Breast milk is one of the greatest gifts you can give your baby. It’s packed with nutrients and antibodies that boost your newborn’s immunity, aid digestion, and promote brain development! But as a new mom, you probably have some questions and anxiety about it, so we have come up with 8 facts about breastfeeding you should know before you start this process.
Facts about breastfeeding
1. Breastfeeding may hurt initially
We’re not going to lie. Those first days, you might feel what experts call extreme tenderness 一and what some moms call pain. But once your baby is properly latched, discomfort should fade during each nursing session and go away completely with time. Your nipples need to adapt, and in 2-3 weeks your body will adjust.
2. The best position for breastfeeding
There’s no correct position for breastfeeding, but probably while you’re still learning, you may find it easier to use the same hand for both breasts. This means you will hold your baby across your lap to feed on one breast, and then, to feed them with the other breast, you’ll hold your baby under your arm. *If your baby is having reflux, it’s best to choose an upright position.
3. Can I eat fish?
Yes. It’s a good idea to include fish on your weekly diet as one of the sources of your protein intake, especially fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. This is because they contain rich sources of fatty acids such as omega-3 that contribute to your child’s growth and healthy development.
4. How about alcohol?
You will probably like to have an occasional beer or a glass of wine; after all, you haven’t had one in nine months! It’s okay to have a glass, but if you have a bit too much, wait until the alcohol has cleared from your body before breastfeeding. This typically takes about 2-3 hours. Before you drink, consider pumping so that you can feed your baby later.
5. Can I drink coffee?
Caffeine is okay too, in moderate doses. So go ahead and enjoy your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or even the occasional soda. As long as you limit your caffeine intake to no more than two or three cups of a caffeinated beverage a day, you and your baby will be just fine!
6. A nursing pillow is essential
Once your baby is latched onto your breast and nursing, you won’t want to stop because your back hurts or your arms are tired. A nursing pillow may save you from the pain! It will help you position your baby correctly and stay comfy.
7. How long do I have to breastfeed?
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, with continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. But, ultimately, you’ll have the last say. It’ll all depend on how you feel emotionally, as well as your circumstances. Discuss with your doctor and partner how long you want to breastfeed.
8. Perfect for bonding time!
Breastfeeding will not only provide your baby with good nutrition, but it will also give you a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy a bonding moment with your little one. Try talking, singing, or even reading a book. Even when your baby is just a newborn, they will still be absorbing language skills every time you speak or sing.
Did you like these facts about breastfeeding? Do you have any more doubts? Go ahead and check out our section on breastfeeding in our blog, just click here!