Tuesday, July 26, 2011

that first time breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is incredibly, significantly, enormously important.  The benefits of breast milk compared to formula are vast, ranging from the actual physical and mental health of your child and yourself to the amount of money you're spending every month.  Learn all about breastfeeding here at La Leche League.  There are consultants across the world who can help out if you are in need.  Try for at least two months; it takes about that long to get into a good routine.

The best time to start breastfeeding is immediately after birth.  After that doctor places your little one onto your stomach and you and your husband have had a bit of oohing and cuddling, start watching for your baby to open his mouth, stick our his tongue, or move his head from side to side. Most babies will do this almost immediately.

Those first few moments after birth are quite important in your baby's life.  They are incredibly alert and awake ... you will find after a couple of hours and then for the following few months your baby will practically want to sleep his young life away.  But for those first moments, your baby will typically be wide-eyed as he takes in your face and your husband's for the first time.  Use those precious minutes to look him in the eye, to touch him skin to skin, and to start working on breastfeeding.

Some babies catch on almost immediately.  For others, it takes a bit of practice.  Remember you aren't the only person who is new at this; your little one is a first-timer as well.  Most hospitals will have a breastfeeding specialist on hand to help with whatever you need.  Ask for them.  Get all the advice you can.  When you get home, call La Leche League if you have more questions.  Talk to friends.  Look things up.  And read this simple list of tips here.

Breast feeding, like birth, is something your body is built for.  Some women face unforeseen problems and are blessed to have the option of formula, but for the vast majority breast feeding is the best way to help your baby to grow into everything he could be.  Work at it.  Make it a serious goal.  One day nursing ends too, just like pregnancy and just like childhood.  You won't regret giving it your all.

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