Breast milk is always supplied in a sterile state and is the best source of nutrition for a child. In particular, various immune substances and immune cells are concentrated in colostrum secreted for 7 to 10 days after childbirth. Today, we are going to learn how to practice breastfeeding step by step, something that new parents should know!
1. Pregnancy and Right After Childbirth
During pregnancy, the development of mammary gland tissue causes the breast to swell, and secretions are produced from the areola. There is no need to scrub vigorously with soap, as the secretions act to protect the nipples. It's a good idea to do a light wipe once a day and think about how you're going to breastfeed from time to time during your pregnancy.
The most important timing for breastfeeding is within 30 minutes to 1 hour after childbirth. At this time, when the baby is breastfed, the hormones work actively, and smooth breastfeeding is possible in the future. Tell the hospital that you intend to breastfeed immediately after childbirth.
2. Breastfeeding Practice: Studying Breastfeeding
- Cradle Hug Pose
This is a posture in which the baby's belly and the mother's belly are facing each other, and the baby's face and the mother's breast are facing each other.
- Cross-arm Position
Hold the baby with the arm opposite the breast to be fed. Grasp the baby's head with your thumb and forefinger, then support the neck with the rest of your fingers.
This position is recommended for mothers who find it difficult to sit on their side (due to a cesarean section, etc.). Place one or two pillows on your back to support your back, then lie down on the pillow. Lay the baby on your side, then place your arms over the baby's head and place a thin towel over the baby's head so that they can latch onto your chest.
This is how you breastfeed!
When you lightly touch your nipple to the baby's lower lip, the baby reflexively opens their mouth wide. At this time, put the nipple into the baby's mouth. It is forbidden to bite only the nipples! Help your child open their mouth wide, so that they can take a bite. Then, hold the baby tight enough to touch your baby's nose and chin to your chest.
3. What happens after breastfeeding?
Let your baby eat enough until they open their mouth on their own. If you need to move their back or the child's mouth to correct the posture, do not forcefully remove it. A child may bite and injure themselves. Place your little finger in the corner of your baby's mouth to pull out the nipple naturally.
After breastfeeding, the bra should be completely dry before you put it on. Give your chest a few minutes of air to dry.
After expressing milk, it is better to wet the nipple and areola a little with the expressed milk and dry it, because it acts as a kind of barrier against irritation.
Author: Hanbit Kim, Oriental Doctor
- (Current) Seocho National University of Education
- Graduated from Kyunghee University College of Oriental Medicine · Korean Academy
of Oriental Pediatrics
- Member of Korean Pharmacological Association