Breast milk is considered by health professionals as the best choice for infants up to two years old. Economically convenient, rich in nutrients and antibodies and a promoter of mother-and-child bonding, it is important in the growth and development of your child.
When a woman finds that she cannot fill the daily needs of her child at all times, a breast pump is bound to come in handy. A breast pump is an apparatus that allows the mother to extract milk from her breast. It can give you a great amount of milk in a moment’s time and then store it for future use.
Breast milk can be given through breast feeding and the supply of a breast pump interchangeably. As a busy mom on the go, here are five great breastfeeding and breast pumping tips.
1. Optimum Health
Breast milk is the product of the mother’s body. This means that it undergoes bodily mechanisms in order to form. You can increase your milk supply by eating nutritious food, engaging in healthy activities, and getting plenty of rest. Having optimum health affects the breast milk crucially in terms of both milk quantity and quality. Galactagogues are foods that help in the milk production of the mother and should be eaten regularly. Good examples are rich, leafy green vegetables, soups, and grains.
2. Breastfeed Upon Demand
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding upon demand is now recommended to a child. This is because the infancy stage is where a child grows at a rapid rate and they need all the nutrients that their body can get. It may sound strange, but breastfeeding your child even if you have no milk output yet helps greatly. For new mothers, you may wonder why you cannot produce as much breast milk. It is not that you cannot at all, but it is only a matter of stimulation. Oxytocin, a hormone that helps in milk production, is released upon stimulation from breast feeding. It will signal the body to produce milk and therefore, will increase your supply.
3. Exclusive Breastfeeding!
A very important point stressed by health professionals is the recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding. This means that it must not be used with any other milk formula and that the child should receive breast milk alone until six months. After six months, breast milk can have complementary foods, but still, milk formulas are advised to be avoided. This is because breast milk gives the most benefits and the child’s body cannot readily digest cow’s milk. Regular breast pumping will therefore ensure that your child has an adequate supply of milk without having to rely on milk formulas.
4. Proper Feeding
Another important point when breastfeeding is doing it properly. You may be feeding the child almost every two hours, but is he getting enough of the milk per feed? Positioning of the child is crucial. Make sure that the child is in a position where the head is supported, the mouth is wide open and covers most of the areola (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple), the upper lip is protruded and the baby is sucking strongly.
5. Proper Pumping
Breast pumping will give mother and child many perks, but like breastfeeding itself, it needs to be done properly. The breast pump can first be done by pumping 5 minutes per side. Make sure you pump long and not short times repeatedly. Long pumps will give you more milk. Pumping often can also stimulate your milk supply so try to find time for it whenever your child is asleep.