One of the issues your midwife from a site like http://www.whallc.com will discuss with you during your first pregnancy is your options with feeding the baby. You can feed the baby formula, or you can breastfeed. Breastfeeding can be a tricky task for many women, but it is also a great way to feed a child. If you decide to breastfeed, here are three things you need to know.
Things You Must Buy
An advantage of breastfeeding is that you can feed your baby at any time. You will not need bottles, baby water, or formula, but there are several things you will need, including:
- Nursing bras – A nursing bra has clips that allow you to drop the cup of your bra down. This makes it easy to feed the child anytime you need to.
- Nursing covers – This is a cover you can place over your head. It covers your entire stomach and chest, but it is bulky enough to place the baby under it. Nursing covers are designed to give nursing mothers privacy while breastfeeding in public places.
- Breast pads – You will also need to stock up on breast pads, which are small, round pads you can place in your bra. These pads soak up any breast milk that leaks out in between feedings.
- Nipple cream – Nursing can leave your nipples sore at times, but there are creams you can purchase for this purpose. A common cream used for this is lanolin, but there are other choices too.
If you plan on breastfeeding, you may want to purchase these items before you have the baby so that you are ready when the little child arrives.
After having the child, a lactation consultant may be available at the hospital to work with you on the techniques of breastfeeding. If so, this will help you learn how to do this and may make it easier for you and the baby to get the hang of it. Another option you have is to take breastfeeding classes prior to giving birth.
Learning to breastfeed takes time and patience, and the main technique you must learn is teaching the baby to latch on. If the baby can learn to latch on easily, it will make breastfeeding easier and less stressful.
A lactation consultant will help you learn:
- The various positions to try during feedings
- How to stimulate the baby to open his or her mouth
- How to encourage and help the baby latch on
- The amount of time you should feed the child with each breast
- Techniques for caring for your breasts
You should not expect this task to be simple, especially with your first baby, but you can get the hang of it by staying patient and calm. According to WebMD, most health experts believe that breastfeeding is the best option for feeding a child, and this is primarily because of all the benefits it offers.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Here are some of the main benefits this offers to you and your child:
- Healthy – Breast milk contains the nutrients a baby needs and can help a baby become stronger and healthier. It also contains antibodies, which are necessary for fighting infections.
- Free – You will not have to pay for formula, bottles, and water. All the food the baby needs and eats will be free.
- Convenient – Breastfeeding is also convenient because you can do it anywhere.
- Easy – You will not have to prepare bottles or wash them when you breastfeed.
Your breast milk is probably the best food for your baby, and your baby may experience fewer illnesses because he or she is consuming this milk.
If you would like to learn more about this, talk to your midwife. She may be able to help you find classes to take, and she will also be able to answer any questions you may have.