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Learn the Essentials of Breastfeeding

advantages of breastfeeding for baby

Every new mum-to-be worries about one of the most precious experiences a woman could have - breastfeeding. The most common reason for worrying is the nagging self-doubt within, that questions whether she is able to produce the necessary milk needed for her bundle of joy. Mum, did you know that a newborn baby usually is able to suck up to 85% of milk they need within the first ten minutes of breastfeeding? When this happens the little one will start drinking faster and the sounds of gulping will be sweet music to your ear. The time required for a complete feeding session is usually about 15-20 minutes. This will always depend on your little one.

Sometimes your little one might fall asleep while feeding. As a result, the milk will stop flowing. There are some reasons that could limit the milk flow:

  • Your baby sucks only on the nipple.
  • A decrease in the volume of milk being produced in the breast.

A mum will need to pay careful attention to identify if the milk flow has stopped. In this case you need to burp them and switch breasts.

Why is it important to breastfeed a baby using the other breast?

Sometimes you might find that you baby does not feed as much from the second breast. This could be due to some simple reasons. They might be already full or they have not been burped properly. Also don’t rush to switch breasts. Make sure they are nursed sufficiently from the first breast. It is important that you let your child consume all the milk that had been produced in one breast for the following reasons.

  • Milk that flows first is watery
  • As your baby commences feeding, the milk that flows initially will have a higher concentration of water.  This watery milk is essential for your little one as it contains many nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins. So the milk that flows first helps your child’s healthy growth.
  • Milk that follows later is high in protein and fats
  • The milk that flows after a while is high in protein and fat. This is essential for muscle growth as well as for your baby’s brain development. It also helps with weight gain.

This is why you should make sure your baby has drunk enough from the first breast before switching.

Is your infant satisfied after feeding?

If your baby is showing sign of discomfort such as squirming it could mean that the air that entered their stomach has not been let out properly. This is something a good burp can easily fix. We have shared more details in previous articles on this. If your little one falls asleep while breastfeeding, turn them to a side position but make sure you don’t use any pillows. Although this is not the best way to get rid of the air, keeping them on their sides will prevent vomiting, choking on milk, and milk entering into respiratory organs. All these events can turn deadly and are leading causes of infant deaths.

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