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Method of Breastfeeding

Always the mother should find a comfortable place and position to feed the baby. A sitting position with holding the baby comfortably is usually ideal. At night the mother can feed the baby by lying on her side. This position is also advised for mothers who had a Cesarean section.

Hold the breast in a hand and gently stroke the baby’s lower lip with the nipple and bring the baby close to the breast as it starts to open the mouth. The baby generally sucks the milk in a smooth and even manner and can hear him or her swallow the milk. A slight tugging sensation may be felt while the baby is having the milk. Slight discomfort may be felt for the first few days while nursing the baby.

The mother may feed the baby about 8–12 times in 24 h as and when the baby feels hungry. She can offer one breast at a time for complete feeding, and she is required to maintain a healthy diet in order to maintain her health and also keep the baby healthy. Consult the doctor if any changes in the feeding pattern of the baby has been noticed or felt the baby is not getting enough milk.

Some women may face problems such as engorgement of the breasts, sore nipples, blocked ducts or infection of the breast (mastitis) in some rare instances. Consult the doctor if one face any signs like fever that may or may not be associated with pain, bleeding, rashes, lumps or redness in the breasts. These are minor complications which can be eliminated completely with proper care.

Benefits of breast feeding

Breastfeeding the baby is one of the most special times in the mother’s life wherein a special bondage develops between the mother and the baby. The breast-milk provides complete nutrition required the baby during its early growth and also helps the baby to develop immunity against various infections. 

Other reasons why breastfeeding is good for the baby include:

1. The colostrum (a yellow, watery pre-milk) that is secreted from the breast for the first few days after delivery helps the baby’s digestive system grow and function efficiently.

2. The protein and fat in breast milk are more easily available for the baby’s body.

3. Breastfeeding is good for the mother also! It offers various advantages such as:

  • It is always available and at the right temperature and convenient to feed the baby.
  • The process results in the release of a hormone known as oxytocin, which helps the uterus to contract and return to its normal size more quickly.
  • The risk of osteoporosis and some forms of cancer is low in women who breast feed. 
  • It may help the mother lose the weight faster, which is gained during pregnancy.1

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Also read: Getting pregnancy

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 20, 2012