Nursing and Feeding of infants

Nursing and feeding of infantsFor some new mothers, milk may not start flowing immediately after the delivery of their babies.

This is why lactation experts recommed that new mothers should start breastfeeding immediately within an hour of their baby’s life and continue as often as possible to increase their milk let down.

The very first milk, which is known as colostrum, is very important in a newborn’s life. It is very rich in nutrients like proteins and carbohydrates and has antibodies, which are essential for development of the baby. Colostrum is also low in fat.

In addition, it is easy to digest and has a laxative effect that enables the baby to pass gas. Some health professionals have linked too much gas in a baby’s stomach to colic so colostrum can help to reduce this gas.

How often should a baby breastfeed?

A newborn baby should be fed at least 8 to 12 times or even more every day. Breastfeeding stimulates the production of milk hence the more you breastfeed the more your milk supply increases. Moreover, breastfeeding frequently will prevent breast engorgement which is very painful.

How do I know my baby is hungry and needs to breastfeed?

This is a question that most new moms ask. But the first sign is when your breasts feel extremely full because it means that you have not breastfed your baby in a while. Other signs include baby crying and being restless even when they do not need a diaper change, sucking their fists, and turning their head in your direction when you hold them in a nursing position.

What are the main causes of low milk supply after delivery?

Health professional consider milk supply to be low if it does not meet the normal growth and development needs of the baby.

Some mothers may have low milk supply after delivery due to:

  • Baby latching poorly due to reasons such as mother having inverted or flat nipples
  • Mother has not eaten well for a while
  • Mother having medical conditions like diabetes
  • If the baby is affected by the anaesthesia or epidural given to the mom during labour

How do I increase my milk supply?

Fortunately, low milk supply is usually not a permanent situation. There are various ways you can increase your milk supply to meet the needs of your baby.

  • Breastfeeding as often as possible.
  • Taking enough rest
  • Latching the baby properly
  • Compressing breasts when baby is feeding to increase milk let down
  • Pumping milk after feeding the baby to ensure that the breasts are emptied completely
  • Taking lots of fluid especially water
  • Eating a balanced diet without skipping any meal

Breastfeeding essentials checklist

  • Nursing bras
  • Baby feeding pillow
  • Baby Nursing cover/breastfeeding poncho
  • Burp cloths
  • Pumping bras
  • Nipple shields

What are nursing bras?

Nursing bras are bras specially designed for breastfeeding moms to enable comfortable feeding without having to remove the bra or lift it up.

Best features to look for when buying a nursing bra

  • It should not have an underwire
According to lactation experts, a good nursing bra should not have an underwire. This is because an underwire can prevent the flow of milk thereby causing breast engorgement or cause an infection known as mastitis, which is very painful.
  • It should stretch easily.
The anxiety to have everything ready before the baby comes leads most moms-to-be to buy nursing bras during pregnancy and keep them till the baby comes. However, breasts tend to increase in size during pregnancy by about 1 or 2 cup sizes or more and increase even further once the baby is born as the breasts start filling with milk. It is therefore advisable to buy nursing bras that stretch easily so that they can accommodate your breasts as they increase in size.
  • It should be comfortable for nighttime feeding
When nursing you will probably leak milk even at night, so you need a good bra that is comfortable to sleep in and can hold the nursing pads in place. A sleep bra is considered ideal for nighttime feeding since it offers a lot of comfort and it is not too tight.

The best nursing bras

Bravado Body silk seamless nursing braIt does not have an underwire
Made of good quality material that is very soft
It is seamless, It stretches well
Has foam inserts for shaping the breasts as well as concealing the breast pads
HOFISH 3pack seamless nursing maternity braComes in a pack of three bras in neutral colour
They are seamless
Soft material and very comfortable
Does not have an underwire
Has removable padding
Can be used during both pregnancy and breastfeeding
Provides one hand access
Kindred Bravely Nursing bra for maternity/breastfeeding It is made from a very soft fabric
Does not have an underwire
Very comfortable when sleeping
Stretches well
Easy to pull aside; hence, great for nighttime feeding
The band is elastic free
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