Nursing is a natural, fulfilling practice for mothers and babies alike. It is a healthy choice that benefits both mother and baby. But nursing is not without some challenges, however, and new moms could benefit from the hard-learned lessons of mothers past.
Getting Accustomed to Breastfeeding
Nursing a baby can (and probably will) cause some degree of physical pain to the mother. Especially when milk first comes in, breasts become engorged and sore. Breasts also need to become accustomed to the suckling of the newborn baby — and until they do, irritation will occur.
This is no time to participate in dieting or calorie cutting. Many new mothers are anxious to lose the baby weight and get back to pre-pregnancy outfits. But nursing requires an increase in caloric intake and it is important to consume an adequate amount of fluids and food in order to maintain a healthy milk supply for the baby. The good news for moms is that nursing also burns extra calories, so the weight will most likely come off, partially due to the fact that new moms have chosen to nurse their babies.
Nursing in Public
Even if mom feels shy about nursing around other people, it is probably going to be necessary to do it. Most people are not too fazed by a nursing mother as long as she acts comfortable, and no portion of the breast is made visible. Nursing covers are an essential product that can be handmade or purchased. They make it a breeze to nurse in public, or at least in the presence of other people, without feeling embarrassed or uneasy.
Trust the Experts
There are lactation specialists at hospitals who can assist with the initial days of breastfeeding. They are usually even available to mothers during the post hospital experience. They are trained to troubleshoot any problems and to offer encouragement to new mothers who want to breastfeed. Find breastfeeding products that work for you. Some creams and ointments can be applied to the nipple area to avoid cracking and dryness. It is also important to remember that mom and the baby will both get the hang of it if mom sticks with it and power through those early days together.
It is best to surround yourself with others who support breastfeeding. You can discuss successes and trials and know that you are not alone. Enjoy the special bonding experience with your baby, and be proud of the healthy choice that you have made.