The first food a baby ought to take right after birth is breast milk. Most obstetricians-gynecologists (OB/GYN) strongly suggest breastfeeding new born babies as soon as they are out of the womb to give them the best nutrition available for them. Experts say breastfeeding is a mother’s investment for her baby’s future.
So, if you want to know how to breastfeed a newborn, the good news is that in most cases, you don’t have to do anything. Most babies have the natural craving for their mother’s milk. This is shown in studies, where a newborn baby slowly crawls to the mother’s chest when placed on the mother’s abdomen and sucks on her breast. You can encourage this craving further using the following tips:
- Breastfeed the baby within 30 minutes to an hour after being born. This encourages their natural tendency to suck on their mother’s breast.
- Don’t administer medication or vitamins that can make the baby sleepy after birth. Sleepiness decreases the baby’s sucking power.
- If within 50 minutes the baby doesn’t respond to breastfeeding, you may assist the baby to latch on to her breast. [INPOSTLB]
- Skin-to-skin contact with the mother creates motherly warmth that comforts the baby and encourages breast sucking.
- Make sure the baby sucks on the nipple and a considerable portion of the areola with his or her mouth for an effective suck and milk release.
- If the baby seems uninterested in sucking the mother’s breast, put some colostrum on the baby’s lips to serve as an appetizer.
- You, as the mother, should know about breastfeeding, read and research about it, several months before giving birth.
And speaking of colostrum, it is the main reason why you want the baby to feed on mom’s milk right after birth. It boosts the baby’s immune system like no other, and provides quality immune defense as the baby grows. Colostrum, the first milk secretion from the mammary glands after the baby’s birth, contains precious anti-bodies that protect the baby from a host of deadly diseases.
In fact, experts say that early introduction to breast milk saves about 22 percent of infancy deaths under one month old in developing countries. No wonder the UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the scientific community encourage breastfeeding within the first hour after moms give birth.
Remember, successfully introducing breast milk to an infant is among the best investments a mother can give to her baby. Start pouring your investment in by learning more about breastfeeding.