The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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To celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, Fit Pregnancy has been hosting live Facebook chats with breastfeeding experts and there have been plenty of questions about how to handle the rough patches that come up when you and your baby first begin breastfeeding. Nursing is challenging for most moms, and it was for me initially, too.
I can only remember bits and pieces from the first 48 hours after my son was born. I remember the collective cheer that went up in my delivery room when he finally (after four hours of pushing!) came out. I remember calling him by his name for the first time when they put him in my arms. And, I remember my doula, Elena Vogel, who also happened to be a breastfeeding expert, helping my son latch on for his first feeding.
The first days and weeks of breastfeeding often boil down to sheer survival: getting your baby to latch onto (and stay on!) your breast; functioning on what often feels like mere minutes of sleep; and willing yourself to keep going if you’re having problems.
Once again, we’re all in a bunch about breastfeeding. It’s all over magazine covers, news stations, Facebook and beyond. I’ve been trying to keep my big mouth shut because seriously, haven’t we already covered this?
In case you haven’t heard, breastfeeding is a pretty rockin’ way to feed your baby. It’s cheap (no need to buy formula); it’s easy (no mixing or warming necessary); it’s “green” (no formula containers in the landfill); and it’s good for his body and mind (a lower incidence of short- and long-term health threats like diarrhea and leukemia, plus an IQ boost). It’s even good for you, conferring a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
You can give your baby one of the greatest gifts possible by making the decision to breastfeed. Relatively minor ailments, such as ear infections and gastrointestinal problems, are less common among breastfed children, but so are long-term, potentially dangerous conditions, such as obesity and some childhood cancers.