How to start breastfeeding

Submitted by Jenifer on September 2, 2013

Breastfeeding is known to be one of the best sources of nutrition for a new born infant. Breast milk gives the child a healthy start in life and breastfeeding plays an important role in creating a bond between the mother and child.


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It has been observed that babies who have been breastfed tend to be at a lower risk of food allergies and asthma and are less prone to developing ear infections. Additionally, breastfeeding also enhances the nervous system of the child and increases their overall IQ levels.

Tips to start breastfeeding:

Some of the tips to get an early start on breastfeeding for first time mothers are:

  • As far as possible, women should minimize their use of medications at the time of labor as well as delivery as these drugs tend to affect the child as well making him drowsy and less interested in nursing.

  • Women should also start breastfeeding as soon as possible after the birth of the child as the sucking reflex of the child is strongest at birth. Additionally nursing immediately will also result in the release of oxytocin which helps the uterus contract.
  • Women should also be able to help their baby to latch on properly while they are breastfeeding and should be able to judge whether the baby is nursing properly and is getting milk or just colostrum.
  • Another one of the tips to start breastfeeding is that as far as possible try to have your baby with you in the same room post delivery. This will allow you to get used to your baby's sleep and hunger patterns.
  • While breastfeeding, women should try to avoid the use of artificial nipples in the form of the bottle or pacifiers if possible. These should be used only when the baby is about 6 weeks old and breastfeeding has been well established.
  • Babies should not be provided with meal supplements such as sugar water, formula or water if they are breastfed adequately as otherwise they will not stimulate the supply of milk resulting in it decreasing.
  • An important sign that breastfeeding is not being done correctly is when the mother experiences a lot of pain while breastfeeding. In such cases, the position of the baby as well as whether he is latching on correctly should be checked.
  • Women who intend breastfeeding their baby should also ensure that they get enough rest and sleep.
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