General principles of breastfeeding – Correct positioning for breastfeeding and compulsory burping is the recipe for successful breastfeeding. Remember the most reliable criterion of adequate supply of breast milk is the progressive weight gain.
General principles of breastfeeding
Firstly, the mother and the baby should be comfortable and relaxed at the nursing time. The mother, herself in a semi-recumbent position, should support the baby’s buttocks on the palm of a hand and the hand on her elbow.
This is done in such a way that the face of the child is close to the breast which the mother supports with the other hand. This is important. Else, the baby may get choked.
This position helps in successful breastfeeding. Soreness of the nipple may occur as a result of poor attention to mother’s and baby’s positions during breastfeeding.
You should be well conversant with the technique of putting the baby to the breast and removing him from it. Learn it from a knowledgeable friend or a senior woman in the family.
You should see to it that the baby empties at least one breast at each sitting. Of course, a little milk is likely to be left behind. Don’t worry about it.
If he is still hungry, offer him the other breast during the same sitting. At each sitting, the infant should start from a different side.
So, mind you, the impression that only one breast must be given at each feed and that the second breast should be reserved for special situations is not well founded. Remember not to push the nipple into his mouth.
There is no need to wash the nipple after each and every feed but it should, of course, be kept clean. Do not let your clothes rub and hurt the nipples.
If you make it a point to support the breasts in between the feeds by a well-fitting brassiere, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed. Besides, this will also be helping to preserve your figure.
As was pointed out earlier, nursing time on each breast need not exceed 20 minutes. Do not keep the baby on the breast so long right from the very early days.
Start with five minutes and then slowly increase the duration. Keeping the baby for too long will only make him fussy and take in wind rather than milk.
Let it be clearly understood that the duration of a feed should be decided by the infant’s hunger, by no means by the clock.
These are the general principles of breastfeeding of babies that make breastfeeding successful.
What is burping?
It consists in holding the baby erect over the mother’s shoulder or making him sit on the mother’s lap and then patting or rubbing his back so that he eructates the swallowed air, the so-called wind.
If you do not do so, you may well be allowing him to have regurgitation, vomiting and even abdominal colic. At times it may become advisable to bring the wind out halfway through feeding. There is nothing wrong with it.
A contented baby is a good guide as regards the adequacy of milk supply. The most reliable criterion of adequate supply of breast milk is the progressive weight gain.
A baby who gains less than 500 gms in any four weeks in the first three months of life or 250 gms in the second three months is likely to be malnourished.
Doctor’s consultation needs to be sought. He will be able to evaluate as to what is wrong with the baby’s intake. If there is any disease process, contributing to the problem, he will look into it and guide you as to what to do.
And, do not neglect your diet, personal hygiene and health. Take sufficient rest. Do not indulge in using any drug unless prescribed by the doctor.