Planning on breastfeeding your newborn? Confidence will get you there, Learn how.
Breastfeeding is the most natural bond between a mother and her newborn. Ever since the dawn of mankind this primary act was only second to the actual birth itself. So why are mothers today increasingly reporting difficulties nursing their babies and what can you do to avoid them?
In fact, a study published in 2010 stated that 50% of nursing mothers stop within 6 weeks (Journal of Pediatrics, 2013; Office of the Surgeon General, NIH, 2011). There are several troubling effects when stopping to breastfeed, including the potential decline of the baby’s immune system, coupled with the mother’s frustration and disappointment. Leading the list of reasons for this extremely high rate of mothers stopping to nurse is the mother’s uncertainty of whether her baby is getting enough milk. How can you avoid these worries while nursing and have peace of mind? We sat down with the entrepreneurs of Momsense, the innovative tech savy product that enhances the nursing experience for mothers, and collected their top five tips. If you are expecting, we recommend you re-read these after you’ve given birth. Moreover, attending a breastfeeding class before you give birth, will definitely help you start off on the right foot.
1. Nurse on demand. Forget what you’ve read about nursing your baby every 3 hours and put that watch away! Each baby has its own set of physiological needs so the best way to build a good milk supply is to simply nurse whenever your baby “asks” you, responding to his/hers early feeding cues. In the first few weeks most babies breastfeed at least 8-12 times a day.
2. Go with the flow. Sometimes your baby might want to nurse for other reasons than hunger, such as thirst or simply the need to feel your presence. In these cases, breastfeeding will give your baby more than just sustenence but also comfort, warmth and security, knowing you’re there. This is very natural, and nothing to fear.
3. Don’t wait. If you can, try to breastfeed right after giving birth, when your baby will probably be alert. However, don’t be stressed if he or she doesn’t seem to latch on right away, he is not born hungry. These are only your first moments together, you will have more than enough opportunities to practice during the subsequent hours and days.
4. Take off the clothes. Yes, this is scientific. Medical studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact has many advantages for your baby, including the improvement of blood sugar levels, stabilization of blood saturation, reduced crying and the improvement of breastfeeding. Simply place your naked baby (with their diaper!) on your bare chest, and keep your baby warm by covering him/her with a blanket.
5. Knowledge is power. Our bodies are not transparent and we cannot see what is going on, therefore many mother are unsure as to how much milk there baby is actually consuming. However, today, these uncertainties can be completely eliminated by using Momsense, the Smart Breastfeeding Meter. Momsense is stethoscope-like earphone with a baby safe sensor that connects to any smart phone application, and actually allows you to listen to your baby’s swallow voices and measure the milk volume intake. This user friendly and mobile product contains information with so many groundbreaking implications: It will give you the peace of mind knowing how much your baby is feeding, all in real time. Additionally, the reported patterns of your baby’s feedings over time, reduces any further uncertainties and empowers you with knowledge. This will leave you peace of mind, and time to enjoy bonding with your baby.
Lastly, despite the potential deprivation of sleep you may encounter, try to seek ways that will make you feel as calm and relaxed as you can. Ask for assistance from your spouse, friends or relatives. You deserve it.