The bond between a mother and her child is like no other. Their first baby steps, the first awkward laughter, tiny fingers curling up on your index finger – these are memories that remains etched in your mind forever.
At the core to this unique bond remains the intimate touch when the mother takes to her bosom the newborn for breastfeeding.
Nursing is a different experience for everyone and what works for one woman may not always work for another.
“There is no particular ‘easy’ way. It all depends on in which position you and your baby gets habituated. But there is a ‘right’ way to nurse,” says Doctor Punam Ganguly, a research associate in Brac.
She advises new mothers to sit in a position where they can support their back while feeding or opt for the reclining position while nursing.
These are taught by health professionals to new mothers after birth, she adds.
Initially, start by turning you your baby’s whole body toward you, chest to chest. Touch her upper lip with the nipple, and, when the baby opens her mouth wide, pull it onto your breast.
Your new born needs to get used to the position, therefore do not panic if it seems to seems to have trouble finding or staying on your nipple. Breastfeeding requires patience and lots of practice.
Another nursing technique is to hold the baby in a cradle position. Cradle the baby’s head with the crook of the arm. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with lots of pillows. Rest your feet on a stool, coffee table, or other raised surface to avoid leaning down toward your baby. Be sure to support your baby’s neck and spine and check if she is lying in a horizontal or slightly angled position.
If you want to nurse the bay while lying on your side, ask someone to place several pillows behind your back for support. You can put a pillow under your head and shoulders, and one between your bent knees, too. The goal is to keep your back and hips in a straight line. With the baby facing you, draw him close and cradle his head with the hand of your bottom arm.
Besides the positions, it is also important to keep in mind several other factor while nursing an infant. Since the breasts get heavier during lactation, you should support them with your hands while your nurse. An easy way to do this would be placing four fingers underneath the breast at 9 o’clock with your thumb on top at 3 o’clock.
At the same time, it is also very important to support the child and make sure it is not straining to reach the nipple. Use the free arm or blankets to make sure the baby is not straining its neck Swaddling her gently while nursing can also put the baby at easy.
If you need to change your baby’s position or think that the baby has had enough, gently insert one finger into the corner of its mouth. A quiet “pop” means you’ve broken the suction and you can pull him away. Otherwise, trying to forcefully remove its mouth might end up in soreness for the mother.
Along with that there are many devices available in the market that has made breastfeeding easier, such as breastfeeding pumps and so on.
When a new mother breastfeeds her infant, it is a natural instinct that takes hold of her.
Like Monika Roy, a young mother, puts it: “I never thought of the reason behind my decision to breastfeed or why I chose to do it instead of opting for formula. This is just something a mother does and so did I.”
Courtesy of The Daily Star