You can find the Portuguese version of this post originally posted at Amamenta Porto website here: http://porto.amamenta.net/dicas-facilita-vida-recem-nascido/
These gorgeous photos are from Baby (not baby anymore) Sigmund, Diana Nobrega Fotografia´s handsome son. Thanks for sharing, Diana!
I met Filipa Dos Santos at a CPR Course a few months back facilitated by Amamenta Porto, her professionalism and interest on the wellbeing of the babies and moms couldn’t stop me for inviting her to write on the blog.
Filipa is one of the Top10Moms behind Amamenta Porto, she is a mother of 2, mompreneur, Doula, Breastfeeding and Baby Wearing Consultant. She kindly reviewed the Top10Mom project and felt it was a great match for her texts and here is her article with 9 tips to facilitate your life (and mind) while nursing a newborn.
1 – Trust your baby: Newborn babies are, essentially, instinctive beings. Your baby tells you what she needs — and it isn’t too much. It’s enough a pair of arms and breastfeeding in self-service mode.
Take naps close to your baby. Accept all the help possible so you can carry your baby and guarantee that you meet your needs as well. Contact is a basic need for your baby, as essential as being fed.
2 – Make skin to skin contact constantly: Feed your baby through your skin. Skin is the major organ of our body. Every system of your baby needs to be cared and fed, and the skin isn’t an exception.
Newborns use, basically, two senses: touch and smell. Contact with your skin allows her to satisfy her needs of touch and smell and keeps her warm, quiet and fed.
How can you know if you are feeding your baby enough? Keep her close to your body or close to other significant caregiver for at least 2 hours per day. Ideally, a newborn baby would be always in someone’s arms — night and day close to the body of a caregiver. This is what a baby needs when she’s born.
3 – Breastfeed frequently and on demand: Babies kept in contact with their mother for the most part of the day, breastfeed more frequently and suck more efficiently. They are usually calmer. Therefore they spend less energy crying and warming themselves. They don’t need to spend precious calories to keep their bodies working, so they use them to grow.
A baby kept close to her parents, it’s a baby who breastfeeds well and in a good frequency in order to develop.
Feeding each hour, two hours, or whatever, it’s not fancy. It’s a basic need!
4 – Sleep when baby sleeps and eat when baby eats: You can sleep close to your baby, respecting some security rules. You can download here UNICEF´s Bed Sharing Guide.
This is an excellent way to rest. Every time you feel tired, you may lay down with your baby so she can breastfeed and you may sleep. When you keep your baby close to you, she sleeps better. Mothers who rest close to their babies report more quality of sleep because they wake up less, and they get an extra help from hormones
You should eat and drink plenty of liquids when your newborn does it, too. A wrap or sling can help you through this – or a breastfeeding pillow.
5- Carry your baby using a physiological carrier: A wrap or sling may be very useful for some moments of your day — even for all your day! The aim of a wrap/sling is to replace your own arms so you can have them free. The baby will still be close to you, supported by a baby carrier — exactly the same you would do with your arms.
You want a baby carrier capable of carrying your baby so well as your own arms. A carrier that wraps your baby in his back, which supports his neck and head and sustains him in the bottom (supporting from knee to knee).
In a carrier like this, you and your baby can stay very close to each other all day long, make skin to skin contact as often as you want, and your arms remain free to do other things that you need to do.
6 – Limit visits to people whom you’re close to: First days and weeks are a very sensitive period to a newborn baby and a mother. Welcome everyone whom you feel comfortable with to keep your baby close to your body, breastfeed and carry her all around. Everyone that won’t cause a stress response in you and your baby. Those whom would help you and take care of you.
7 – Ask and accept help with housekeeping: You’ve just gave birth to a baby! Your body have worked SO MUCH for 9 months and went through a tremendous effort to bring her to the world. Now, your body is focused maintaining your baby warmth, fed, comfortable and happy. Please, accept all the help that may be offered. If no one offers, don’t be ashamed to ask for it.
People surrounding recent mothers: Please, take them food, keep her comfortable and fed. A body who gives birth to another body deserves all the nourishment and reverence. Unfortunately, in our western culture, we’ve lost what ancestral cultures have — the reverence, respect and carry for the Mother-Woman.
If you don’t have any relatives or friends to help you, you may want to ask the services of a postpartum doula. You might find out about this service offered by Amamenta Porto here.
8 – Ask for breastfeeding support as soon as you feel any difficulty: In spite of all this, if you feel unconfident breastfeeding your baby or you’re struggling with baby weight issues, feeling pain while feeding, your nipples are cracked, your baby won’t breastfeed or any other problems… Ask for support. There are professionals trained to advise you in this special period.
On the National Health System (SNS) you may find some doctors and nurses with this kind of training, in some hospitals and health centres.There are also private clinics and organizations that offer this kind of support too.
In Rede Amamenta (Breastfeeding Network – amamenta.net), we believe that all parents and babies have the right to be supported by a trained dedicated professional, who can actually support them and inspire confidence. You can also find an Amamenta near you here.
9- ENJOY yourself and your postpartum body. You are amazingly designed to carry and nourish a baby — ENJOY these unique moments.
Filipa dos Santos is a mother of two, breastfeeding counsellor WHO/UNICEF, doula and babywearing consultant, she is one of the founders behind Amamenta Porto and you can know more about her at: http://porto.amamenta.net/filipa-dos-santos/