Babies who are nursed within the first hour of birth are generally more successful at breastfeeding.
If you have an epidural during labor, your baby might be sleepy at first - but you can still successfully breastfeed. Be prepared, even if you have a medicated labor and delivery, to ask for help if your baby is sleepy or has some trouble getting started at the breast. It is good to know who to reach out to should you need a consultation. During your hospital or birthing center tour, you can ask if there are lactation consultants on staff to meet with you after baby arrives.
Breast engorgement is a common challenge for new moms. It often occurs when your mature breastmilk first comes in - usually 3 or 4 days after birth. Engorgement is the result of your milk coming in, combined with an extra supply of blood and fluids that prepare your body for feeding. The best way to avoid engorgement? Watch your baby, not the clock! Feed on demand so baby can teach your body how much milk to make. This will help you establish and maintain your supply.
Even if breastfeeding starts out shaky, remember to trust the process and believe in yourself. You’ve done your homework and you’re going to be an amazing mom. Trust yourself and trust your ability to give your baby the best possible start in life! If you’re struggling, need additional support, or maybe just a little reassurance, don’t hesitate! Contact our Certified Lactation Counselors anytime with your questions.