Finally, your bundle of joy has arrived after 40 weeks of pregnancy and one or two days in your labor and delivery.It’s been quite an adventurous ride and you are just in the beginning of it,lots and lots of happiness are on the way.Getting started with this wonderful ride ,every mom should know what to expect on the first few days of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding your newborn is an exciting experience but it can also be little intimidating until you got to know some basics and confidence on nursing your baby.Every mom would have thought “How can something so natural be so difficult?” Do not worry, I gonna share some insights on breastfeeding basics and tips which will be helpful for the moms, especially new moms.
At the beginning,your body will produce small amounts colostrum(special milk secreted in the initial stage).Colostrum is very rich in antibodies and proteins and very less of carbohydrates and fats.Colostrum boosts your baby’s immune system and their laxative effect helps your baby to pass through the first stools called meconium( Earliest stool of a mammalian infant. Unlike later feces, meconium is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus: intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water).
Colostrum will be very minimal but completely sufficient for your baby’s stomach.Baby’s stomach is very tiny and it cannot have large amounts at a time,so frequent nursing is very important.Once the colostrum has been fed to the newborn automatically breast milk comes into the place,so be sure of your baby’s number of feeds.Breast milk is always supply-and-demand item.Once the demand is high, supply increases. Never miss your baby’s feed even if they are asleep.Newborns tend to sleep a lot so they might not be awake for their feeds.Schedule a time,even keep an alarm for every two hours and nurse your baby.
In the initial stages new moms face some common problems like engorgement, sore nipples etc.., If you are one of the kind then hang on to know the solutions for the problems and make your breastfeeding journey more pleasant.
Engorgement(Breast fullness) : Engorgement is a good sign that your breasts are producing enough milk,so do not panic.If your baby is not nursing well then your breasts are filled with milk which causes the engorgement and sometimes it will be painful.To prevent or to cure, nurse your baby very often as you can.Make sure the latching position is correct.Always try to nurse your baby from both breasts.These simple steps can relieve you from the engorgement.Once the engorgement is gone your breasts become softer and that is when you enjoy breastfeeding.
Sore Nipples (pain in the nipples while feeding): Sore nipples are a part and parcel of breastfeeding.Painful nipples are so common, especially to new moms.To get rid of that check on your baby’s latching position,you can use some ice cubes or cold packs on the sore nipples as a relief.If it is a persistent pain then surely it is not a good sign and do check with your healthcare provider.
Inverted Nipples(baby feels hard to latch properly): Some women face this issue,nipples not protruded in the outside direction.This makes the latching, hard for the baby and it makes the sucking very difficult.To get rid of this you might try some nipple shields, available in the pharmacies which make feedings easier.Once your baby starts to nurse well automatically your nipple would be adjusted.This can be achieved with the continuous process with lots of patience.
Mastitis(inflammation of breasts): Sometimes your breasts may get inflamed and turns red or swollen or painful.Mastitis is caused when engorgement is not cleared, the baby is not latched on properly,poorly fitted bras etc..,Women with mastitis may sometimes feel a lump in their breasts which is caused by milk struck in the breast tissue instead of the milk duct called blocked duct. This happens when your baby doesn’t drain up your breasts well enough.To avoid this condition you may use a breast pump.If your baby is not fed well and still you feel breast feels the fullness use the pump to drain the breasts as much.To treat the mastitis head to your healthcare provider,sometimes they may prescribe some antibiotics too.
So the above detours may happen in your enjoyable journey for any new mom and make you feel discouraged.You are not alone,just ask for the help,get pieces of advice from the elders or lactation consultants.
You would have noted the word poor latching position which is the main causes for most of the issues faced by new moms and now you can understand the importance of that.Better latching position makes breastfeeding a happy time for both mom and kid.
Good Latching :
It might take a bit of practice for a good latching but this simple tips helps your kid for a better latching and nursing.
- Hold your baby in a cradle position(Your one hand behind baby’s neck and shoulder and another hand behind the butt )
- Allow baby’s head to fall back and position onto your forearm and wrists.
- Turn baby’s whole body to face you.
- Snuggle baby in underneath your breasts.
- Let your baby wide open her mouth and slowly latch on the nipple
- Make sure baby’s chin is touching your breast and nose is away from the breast.
- Check the below pictures for better understanding and good feeding positions.
Breastfeeding Positions :
Below pictures might give you some ideas on good breastfeeding positions.
Hunger Cues :
Watch for your baby’s hunger cues to feed them with a proper schedule.
Rooting : Rooting is a natural reflex.When your baby is hungry and when you gently stroke your baby’s cheeks with your nipple or bottle nipple or your finger the infant will open his mouth wide and turn his head towards your stroke.
Suckling on Fingers : Hungry babies mostly suck or lick their fingers as a hunger cue.If the sucking calms your baby and falls asleep she was sucking for comfort.If the suckling makes your baby more active and anger then it is a sure sign of anger.
Crying :Babies cry for more reasons and often,but crying is a late hunger cue.It is better to react for the rooting and suckling to help preserve your newborn’s energy and keep her frustration level to the minimum.
Is Your Baby Getting Enough Milk :
Many moms have this doubt,even I had this confusion on my initial days of postpartum.I was not sure about my baby getting enough milk or I need to feed her more.I asked for help and got some tips which might help you all.
- Your Breasts should not feel full after breastfeeding.It should feel softer
- Feeding schedule should be often
- Your Baby should soak at least 5 to 6 diapers a day
- Bowel movements should be very normal,babies passing meconium even after four or five days of birth should be checked with her pediatrician.Your babies poos are a yellowy- mustard color by the time he or she is five days old.
- Weight gain should be gradually growing on the chart.
If you are concerned with any of the above signs,visit your healthcare provider.
Before winding up this article I really need to convey a secret message to all moms.Yes, Breastfeeding is great for moms, too. It burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms get back in shape quicker. Breastfeeding also may protect mom from breast and ovarian cancer.So fasten your seatbelt along with your baby for this lovely journey.
“Happy Breastfeeding dear mommies”
Hey, by the way I really need to recommend this awesome Breastfeeding help videos for the better healthy start with your newborn. For the expert advice from internationally renowned lactation expert and nurse Kate Hale Click Here!