Breastfeeding is more than providing your newborn with the nutrients she needs. It is an act of love that bonds you and your baby together in a way nothing else can. It is intimate, enduring and fulfilling. Make every moment you have with your baby count by following these tips:
Peace & quiet
There should be no distractions while breastfeeding – no TV, no loud music and no noisy chatter. Help your family members understand the importance of a conducive environment during breastfeeding. Enlist their help to ensure peace and quiet while you breastfeed. A quiet, dimly lit room is ideal. If this is not possible, compensate by giving your undivided attention to the baby at your breast.
Comfort comes first
For a start, both you and your baby must be comfortable. Hold your baby securely with her face towards your breast. Her mouth should be near your nipple and her head, neck and back in one straight line. Keep your back upright when sitting up and use a pillow for support if needed. Alternatively, you may lie down on your side in bed while breastfeeding. This position is useful for night feeds, or if you are recovering from a Caesarean or difficult delivery.
Interact with baby
When breastfeeding, talk, hum or sing softly to your baby. Look into her eyes and smile at her. Cuddle, stroke and touch her. Praise her when she sucks properly. Warm and loving gestures enhance her feelings of security.
Attitude is everything
Your baby can sense any anxiety you are experiencing, so be calm and relaxed while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed when you are feeling irritable or right after you have had a heated discussion with your spouse. Give yourself enough time to cool down first.
A HAPPY MOTHER EQUALS A HAPPY BABY
In order to bond with your baby positively, you must first take care of yourself. After all, you can hardly give your best to your baby when you are worn out, stressed or unhappy, can you?
Rest well, eat wisely and get regular exercise. Know when you need help; do not try to do it all on your own. It is not uncommon for new mothers to have bouts of the dreaded “baby blues”. Share your concerns with your spouse. If the “blues” become prolonged and worsen, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. You will need to seek professional help.