LivingNine Golden Rules for Happy Breastfeeding, From a Lactation...

Nine Golden Rules for Happy Breastfeeding, From a Lactation Consultant

A few days ago a friend had her second child. With the first one, like many other moms unfortunately, she had a lot of difficulties with breastfeeding: cracks, mastitis, need to supplement intermittently … and in the end a bittersweet taste. Despite everything, I was determined to breastfeed this second child as well, but I wanted to know how to act from the beginning: “Miryam, what golden rules do you tell me so that this time breastfeeding is good for me?” .

First of all, I said, what happened the first time doesn’t have to happen again, and in fact second feedings tend to go better. But also, there are things that we cannot control ourselves and they do not go as planned. Having clarified this, I will tell you my golden rules for a happy breastfeeding.

1. You are capable, you can, empower yourself

The ability to produce milk and breastfeed is a characteristic of the human being. Women have fed their children like this throughout history, why shouldn’t you be able to? Cases of true hypogalactia (inability to produce enough milk to exclusively feed the baby) are extremely rare.

Typically, a mother has no problem producing enough milk to feed her child (or her children). And all milk (with rare exceptions) provide the necessary nutrients (let’s banish that fear that “my milk does not feed”).

2. Be guided by your instincts

I remember a mother who told me at the first baby check-up that she was determined to give her a bottle, but that already in the last days before delivery she began to leak colostrum, and after delivery the baby hooked herself (that’s what I know). known as hooking or spontaneous bonding, you can see a video at this link).

This seemed so wonderful to her that she decided to continue breastfeeding. I also see many mothers worried because the baby does not last three hours between feedings, or because they are told that they use them as a pacifier; and I ask them: “Are you okay like this? Is it what you want to do?” Well go ahead.

3. Get informed

It is important to have clear ideas before delivery . Decide if we want to breastfeed and know its benefits. In the childbirth preparation courses there is usually a breastfeeding talk, we can also consult the doubts with our midwife and / or gynecologist.

There are several interesting books on the market on breastfeeding. In addition, in 2017 the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality published the Guide for breastfeeding mothers, which I recommend reading.

4. Rodeate well

There are times when breastfeeding goes smoothly, but in many others there are ups and downs, so it is good to have a favorable environment and have the necessary support . There are already many IHAN hospitals and health centers (Initiative for the Humanization of Care at Birth and Lactation).

It may also be helpful to have a lactation consultant (IBCLC; trained nurse, midwife or pediatrician) who can help and advise us. And breastfeeding support groups and workshops are very beneficial. Turn a deaf ear to the advice or criticism of people who are not trained in these topics, and consult all your doubts with your reference professional.

5. Involve the partner

The only one who can breastfeed is the mother, but that does not mean that the father (or the partner) is not important in breastfeeding. The unconditional support of the couple is essential throughout this stage, but especially in the first days after delivery, to give confidence and reassure the mother.

It is advisable to attend the childbirth preparation courses together or if you go to breastfeeding consultations. In addition, the father can manage the visits and take care of the housework or care for the other children to promote the mother’s rest and her recovery after childbirth . Some parents tell me in consultation that they feel they are missing something for not feeding their children; Except for breastfeeding them, they can carry out all the other tasks to promote the father / child bond: skin-to-skin contact, bathing, applying cream and massage, walking, carrying them …

6. Whenever possible, skin-to-skin after delivery

Unless medical conditions allow it, the ideal is skin-to-skin contact with the newborn after delivery. It helps them regulate their temperature, reduces their caloric expenditure and improves their oxygenation; Ultimately, it helps them adjust to life outside of their mother’s gut.

In addition, it favors the mother / child emotional bond and the release of oxytocin, which in turn favors the contractility of the uterus and the ejection of colostrum. Postpartum skin-to-skin contact is widely shown to increase the chances of successful breastfeeding.

It is called “golden hour” to that first hour after delivery, when the newborn is very receptive, very alert and is capable of crawling towards the chest and hooking itself. It also seems that the first thing the baby sucks creates an imprint and this is especially important in the case of flat or inverted nipples.

Skin-to-skin has long been carried out in vaginal deliveries, and more recently it is being implemented in cesarean sections. If for any reason you are going to have a scheduled cesarean section, you can find out what the skin will be like with posterior skin.

7. On demand is on demand

Breastfeeding should be on demand and without a clock . Newborns in the first days of life usually take between 8 and 12 feedings a day. We must banish the myth that three hours must pass between feedings. Sometimes they will eat every four hours and sometimes they will suckle every hour; It is normal.

It is also normal that the takings in the first weeks take a long time; Babies are learning to breastfeed, they are still small, they get tired … There is no minimum or maximum duration that indicates that a feeding is well done. The feeding will end when the baby is released from the breast indicating that he does not want more (or in some cases falls asleep). If it seems that your baby is nursing very frequently, never letting go of the breast or feeding takes forever, consult your pediatrician, IBCLC or midwife to assess if there is something wrong.

8. If it hurts, check

Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt . Sometimes it bothers the first days due to the hypersensitivity of the nipple, but the baby should not hurt us. The cracks are not normal, nor is it about making callus or thinking that the pain will pass in a few days.

If it hurts when the baby suckles, something is wrong and it needs to be checked. Most often it is a poor latch on, which causes the baby to damage the nipple when nursing. At other times there may be an abnormality in the baby, for example a short lingual frenulum, which makes it difficult to latch on.

9. Enjoy

Maybe it should be the first rule of thumb instead of the last. Breastfeeding can be hard at times (the rise in milk, frequent feedings especially at night …), so it is important that we enjoy doing it and we are convinced of it . If at any time you feel that you cannot take it anymore, that you are not enjoying your baby as you should, do not hesitate to ask for help.

Photos / iStock

In Babies and More / Skin to skin is not an “absurd modernity”, it is very important for mother and baby, Colostrum: why it is important that your baby benefits from this liquid gold, Breastfeeding and short tongue tie: are they incompatible ?, Mastitis during breastfeeding: types, symptoms and treatment, Breastfeeding is everyone’s job: 15 testimonials from mothers with successful breastfeeding thanks to the support of their environment

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