Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with breastfeeding tips from our Austin OBGYNs
August is National Breastfeeding Month, but our Austin OBGYNs celebrate nursing all year. Breast milk offers the perfect nutrition for your baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months while continuing to nurse for the next six months or more after introducing solid foods.
National Breastfeeding Month is the perfect time to discuss the benefits of nursing
Breast milk is easily digestible and has all the nutrients your baby needs. Additionally, breastfeeding helps protect your baby by providing antibodies that help reduce your baby’s risk of developing asthma, type 1 diabetes, obesity and other conditions.
Nursing also lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other health issues.
Advice to help you and your baby get off to a good start
Here are a few breastfeeding tips to help you as you start nursing.
• Take advantage of the lactation consultants and nurses in the hospital. Ask questions before you take your baby home.
• New babies eat often, somewhere between eight and 12 times per day. Watch your baby for hunger cues like crying, rooting from side to side and searching for the breast.
• Don’t hesitate to try different breastfeeding positions to find the one that works for you and your baby.
• Don’t force the baby to latch onto your breast. Encourage them by pulling the baby close so that their chin moves into your breast to encourage opening the mouth.
Finally, be patient with yourself. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, so find someone supportive to talk to and to help you work through any problems you encounter.
Breastfeeding tips for common nursing issues
Virtually every mother experiences some nursing issues. These range from sore nipples to engorgement. Here are some ideas that may help you.
- If your nipples are sore, try different positions that help ensure a good latch. Wash your nipples with plain water and apply pure lanolin lotion or hydrogel pads for healing.
- If you have mastitis or engorged breasts, breastfeed often on the infected or engorged side. Try cold compresses for engorgement and warm, wet clothes for mastitis. Massage can also ease the pain of both problems.
- Consult our Austin OBGYNs for help with breastfeeding issues.
Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with our physicians and staff by learning more about nursing and its benefits for you and your baby. Contact us for an appointment.