Are you worried about being able to successfully breastfeed your baby? Read on to learn how and why.

And Why You Should!

Welcome to parenthood, one of the most exciting, rewarding, and frightening times of your life! Your little bundle will arrive with massive decisions for you to make.

One of your first parenting decisions your little one brings is, bottle or breast? The answer, breast is best! Though many women know this, some fear that they will not know how to breastfeed their baby when the time comes. Keep on reading to learn more!

1. How to Breastfeed

Worry not! We want to teach you how to breastfeed your baby. Follow these steps for a successful nursing session:

a) Get comfortable.

Baby will sense any discomfort and may find nursing more difficult. Prop pillows in bed or find a comfy chair to relax in.

b) Choose a Hold

You can choose from many different ways to hold your baby while they nurse. Some common nursing holds include: the cradle hold; the cross-cradle hold; the football hold; the lying position; and the Australian hold. If one way feels awkward, then simply try another. Every mommy and baby prefer something a little different; Latch – You want the baby to take your entire nipple to avoid pain and bleeding. To do this: gently pinch your breast around the areola; run your nipple down their bottom lip to make sure baby’s mouth opens wide; and guide your nipple into their mouth all the way, so you are almost nose to breast. You should feel a gentle tugging sensation. You should not feel any pain if latched correctly. Sometimes a proper latch takes 3-4 tries, so don’t get discouraged.

d) Feeding

In order to keep up your milk supply in both breasts, switch sides after anywhere from 20-45 minutes. Expect your new baby to nurse about 7-9 times a day.

2. How Long Should You Breastfeed?

This decision can depend on many factors, including your work schedule and future pregnancies. However, according to the CDC, a baby should receive breast milk for at least 12 months, by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ standards. The World Health Organization recommends two years or more of breastfeeding.

3. The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, like every other decision parenthood, requires of you, comes with both ups and downs.

a) Cons

The cons of nursing include: temporary nipple soreness and bleeding; the constant demand for mommy, because even pumping takes work; mommy may need to watch her diet and should refrain from drinking and taking certain medications; and daddy may feel like he does not get to bond as closely. The negatives may feel real at the moment but are minimal considering the benefits.

b) Pros

The pros of breastfeeding include: an unmatched bod between mommy and baby; assive immunity for baby as mommy passes antibodies in her milk; health benefits, including fewer ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illness; decreases the risk for asthma; it lowers the risk of the baby developing childhood cancers; reduces the risk of SIDS by nearly half; helps mommy lose baby weight fast; and it increases the amounts of Calcium Mom absorbs, thus strengthening her bones and reducing her risk for osteoporosis. And the list goes on for why breast is best for mommy and baby.

4. Breastfeed Your Baby

Now that you know how to breastfeed and all the benefits of doing so, this choice should be a breeze for you. Momma knows best, and now you know. To keep your body and baby healthy during pregnancy and beyond, try our mother’s vitamins!

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