Breastfeeding provides a baby with complete nutrition to help them grow, helps prevent and fight infections, and many women find the experience strengthens their bond with their baby. However, it’s not always straightforward and can some women with experience difficulty breastfeeding their newborn.
This can include trouble with expressing and storing milk, finding the right feeding technique, cracked and sore nipples, poor supply and even breast infections. It's important to feel prepared and well supported if you decide to breastfeed your baby. You can take Elevit Breastfeeding multivitamin to help provide the nutritional support necessary for you baby’s healthy development. Elevit Breastfeeding also helps replenish your own nutrient levels, supporting your energy and vitality as you continue to breastfeed.
- Breastmilk provides nutrition to help your baby grow, as well as satisfying their thirst
- Breastfeeding increases babies’ resistance to infection and disease, and helps protect them while their immune systems are developing
- Breastfeeding can help in the healthy development of babies jaws, eyes, brain and other functions
- The experience of being breastfed can help can soothe your baby
- Breastfeeding is convenient because it means you don’t have to prepare formula and sterilize bottles, it’s environmentally friendly and it’s also free!
Where do I start?
Breastfeeding starts almost immediately, usually within an hour of birth, and newborn babies can even instinctively find the nipple to start feeding themselves.
For the first few days your breasts produce colostrum, which is rich in protein and antibodies to give your baby the best start. Normal breast milk then replaces it after a few days.
If you can achieve a good attachment and position your baby comfortably, you’re far more likely to breastfeed successfully and avoid issues like cracked nipples and uneven milk production. You can speak to your midwife about the different breastfeeding techniques or, alternatively, visit the Ministry of Health website.
How much do babies eat?
At first, babies may feed quite erratically but it won’t be long before you both find a groove. It’s common for babies to feed between 8 and 12 times a day for the first few weeks, and you should always feed your baby if they show signs of being hungry, for example, opening and closing the mouth, fidgeting or sucking on their hands, clothes or toys.
Ideally, in every 24 hour period, your baby should:
- Feed at least 8 times
- Have at least 5 wet nappies
- Have at least 2 soft bowel movements until they’re six weeks old
- Gain weight and grow steadily
How often should you feed your baby?
The more you feed, the more milk your breasts will make. You should feed your baby until he or she stops sucking and swallowing and lets go of your breast, then feed from the other breast straight away. Babies need to fed at night as frequently as during the day.
Breastfeeding can be a hugely rewarding experience for you and your baby, but it takes work. Speak to your GP or visit the Plunket website if you need help or have any questions about continuing to breastfeed.