Breastfeeding can be a quite challenging process for new mothers. From night nursing to understanding the breastfeeding mom diet, there is a lot to prepare. Getting to know your baby while recovering from delivery and breastfeeding can be overwhelming but the good news is that it gets better with time. So we’re here to share a few breastfeeding tips for you to get started.
Breastfeeding Tips: 7 Things a Nursing Mother Should Know
Here are some important things to keep in mind while breastfeeding:
1) How can nursing mothers feed at night and still get sleep:
- By practicing safe co-sleeping: If you’re nursing, learn how to feed your baby while lying down on your side. Many mothers find this to be a very restful position, especially at night. Taking proper precautions in bed sharing can allow both mother and baby, get more sleep and nurse frequently.
- Get help on diaper duty, lullaby, etc: Breastfeeding is exhaustive and tires a mother, asking partners or other family members can help in sharing the responsibilities, and meet other needs of the baby.
- Easy access clothing: Wearing pajamas or nightgowns that are specially designed for nursing moms, makes the process easier and fuss free.
- Make sure you have a comfortable and cozy sleeping environment with the right amount of and type of pillows and cushions.
2. Tips for getting more sleep and its effect on the health of both mother and baby:
- One of the most common breastfeeding tips given to new mothers is getting sufficient sleep. Nap when you can with your baby, as most babies sleep during the day and are playful at night. So, the best you can do is to make good use of the opportunity and rest when your baby is napping.
- Sleep is important for mothers because inadequate sleep and rest have medically shown to affect the milk supply in nursing mothers.
- Babies need adequate sleep for healthy development, it’s important for the infant’s brain development and overall growth.
3. Importance of sleep for a nursing mother:
- As mentioned above inadequate sleep reduces the quantity and quality of the milk supply; as a stressed body will release natural hormones that will block or affect the production of prolactin (produce milk) and oxytocin (release milk).
- Studies have also shown that sleep deprived mothers tend to have postpartum depression. This can be easily avoided with proper rest and sleep.
4. Avoid sleep deprivation with these tips for breastfeeding mothers:
- Instead of looking forward to a long peaceful dreamy sleep, opt for short power naps to avoid sleep deprivation.
- Don’t equate sleep to an hour or continuous rest pattern, even a half an hour or 15 minutes ensures your body gets re-energized.
- Remember, that the mother needs to be awake while feeding the baby.
- Make sure you have the right bedding and pillows/cushions for comfortable sleep at night.
5. Importance of night nursing
- Breastfeeding at night produces more prolactin, which helps with the production of milk to meet the baby’s needs.
- Night feeding helps in regulating the milk supply. An empty breast makes more supply, as babies are 20% more hungry at night; night feeding helps you as well as the baby.
6. Breastfeeding mom diet:
- Have high protein foods such as whole grain, egg, fresh fruits vegetables, nuts, and chicken when breastfeeding.
- Include foods rich in Iron and Calcium e.g. lotus seeds, spinach, carrots, ragi, milk, curd.
- Avoid late night spice food, as it tends to affect milk quality.
- Try to maintain a balanced diet. Eat foods that help in milk products such as oatmeal, dark green vegetables, almonds, and bottle gourd, etc.
- Avoid caffeine and stay hydrated.
- Take your vitamins on time and be regular with it.
7. Give it the time it needs:
- Do not feel discouraged if breastfeeding baby to sleep is tougher than you think
- It will feel natural at some point.
- Keep communicating with your doctor for more information and breastfeeding tips.
Hope these breast feeding tips help you take informed decisions!