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A Guide For New Mothers

Breastfeeding & More

A Guide for Young Mothers

By Melanie Rumbel and Marika Dy

Why should you breastfeed?

Breast milk contains an ideal blend of nutrients for infants and immunity-boosting antibodies. By breastfeeding, you can help your baby grow strong and healthy. Mothers that breastfeed also experience health benefits themselves. Since the body absorbs calcium more efficiently while lactating, breastfeeding mothers reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Additionally, breastfeeding can help a family save money. Because there is no need to buy feeding bottles, formula and artificial nipples, breastfeeding leads to fewer expenses.


Caring for your baby

During first few weeks, only give your baby a sponge bath. After umbilical cord falls off, give baby a bath 2-3 times a week in lukewarm water.

Feed baby frequently. A newborn needs to be fed every 2-3 hours.

Trim baby’s nails so they don’t scratch themselves.

Burp baby after feeding to release air trapped in baby’s stomach. To burp baby, hold baby against your chest, and softly pat their back

When holding baby upright or laying baby down, support their neck and back.

Wash your hands before holding your baby to prevent infection and illness.

Change baby’s diaper frequently so that it is clean. Wipe genital area front to back to avoid urinary infection.

Myths about breastfeeding

MYTH: The mother should not breastfeed while on medication.

FACT: Only a very small amount of most medicines will be found in breast milk.

MYTH: The mother’s diet decides the milk’s nutrient composition.

FACT: Diet does not directly affect quality of breast milk produced. However, if the mother is severely malnourished or fails to maintain a balanced diet, breast milk quality can be detrimentally affected.

MYTH: You should not nurse if you have a blocked duct or breast infection.

FACT: The best way to treat a blocked duct is to breastfeed as often as you can. To prevent an infection, clear blocked ducts by breastfeeding. If you develops an infection, see a doctor immediately– however, it is still safe to breastfeed as it will not harm the baby.

MYTH: If ill, you should stop nursing immediately.

FACT: By the time you feel ill, the baby will most likely have already been exposed to the illness. Continuing to breastfeed the baby will actually boost their immune system by passing along protective antibodies that are found in the breast milk.

MYTH: Pain during breastfeeding is normal.

FACT: Some mothers may experience tenderness for the first few days of breastfeeding, but there should not be any pain. Mild pain lasting for one or two days is acceptable, but any pain more extreme or lengthy should indicate that a mother must seek medical attention.


Breastfeeding Tips

Get comfortable– sitting in a reclining nursing position can reduce breast soreness and allow baby to latch on better.

If nipples crack while breastfeeding, rinse with clean water and apply a safe, appropriate ointment (i.e. petroleum jelly) to soothe any irritation.

Stay hydrated when feeding, drinking a lot of water.

Breastfeed soon after giving birth, and feed often to increase milk supply.

Make sure the baby is latched on to as much of the areola as possible. This will ensure that the baby can draw out the maximum amount of milk, as well as reduce any pinching discomfort which may occur if the baby is latched only on the nipple.

Hygiene for Breastfeeding Parents

Wash breasts and nipples properly to reduce the baby’s exposure to bacteria.

Wash hands before and after every feed.

Treat blocked nipple ducts immediately to avoid worsening the infection.

Wear a clean bra everyday, and change it if it gets soiled or wet. If breast pads are worn to soak up leaking milk, change them often. This can prevent yeast or bacterial growth, as they thrive in damp, warm environments.


Vaccinations for Children

Young children are at increased risks for infectious diseases because their immune systems have not yet built up the necessary defense.

Childhood vaccinations allow child to develop immunity against diseases before they come into contact with them.