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Breastfeeding does more than provide nutrition for your baby, it can create a wonderful bonding experience for mother and child. But getting your infant to latch on to your nipple can be a tricky business. Watch this video for helpful breastfeeding basics.
Transcript: If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing...
If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing a try. Of course, it's also okay not to nurse...You will raise a healthy, baby either way! Your breast milk is tailored to meet the needs of YOUR baby. It changes in response to the amount he or she consumes and contains at least 100 ingredients that aren't found in formula. Other benefits? Studies have shown that breastfed babies are: Less likely to suffer from infections, less likely to be overweight, more likely to have higher IQs, and more open to various foods as adults. And there are benefits for you, too! When your baby nurses, your body responds by releasing the hormone oxytocin, which encourages you to bond with your baby, AND shrinks your uterus. You'll also lose weight more quickly: Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day! And, for moms who like convenience, breast is best. Forget heating a bottle at 4am or packing up formula for a 2-hour trip. So how does it work? Before you leave the hospital or birthing center, you'll be visited by a lactation consultant who will help you get started breastfeeding. You'll begin by holding your baby so you're both comfortable. Encourage him or her to open up by gently rubbing your nipple along your baby's lips. When your baby latches on, ensure that the mouth covers BOTH your nipple and areola. If it doesn't, break the suction by gently inserting your finger in the corner of the mouth. Then, try again until your baby is properly positioned. This is vital, because if your baby doesn't latch properly, you'll wind up with sore, or even cracked, nipples! You can ease nipple discomfort by exposing them to air or applying a lanolin-based ointment after each feeding. And while your breasts will be engorged for a few weeks after delivery, rest assured that they'll reduce once your baby figures out how much milk he or she needs, and your body responds. While nursing, you may notice a small, tender lump on your breast, which is probably a clogged milk duct. Continuing to nurse, massaging the duct, or applying a heating pad should fix the problem, but contact your doctor if it doesn't.When you begin breastfeeding you'll wonder how often to nurse. During the first weeks after delivery, your baby should eat eight to twelve times a day. Nurse when your baby is hungry. He or she will let you know by nuzzling against your breasts, sucking, or opening his or her mouth. Try not to wait for cries, because at this point, he or she is already uncomfortable. Breastfeeding is a big commitment, but an important one for the moms who make it! You're bound to have questions, and that's normal, so talk to your doctor about your concerns.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-06 | Tags »
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