New moms are often overwhelmed with information about how to breastfeed and whether or not to do so. What’s more, it can be difficult to find accurate information online. New moms should trust their instincts about what feels right for them and their children. Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula-feed your child, the most important thing is that you put your baby’s needs first. Every baby is different and has different feeding preferences.

However, when it comes to breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, there are some pros and cons of both options you should consider before making a final decision. The following guide covers everything you need to know about breastfeeding as a new mom, including information on the benefits of each option and how they might affect your baby in the long term.

What is Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is the act of feeding infants only breast milk, either by breastfeeding directly from the breast or by feeding babies with breast milk from a bottle. It is the normal way of feeding babies for most healthy infants, especially those born prematurely and those who are not being fed infant formula, commercial or otherwise. It is recommended for a baby’s first six months of life.

Breastfeeding Guide For The First Year

Here’s a look at some of the breastfeeding issues you’re likely to face throughout the first year

Month 1- Getting a Good Latch

Without a proper latch, your baby may not get enough milk, and you could develop sore and cracked nipples.

Here’s how to get it right,

  • Position your baby so he is lying on his side, his belly flush against yours.
  • Prop up the baby with a pillow and hold him up to your breast; don’t lean over toward him.
  • Using your free hand, place your thumb and fingers around your areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple).
  • Tilt your baby’s head slightly and gently touch him with your nipple above his upper lip.
  • When his mouth is open wide, scoop your breast into his mouth. Place his lower jaw on first, well behind the nipple.
  • Tilt his head forward, placing his upper jaw deeply on the breast. Make sure he takes the entire nipple and at least 1½ inches of the areola in his mouth.

Month 2- Understanding your Milk Supply

Milk supply is one of the most common concerns among breastfeeding moms because unlike with a bottle, you just can’t tell how much milk your baby is getting. To make sure you’re both on the right track, your paediatrician will monitor his weight closely, especially for the first several weeks.

In the meantime, pay attention to his diapers: He should have six to eight wet ones and at least two “seedy,” mustard-coloured stools daily by the time he’s seven days old. Also, keep this in mind, as long as your baby is gaining weight consistently and his diapers show that he is eating enough, you can assume that he’s getting plenty of milk.

Month 3- Mastering your Pumping Routine

Many new moms head back to work at this time. If you’re planning to keep breastfeeding and need to pump at work, let your employer know about your plans to work together to find the best place for you to pump. It will help things go more smoothly if you can figure out where and when you will pump before you get back to work. You should have begun pumping when your baby was 3 weeks or 4 weeks old to get him used to taking a bottle and so you’ll have a supply of breast milk stored in the freezer. If you haven’t started, get going!

Since you’ll be returning to work full time, you’ll probably want to rent or buy a double electric pump because it expresses both breasts at once and therefore cuts down on pumping time. When you return to work, try to pump as often, and at about the exact times, as your baby usually nurses.

Month 4- Keeping your Breast Milk Safe

You might enjoy a glass of wine, but your baby shouldn’t. To make sure your breast milk is safe, keep in mind that the alcohol from one drink, 8 ounces of beer, 6 ounces of wine or one shot of hard alcohol, tends to be metabolized (and thus absent from your milk) within two to three hours, at which time it’s safe to nurse your baby. But a better guideline is this: As long as you’re feeling any effects from the alcohol, even if you are just a bit tipsy or giddy, don’t put your baby to the breast. 

Month 5- Balancing Breast Feeding and Sleep

By month five you may be feeling exhausted, and counting down the days until your baby sleeps through the night. But you need to remember that “sleeping through the night” at this age means five or six hours, not eight or nine. Babies sleep through the night when they’re ready, whether or not they’re breastfed.  

Month 6- Introducing Solids

While your baby is ready to try solid foods, that doesn’t mean that you should give up breastfeeding. “Breast milk still is the most important part of your baby’s diet at this age, so breastfeed right before you offer cereal or other foods

When you do offer solids, start with rice cereal and gradually add a cooked or mashed fruit or vegetable. (Many paediatricians believe it’s fine to start with a finely puréed fruit or vegetable, or even meat; check with your doc to see what she recommends.) Be sure to wait three to five days before introducing a different food so you can trace the cause of any allergic reaction.

Month 7- Dealing with The Baby’s Movements

Baby might be able to sit up without any help, though they might have to keep their hands on the floor to stay upright. If they haven’t already started crawling, keep an eye out this month. Many babies start making moves as early as 6 or 7 months. However, if they’re not scooting around just yet, don’t worry. They’ll strengthen those muscles and get moving on their own time. And, FYI, some babies skip crawling and go straight to walking.

Month 8- Dealing with Clogged Milk Ducts

Clogged milk ducts can be a painful, and all-too-common, breastfeeding issue. The best way to treat clogged ducts is by nursing or pumping often from the affected breast, applying warm compresses, and getting plenty of fluids and rest. If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, see your doctor; you may have mastitis, an infection that often requires antibiotics.

Month 9- Controlling the Biting

Those baby teeth can be sharp! If your baby clamps down, take him off the breast immediately, say, “No biting!” and keep him off the breast until the next feeding. Also, be alert: Biting usually happens toward the end of a feeding, so if you can tell that your baby is almost finished nursing, remove him from the breast before he bites.

Month 10- Losing Interest in Nursing

Your budding toddler may be distracted by every noise he hears, which causes him to pull away from the breast; or he may be crawling, in which case he wants to explore. Babies are curious about their world and start to explore now. While this might be a frustrating time for you, it should pass; it typically doesn’t mean that the baby is ready to wean.

Month 11- Balancing Breast Milk and Solids

Now that your baby is exploring all kinds of new foods, it can be hard to determine how often he should nurse. A minimum of four times a day is what is expected. A baby this age should be getting about a litre of breast milk daily. At the end of the first year, half of a baby’s calories should be coming from breast milk.

Month 12: Determining When to Wean

Not ready to wean? There’s no need, and there are many reasons to continue nursing. One of the best is your baby’s health: Breast milk continues not only to protect him from many illnesses but also will help him recover more quickly if he does get sick. As long as your baby is drinking breast milk, he’s getting all the immunological benefits nursing provides.

But there’s more, a nursing mother and her infant have a special bond, and there is no reason any woman should be in a hurry to give it up. As long as she and the baby are happy, there is no reason to wean.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but the most important is that breast milk contains everything your baby needs to thrive. Breast milk is naturally perfect for a baby’s needs and is easily digested.

Breastfeeding can also help your baby sleep better and is associated with a lower risk of obesity, asthma and allergies. Other benefits of breastfeeding include:

  • A decrease in the risk of SIDS and digestive issues
  • Helps you lose your pregnancy weight faster
  • Helps to prevent postpartum depression Breastfeeding may also help reduce your risk for cancer.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother

Breastfeeding offers many benefits for the mother as well. These include:

  • Longer, more effective period of contraception after birth
  • A reduced risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers
  • A reduced risk of type II diabetes
  • A reduced risk of heart disease
  • An increase in bone density during breastfeeding
  • An increase in lasting feelings of attachment to your child Breastfeeding also allows you to connect with your child in a very special way. It allows you to see, feel and touch all of your child’s needs and is often described as a very “raw” experience.

Summing up

Breastfeeding is the best way to nourish your child from the moment he is born. It’s free, natural and has no negative side effects. For Breastfeeding moms, we at Zawadi baby Shop have got you covered with all the essential products you may need during this fun-filled adventure, be it breast pumps, nursing pillows, breast milk storage cups and many more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to get the feeding products at an affordable rate.