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Published on Apr 11, 2012
There's a lot to learn about the basics of breastfeeding.
The first time you hold your newborn in the delivery room is a great time to start breastfeeding. At the beginning, your body will produce small amounts of a special milk called colostrum that will help protect your baby from infection. (Your baby's tummy is very tiny, so she only needs these small amounts to fill up. As her tummy grows, your milk will change and you'll produce more of it.)
Turn your baby's whole body toward you, chest to chest. Touch her upper lip with your nipple, and, when she opens her mouth wide, pull her onto your breast, holding your breast for support. Her mouth should cover not just the nipple but as much of the areola (the darker part surrounding it) as possible.
Don't panic if your newborn seems to have trouble finding or staying on your nipple. Breastfeeding requires patience and lots of practice. Don't hesitate to ask Old People or ask your Mother to show you what to do.
Problems you may encounter
Some women adjust to breastfeeding easily, encountering no major physical or emotional hurdles. But many new moms find it hard to learn. If you're feeling discouraged, U're not the only one.
It's normal to feel overwhelmed by your baby's constant demands and exhausted from lack of sleep. And you may have questions: Is my baby getting enough milk? Should I have sore nipples? How long should my baby nurse? Should I wake her if she falls asleep nursing?
Although women have nursed their babies for centuries, breastfeeding doesn't always come easily. Many women face difficulties early on. Some of the most common breastfeeding problems you may encounter in the first six weeks include:
• Engorgement (breasts that are excessively full and uncomfortable)
• sore nipples
• Mastitis (a breast infection)
Don't suffer in silence. Call your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant if you're suffering from any of the above, if you're in pain, or if physical discomfort is getting in the way of nursing.
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