Holding your child for the first time is a priceless experience. For some, the overwhelming changes of being a first-time mom are indeed frightening. However, all these fears and worries disappear as soon as you lay your eyes on your little bundle of joy.
You may have read a lot of information about being a first-time mom on the internet. In fact, one of the most common advice you read is to breastfeed your baby no matter what. Breastfeeding has many benefits, both for you and your little one.
Breast milk contains antibodies to protect your baby from bacteria and viruses that cause diseases. Moreover, it lowers the risk of asthma and allergies. Infants who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life have fewer chances of having respiratory diseases, ear infections and diarrhea.
- Latching Pain
Latching pain is one of the most common problems new moms face when breastfeeding. It’s normal for your nipples to feel sore and painful during the first few hours after delivery and during breastfeeding. However, if the pain continues for more than a minute, check your latching position.
- Cracked Nipples
Cracked nipples happen as a result of the wrong position when nursing. There are cracks or wounds around the nipples, and this is extremely painful. After each feeding, air dry your nipples and do not use soap on them when you’re taking a bath. Lastly, make sure you use an ointment to protect the nipples from dryness.
Overfeeding happens when your baby needs to soothe herself, and she uses your nipples. It is important to prevent this because it may lead to your baby spitting up due to overfeeding.
- Not Enough Breast Milk
During the first weeks of life, you need to establish your milk supply. Make sure you drink ample amounts of water, eat a well-balanced diet and nurse on demand.
Breastfeeding regularly on both sides of your breasts will help increase your milk supply. There are foods you can consume to increase milk supply such as oatmeal, moringa, green leafy vegetables, fennel seeds and spinach.
Moreover, you can express milk from your breasts in between feedings to increase supply. Make sure you put it in clean and sterile breast milk storage bags.
- Nipple Thrush
Nipple thrush is a painful condition wherein the nipples become infected with yeast. Yeast infection often comes from your baby’s oral thrush. If you had a history of vaginal yeast infection when you’re pregnant, there is a higher risk of your baby having oral thrush. This is a hard-to-treat condition because the infection goes back and forth from the baby to your nipples.
Breastfeeding is an important way to make sure your child is healthy, and she receives the adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. There are many benefits of breastfeeding: it’s free, always ready, promotes weight loss and protects your baby from infections.
I am Stacy Belk, owner of Mom Woot. I am a mom-of-two and a nurse. My experiences as a mom and a nurse allowed me to discuss various topics concerning your baby and his health.