As the world celebrates World Breastfeeding Week 2012 from 1st – 7th August, we join in the celebration of motherhood and bonding with baby. Here are some guidelines from Rosemarie Anatol of The Informative Breastfeeding Service (TIBS) to new moms who plan to breastfeed and want to get the most out of this special time with baby:
1 Make sure baby is given to you immediately after birth. This skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby is very important for baby.
2 Breastfeeding should start within the first hour. Don’t be discouraged if your first breastfeeding session does not go well however. Remember that baby is learning to breastfeed so there may be hiccups. Baby is born with a reserve of nutrients so there is no need to worry that he/she is hungry.
3 Do not worry that your first breast milk is a small quantity. This is called colostrum and is in the right amount for your baby. Although it is in a small quantity, it is concentrated.
4 Feed your baby on demand – frequent feeding helps you to produce more milk. It basically works on a supply/demand system.
5 The size of your breasts does not matter. Moms with even the smallest of breasts can breastfeed their baby.
6 Breastfeeding should not be painful. If it is, then there may be a problem; most likely the baby is not latched on to the breast properly. This may cause a new mom to be discouraged and discontinue breastfeeding. To avoid this, find someone who can help you and encourage you to breastfeed.
7 Be prepared for sleepless nights. Babies’ stomachs are small and digest the milk quickly. Therefore, you may find yourself having to feed baby many times during the night.
8 This leads to lack of sleep. To remedy this, sleep while baby is sleeping.
9 Concentrate on baby for the first few weeks. Having to juggle too many responsibilities at this time can overwhelm a new mother. Everyone else in the household should do the housework at this time and visitors to see baby should be restricted. A new mom should not be tiring herself out entertaining guests. If you have visitors over, they should be open to helping as well.
10 A new mom needs to eat on time and drink plenty of fluids. This may seem very straightforward but when everything gets overwhelming, you may forget to eat. Do not let this happen, your body needs the nutrients.
11 Baby needs to be held. Do not listen to those who chide you about holding your baby for too long. You are not ‘spoiling’ your baby, he/she needs to be close to mom, they need to hear your voice, and feel comforted and secure.
12 You should breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of your baby’s life. Your baby does not even need water, the breast milk provides this as well. No solid food should be introduced until the child is six months, at which time, it should be introduced little by little.
13 And of course, enjoy your baby! Some new moms get so overwhelmed that this time passes without them enjoying it. Get daddy involved in learning about breastfeeding with you (before baby comes), so that he can offer support to you when breastfeeding time comes. There are also counselors available at The Informative Breastfeeding Service (TIBS) to help you be less stressed during this time, so that you can really enjoy it.
World Breastfeeding Week
August 1st -7th 2012
The twentieth anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated this August in over 120 countries around the world. Locally, World Breastfeeding Week 2012 is being launched in Tobago with the support of The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA). Best Breastfed Baby Competitions, coordinated by The Informative Breastfeeding Service (TIBS) with the support of the staff of the TRHA, are being held at all Health Centres in Tobago. The competitions began on 13th July and continue during the last two weeks of July. The much-anticipated annual World Breastfeeding Week Walk and Breakfast will be held on Saturday 4th August, 2012. The walk, led by the Tobago Boys’ Brigade, will start at 6.30am at Old Market Square, Scarborough and proceed to The Esplanade, Milford Road, Lower Scarborough, where breakfast will be served for a contribution of $30.00. Following the breakfast there will be a prize giving ceremony, where winners of the Best Breastfed Baby Competitions will receive their prizes. A special World Breastfeeding Week Support Group will be hosted by The Helen Ross TIBS Centre in Curepe on Wednesday 8th August at 12.00 midday. For further information about World Breastfeeding Week activities call The Informative Breastfeeding Service (TIBS) at 628-8234 or e-mail [email protected]
or check TIBS Web Page at www.tibstt.org