The do's and don'ts of breastfeeding

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Congratulations on the recent birth of your baby! But you must be asking 'What should I do or not do when I decide to breastfeed my child?' Here are some tips to get you started on your pregnancy journey.

Starting the breastfeeding journey can be scary, especially for a new mum. In this article, we share some of the do's and dont's of breastfeeding.

The Do's of breastfeeding

Breastfeed as quickly as possible after delivery. 

Right after giving birth, try your best to breastfeed your baby within 1 hour. This sticky and yellowish milk that your breasts produce will help to protect your newborn from bacteria and viruses. You should also breastfeed on demand, feeding him whenever he crying or sucking on his fingers - signs that tell you he's hungry. Other times, a premature, ill or jaundiced baby might be to sleepy or small to cry. If you find it slightly harder to tell his hunger cues, wake him up every 2-3 hours and encourage him to latch on, setting him on his course to gain enough weight.

Practice your latching techniques before leaving the hospital

This is where all the research and classes come in. It's important to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding tips. Find the most relaxing position for your body that you can stay in for a while so that you can comfortably try out the different positions suits you and your baby the most.

Place your baby chest to chest and angle your breast to gently touch his lips. Your nipple should encourage him to open his mouth to try to latch on. Your baby's mouth should ideally cover the whole areola and not just the nipple. If you you start to feel some pain, gently insert a finger between his gums and loosen his hold onto the breast and try it again.

Surround yourself with a great support system

You should know where to turn for support before the baby comes. Do as much research as you can about breastfeeding and lactation. This allows you to meet doctors, experts and even other mums who will have ample advice on how you can improve breastfeeding with your child. Especially for new mums, always check with your support system when you have any issues during breastfeeding. Once you bring the baby home, it might feel easier to give up and bottle feed the baby instead when things start to get a little difficult.

The Don'ts of breastfeeding

Don't worry too much about the numbers

Where you're a new mum, it might feel like everything has to be perfect in order for your baby to grow up healthily. It doesn't. Don't be too concerned over feeding your baby according to a schedule or desired quantity. If you think your baby is hungry again soon after eating, just go ahead and feed him again. Just as we all have varying appetites throughout the day, so does your baby. This will help him through his growth spurts.

Don't give up too easily

Breastfeeding, while it is a natural act, still requires some level of learning and definitely practice. It requires learning because modern women have given up a lot of our instincts to machines and technology and we need to re-hone our maternal nursing instincts. On the other hand, babies are born to nurse. The Breast Crawl is a well-known experiment to depict the instinct of newborns to crawl to their mother‘s breasts to nurse when placed upon their mother‘s tummy immediately after birth.

This article was last updated in December 2015

Need Help? Don't fret!

In doubt about the Do's and Don'ts of breastfeeding? Please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby's situation.

theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.
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