As you all know, breastfeeding is the healthiest way to nourish baby in the first year of life. Unfortunately it can also be tremendously challenging for first time ( and often experienced ) moms. In this article I am offering you what I have found to be the 3 keys to successful breastfeeding, to support you, not just in being successful at breastfeeding but in being able really enjoy it also.
- Key number one: Your state of being is what will set the tone for each session of breastfeeding. If you are tense and stressed, baby will be tense and stressed which is not a recipe for success. So, make sure that you get as calm and focused as you can before you breastfeed by taking three deep breaths. Take a deep breath in through your nose to the count of 4 filling up your abdomen with air, then out through your nose to the count of 8 breathing all the air out of your abdomen. This will calm any stress you may have so that you can help your precious baby stay calm and focused as he learns to breastfeed. From this place you can firmly and calmly make sure that baby is latched on properly and when he isn’t you will be able to take him off and get him to latch on again. Your calm will also allow dad or your partner to help you effectively because you will be able to instruct them calmly how best to open up babies mouth up wide and get baby on the breast properly..
- Key number two: Know that breastfeeding is a process that both you and baby have to learn to do and to do properly. There is a learning curve for both of you in the beginning. You are learning how to teach baby to breastfed and baby needs to learn how to breastfeed properly so things will be successful both now and later on.
What baby needs to learn well is how to open up his mouth wide enough to get your whole areola (the brown part around your nipple) in his mouth. Sucking on just your nipple not only very painful but more importantly it will not cause your body to make milk. Unfortunately many babies will NOT want to do this when you are first starting out, BUT, if you manage your own state well and get the help you need from dad, it will happen.
3.Know that the better you feel the easier and more fulfilling breastfeeding will be for both you and baby. Since a healthy well-nourished body feels good her are some suggestions:
- Drink enough water (1/2 your body weight in water every day)
- Eat a balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruits
- Make sure that you have enough essential fatty acids in your diet. Fatty fish low in mercury like sardines and anchovies and wild caught Salmon are examples.
- Sleep when baby sleeps so your body has time to repair itself so you stay healthy. If you can’t sleep at least rest or do something that you love to do and that is relaxing. Remember a happy healthy you is the best recipe for a happy healthy baby.