New Born Care in the first six months of life revolves around nutrition and adoption of good breast feeding techniques by the new mother. Breast milk contains nutrients that are vital for the infant.Malnutrition kills one out of three infants in India because of inappropriate feeding practices.
The mother should know the technique of breastfeeding to make sure that the newborns are consuming sufficient amount of milk. Following are a few methods of breast feeding :
The Cradle Hold
This breastfeeding position requires the mother to cradle the baby’s head with the crook of her arm. Sit in a chair that has supportive armrests or on a bed with pillows. Mother should sit straight and bring the baby near her. Hold the baby in lap (or on a pillow) so that baby is lying on her/his side with the face, stomach, and knees directly facing mother.
Best for: The cradle hold often works well for full-term newborns, which have normal deliveries. Some mothers say this hold makes it hard to guide their newborn’s mouth to the nipple, so they may prefer to use this position once the baby has stronger neck muscles at about 1 month old. Women who have had a cesarean section may find it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.
The cross-over hold
Also known as the cross-cradle hold, this position differs from the cradle hold in where mother doesn’t support the baby’s head with the crook of arm. .
If mom is nursing from her right breast, use left hand and arm to hold the baby. Rotate his/her body so his/her chest and tummy are directly facing mom. With mother’s thumb and fingers behind his/her head and below his ears, guide baby’s mouth to mom breast.
Best for: This hold may work well for small babies and for newborns who have trouble latching on.
The clutch or football hold
As the name suggests, in this position mother tuck her baby under her arm (on the same side that she is nursing from) like a football or handbag. First, she should position the baby from the side, under her arm. The baby should ace the mom with her/his nose level with nipple and the feet of the baby pointing toward mother’s back. Mother should use her forearm to hold the baby’s upper back.
Best for: Mothers who underwent C-Section or small newborn or twin babies.
The mother can feed the baby while lying down on her side, keeping pillows behind her and under the head and shoulders to keep the back and hips straights. Place the baby facing towards mom and hold the head with mom’s hand.
If the baby needs to be higher and closer to the breast, place a small pillow or folded receiving blanket under his/her head. Baby shouldn’t strain to reach mom’s nipple. The mother needs to lift her breast, with her fingers underneath.
Best for: If the mother wants to feed in lying down position,or recovering from a cesarean or difficult delivery, sitting up is uncomfortable.