Breastfeeding allows you to be really intimate and close to your baby. Your milk, as well as ensuring ideal growth for your child, limits the risk of allergy and protects from infection.
From a nutrition perspective, at the start of a feed the milk is mainly water to rehydrate the baby and quench thirst. If the baby is thirsty, he/she will not feed for very long. If the baby is hungry, it will continue to feed, milk becomes richer in carbohydrates and fats to feed it and satisfy hunger.
Breastfeeding will help you to get your figure back as fat stored during pregnancy is used for breastfeeding. It is however important to continue a balanced and varied diet which you had during pregnancy.
Combined breastfeeding can affect breastfeeding and it is difficult to revoke a decision not to breastfeed. The economic impact of switching from breastfeeding to formula feeding must be considered.
Breastfeed on demand! Generally, your child lets you know when it is hungry. The baby can however look for the breast when it is only thirsty, to satisfy a need to suck, to sleep or just to be close to you.
Choose a quiet place with a pleasant temperature and moderate lighting so as not to dazzle eyes. Get yourself comfortable without tensing up to avoid back and arm pain. Finally, position the baby so that his/her face is against your breast, and his body is against yours for better latching on.
A good position avoids cracks and engorgement. If pain persists or there are other symptoms, see your doctor.
At the start of breastfeeding, it is preferable to use both breasts one after the other in the one feed so that they are stimulated and that breastfeeding is well established and abundant. Consequently, it is no longer necessary to switch breasts during the same feed.
Bear in mind that the amount of milk made depends on what your baby consumes: The more he/she drinks, the quicker milk is made and vice-versa.
When one breast feeds, engorgement can occur resulting from it being hard for milk to get out. Milk remains stored in breasts, compromises circulation and can cause painful oedema.
start feeds as early as possible
manually get some milk out or use a breast pump as soon as your breasts become painful
apply a pad, cotton wool or warm bathing glove to your chest before a feed and a cold one after the feed
feed from the painful side
do not restrain your breasts in a bra that is too tight
change breastfeeding position
If pain and pressure persists, see your doctor.
Today, breastfeeding can be continued after you go back to work. Milk can be pumped using a breast pump and kept in a fridge or freezer.
However, it is recommended not to start pumping milk before your baby is 4 weeks old. At that time, your milk production is well established and the baby knows how to feed as he/she should. The best time to pump milk is in the morning; milk production is more active then.
It is not recommended using a microwave to defrost as it changes the nutritional quality of milk. The best method is to let it defrost in a fridge or under cold running water.
Once defrosted, the milk must be kept in the fridge and used within 24 hours or discarded.