During the first few weeks of your new life as mom and baby, both of you will be going through major adjustment periods. Your baby is discovering, or at least seeing, thousands of things for the very first time and is reacting to new smells, sensations and stimuli. For your part, you will be adjusting to your baby’s schedule, learning the early characteristics of your baby’s personality and adjusting your habits to fit the needs of your newborn.
Breastfeeding is part of this process and it is very critical for your baby’s health and well-being. Studies have shown that not only will your baby get the nourishment he/she needs, but you and baby will begin to form a strong bond that only a mother can understand. This process is the result of a combination of the intimacy of breastfeeding, being able to supply nourishment to a life and the closeness that this activity demands.
To the greatest extent possible, you should do everything you can to feed your baby when baby is hungry. This will not only allow your baby to begin to get on a routine, it also will help you make breastfeeding a regular part of your routine as a mother. This is important because it will allow you to manage your time and plan your day around this very important function.
Another key factor is to make sure that the place where you breastfeed is comfortable for you and baby. Pick a place that will allow you to relax and enjoy this most intimate of moments. The area you choose should be quiet, comfortable and as free from distractions as possible.
Make sure that there is a place to sit and hold your baby, as well as a stool to rest your feet and legs. You will no doubt be tired in the first couple of weeks after giving birth and having a comfortable area will allow you to relax as well. Being relaxed and not nervous or distracted during this time is imperative.
You should also make sure that you have plenty of pillows in the feeding area as well as a blanket to keep you and baby warm. Remember that this time is special for you both, so do what you can to make it pleasant and comfortable. A good idea is to have something to eat or drink when you are feeding your little one. This will keep you hydrated.
Next, to give you time with the baby, you might wish to give your older children a game or some activity to complete during nursing time. TIf your older children want to be a part of the process and you don’t want them to feel left out, you could read them a short story or play a guess game during the nursing process.
Finally, make an effort to relax. Have soothing music playing in the background and take deep breaths to help you “get in the mood.” Leave the phone off the hook and ask that any grown-ups in the house leave you alone for a few moments.
By following this simple advice, your time breastfeeding can be mutually beneficial for you and your baby.