Article Featured on MyCity4Kids on April 10, 2017

 

 

Welcoming a child into a family is a momentous occasion, for all involved. Everyone’s life changes and it takes a bit of adjustment to get used to caring for a baby around the clock. Many first time mothers, including me, have a feeling that they weren’t fully prepared for what lay ahead. There are very practical ways to provide support for a new family as the mom and baby establish a good breastfeeding relationship. While we all want to “help” a new mother, more often than not, we are unsure of what support we can provide. This article will go over normal newborn behavior and provide strategies on how one can support a breastfeeding mother.

 

 

Most new parents think that a newborn should feed for 20 minutes and then sleep 2 -3 hours at a stretch; in reality, a newborn will feed around the clock. The newborn has reflexes for suckling at the breasts, so allow them the time to do that. The most safe and secure place for the baby is in the mother’s arms. Breastfeeding provides the child with nutrition, comfort and safety, the three most important aspects as the baby adjusts to the world outside the womb. To establish a good breastfeeding relationship, the first few days and weeks are critical, and that is where new and even experienced mothers need help.

 

Way to help a mom:

 

  • Make sure she is eating and drinking water frequently.
  • Help her get good, nutritious food if she needs it
  • Guard against too many visitors as what the baby needs and wants most is to be at the mom’s breast.
  • Enable the mom and baby to spend as much time together as they want. There is no such thing as “you will spoil the baby by holding them too long” or “don’t make a habit of letting the baby sleep on your chest.”
  • Don’t swaddle or put mittens/socks on babies as it hampers the breastfeeding relationship and overall development.
  • Watch the baby and allow the mom to catch up on sleep.
  • Encourage the mother to get the required help she needs, whether it is from a lactation specialist, psychologist for depression, or partner.

 

 

Ways to help with a newborn

 

  • Help with bath time, diaper changes, and massage schedules.
  • Take the baby out for a walk; being outside is great for overall development.
  • Allow the baby to sleep on your chest.
  • Read and sing to the baby.
  • Hold the baby and walk around as babies like movement and have been experiencing it since they were in utero.

 

 

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