Breastmilk is good for your baby. It is superior to any alternative form of infant formula and is uniquely designed to meet the nutritional needs of your infant. It contains antibodies which will help protect your baby against illness. Breastfeeding is easy, inexpensive, and convenient; there are no bottles to wash and no formula to prepare. Breastmilk is easy to digest, and less allergenic, thus there are fewer problems with constipation and diarrhea. Breastfeeding provides a special bonding for baby and mother. It also helps mom get back into shape by contracting the uterus.
While breastfeeding may be the natural thing to do, it helps to know a little about how to do it. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- Hold your baby close to your breast and turn your baby so you are tummy to tummy.
- Hold the breast in your hand and gently stroke the babies lips with the nipple until the baby opens wide. Your baby has a "rooting reflex" which will make him turn his mouth toward your touch.
- Pull the baby onto your breast, helping him to take in as much of the brown area of the nipple as possible.
- Nurse the baby on both breasts, about 10 minutes per side, burping in between.
- To remove the baby from the breast, place your finger in the corner of his mouth to break the suction.
- Proper positioning of the baby on the breast and using different positions to hold your baby while nursing is very important to reduce nipple soreness.