Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice - it is the ideal way to nurture both your baby and yourself.
Here are a few things you may want to have on hand to make becoming a breastfeeding mom as easy as possible:
Here are the facts about some common breastfeeding misconceptions:
Every baby is different! And every mom's experience with her newborn is unique. While no two babies are alike, the following typical feeding routines should let you know what to expect, help you recognize the ranges of normal, and give you guidance about when to seek help from a healthcare provider.
On average, your baby will awaken to breastfeed every one to three hours or feed at least 8-12 times per day. Feedings are timed from the beginning of one nursing to the beginning of the next. After your baby finishes a feeding, she'll probably be ready to nurse again within the next couple of hours.
Many new breastfeeding mothers are not prepared for the normal frequency of feedings. They assume they must not have enough milk because their baby wants to feed so often. New breastfeeding mothers often comment, "It seems like all I do is breastfeed." Many moms feel this way. This is not how breastfeeding looks forever. Most breastfed babies become more efficient at breastfeeding as they get older.
Try not to focus much attention on the clock. Instead, follow your baby's cues about how often she needs to nurse. If she was just fed an hour ago and is acting hungry again, respond to her signals and offer your breast. Feeding frequently during these first weeks is the principal way your milk supply becomes adjusted to meet your baby's requirements. This is known as the "breastfeeding law of supply and demand." Remember that empty breasts make milk, so it's important to continue breastfeeding frequently to make milk.
Your body is experiencing a lot during this time and as your breasts continue to produce milk, they may seem like they are changing by the hour. In the early months of nursing, you may experience leaking. Nursing pads, like Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads, help prevent embarrassing leaks. Your breasts may also swell and become engorged, and your nipples can become sensitive and sore. If your nipples do become sore or cracked, Lansinoh HPA Lanolin or Soothies by Lansinoh Gel Pads can be applied to soothe and protect your nipples.
Engorgement, or swollen breasts, is a temporary condition that begins about the third day postpartum. Nursing frequently during this period is the best way to alleviate engorgement. Breastfeeding while engorged can be difficult since the baby can have a hard time properly latching on, but don't let this discourage you. If your breasts do become engorged and you get flat nipples, try Lansinoh LatchAssist. LatchAssist is a simple tool to help your nipples temporarily stand out, making it easier for your baby to establish a good latch. Your nipple needs to touch the roof of your babies mouth to stimulate the baby to latch on, suck and swallow. Other things to try:
You might often wonder if your baby is getting enough milk. Some people in your life who may not understand breastfeeding may attribute any kind of fussiness or crying to your baby being hungry, but don't get drawn in by this breastfeeding myth. Fussiness or crying is not a good indicator of a baby being hungry. It is never wrong to offer the breast at any point to relieve a baby's fussiness but sometimes babies just fuss. The best way to know if your baby is getting enough milk is to look at baby's diapers. While it is difficult to know exactly how many ounces of milk the baby is getting from the breast, continuous weight gain and alertness are indications that the baby is getting enough.
Diapers are another good indicator that your baby is being properly nourished. Wet diapers indicate good hydration, while poopy diapers indicate enough calories. Familiarize yourself with how a dry disposable diaper feels both wet and dry so you can feel a little more secure with recognizing a wet ultra-absorbent diaper. Don't be alarmed by the appearance of baby's poop, as it will change during the first few days from black and tarry to green to yellow and can look seedy and loose. After baby's 4th day look for 4 poopy diapers and 4 wet diapers. After baby's 6th day we want to see at least 4 poopy and 6 wet diapers. If your baby is having less than this you need to call your pediatrician.
If you are worried about how much breastmilk your baby is consuming, consult with a Pediatrician or a International Certified Lactation Consultant for pre and post breastfeeding weight checks.