How to clean your nipples

The natural oils on and milk from the nipples have protective factors. The risk of catching an infection in this way is low since breast milk contains a variety of substances protecting the baby against disease. Thus, there is no need to clean the breasts before each feeding. During the breastfeeding period, wiping the nipples with boiled and warm water once or twice a day will be sufficient. During this period, using carbonated water or soap is definitely not recommended, as this could cause the skin to dry out and crack. However, your hands in particular must be washed thoroughly before each feeding. After the baby has stopped feeding during the nursing session, putting a few drops of milk on and around the nipple area can keep the nipple soft.

What should the mother eat?

A large part of the milk lactated by the breastfeeding mother is provided by her diet. Considering that a healthy mother lactates 700-800 ml of milk on average per day, breastfeeding mothers need more nutrition in comparison to other women. Breastfeeding mothers should not rush to lose weight. This period can last for 6 months or more. It is easier for breastfeeding mothers to lose weight in comparison to mothers who do not breastfeed. Loosing more than 2 kg a month is not recommended. Diets or drugs promising quick weight loss should be avoided. The conventional wisdom is that mothers should eat syrup, milk, oats, tahini, halva, grape molasses and desserts such as baklava etc. to increase their milk supply. These foods have no effect whatsoever on milk production; all they do is make the mother gain weight. The key to increasing milk production is water consumption. Mothers should drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water every day. The reason for this is that the main component of milk is water. Breastfeeding mothers should not skip meals and should not smoke or drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Reducing tea or coffee consumption is also recommended, opting for herbal teas instead.

Why do babies hiccup and what should you do to stop it?

Babies hiccup due to the development of a muscle called the diaphragm.

It is a completely normal and physiological event. To stop hiccups:

• Wait

• Hold the baby straight

• Massage the bottom of their feet

• Breastfeed the baby for a short time Hiccups may persist for several minutes or up to an hour. If the baby continues to hiccup for more than an hour, if the hiccuping does not stop despite the measures taken and if it lasts so long it prevents the baby from nursing, you should consult your doctor.

Some other baby care tips…

  • Breast milk is sufficient if your baby wets themselves 5-6 times a day, defecates once or twice a day and gains at least 600 g every month.
  • Your baby’s first stool may be dark green and well-formed. It turns yellow after 24 hours and then becomes soft, watery and khaki-coloured. It turns a golden hue after 48 hours.
  • Breastfeed your baby whenever they want.
  • Relieve their wind after each feeding.
  • If they cry when full, then check their diaper.
  • Always wipe a baby girl’s bottom from front to back, to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Ensure that your baby’s environment is clean.
  • Ensure that the walls of your baby’s room allow adequate breathing.
  • Air your baby’s room out everyday.
  • Moisturise your baby’s skin using baby oil, particularly in the first 15 days.
  • Do not use cotton buds to wipe your baby’s eyes, ears and nose.
  • The temperature of your baby’s bath water should be equal to your body temperature. You can check the temperature of the water with your elbow. Use baby shampoo instead of soap.
  • Your baby should not be too hungry or too full while bathing. For this reason, bathe them between feeding times.
  • During their first month, clothe your baby in clothing that is twice as thick as your own.
  • Do not try to remove cradle cap (crusty, scaly skin rash) from your baby’s head; apply baby oil to it, wait for a while and then cleanse this area by gently running a comb over it.
  • Wipe your nipples with boiled and warm water twice a day and leave a drop of milk on them.
  • Do not eat meals that produce flatulence; it will affect your baby.
  • Speak with your baby and touch their skin.

Be prepared

At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress levels – and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.

Help your baby to bond with Dad

Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Dad. His touch and voice are different to yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets your baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be challenging. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you’re needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and “fix” things if they start crying. Your baby cries when you are present, and you experiment to find out what’s wrong. Dads need time to do this too – in their own way.