Before your baby was born, you may have imagined yourself cradling your breastfeeding newborn to your breast as you blissfully survey the world from a comfortable arm chair, knowing that all is as it should be.
The breastfeeding reality can be a rude shock when your newborn is fussing and hungry but can't attach properly to your breast and you can't figure out how to get comfortable in your nursing chair.
While breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, it's also something that needs a little practice by you and your baby. For most women, this will take a little perseverance, but with the support of your family, you can learn to enjoy this unique bond with your baby that can be so fulfilling.
- Will give your baby extra immunity from infections and illnesses
- Helps develop your baby's speech, eyesight and general intelligence
- Will give your baby the perfect food for growing
- Encourages a strong bond between you and your baby
- Your baby is born with a sucking reflex so you can put him on the breast straightaway to get things off to a strong start.
- To establish a good milk supply you should feed in demand - encourage her to empty the first breast before offering the other.
- Your breast will self-regulate the amount of milk it makes - it works by supply and demand; the more your baby takes from the breast, the more your body will make.
- Aside from satisfying his hunger, your baby will like to feed for comfort.
- Because breast milk is so easy to digest, your baby will want to feed often - this will help to ensure your supply.
- You can combine work and breastfeeding - it just takes organisation and commitment.
- Your breast milk will change as your baby matures to meet his growing needs.
- Experts say that you don't need to avoid any specific foods while you breastfeed, although, anecdotally, some mothers swear that eating certain foods upsets their babies.
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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot - New Zealand's parenting resource for newborns and baby. Sources include Australian Breastfeeding Association
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