeding may last for 15 minutes to about half an hour or longer depending on your baby’s appetite and if they frequently sleep through the feeding.
While feeding if your baby is awake you might want to do some activities like singing a song, reciting poems, talking with your baby or even just caressing your baby will do wonders to your bonding and that would boost their development or to prevent yourself from getting bored or tired.
After every feeding it would be best to wipe your nipple area with a clean moist cotton and then air dry. You can also use nipple moisturizers or creams to prevent irritation or injury caused by dry skin in the nipple and nipple areas. If you ever use creams or moisturizers always clean your breast and nipples first every time you feed.