Keeping It Real MaMa
Every mother has their own story when it comes to pregnancy or breastfeeding. Not everyone has the same outcome. for one mom it can go smoothly and easy and for another mother they can struggle through the process. Don't overwhelm yourself with the different stories being told. Every ones story is different. You can certainly end up feeling overwhelmed by all of the information you're getting. So, let's focus on the basics of breastfeeding. Here's what you need to know to get started.
The milk-making glands in your breasts begin to grow and develop. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin play one of the major roles in preparing your breast to feed your bundle of joy.
Watch for signs as in breast and areola the circular area around your nipple to become darker. These are great signs that your hormones are doing their job and your body is preparing to produce milk for your baby.
Ideally within the first hour of giving birth you should begin breastfeeding your baby. Mostly babies are alert and interested in nursing in the first two hours of life. In most cases the baby may be too tired and only drink little spurts before falling asleep this may just be enough to fill them up. Attempting to breastfeed on these attempts will prompt your breast to making more milk.
You may have a lot of concerns about breastfeeding your newborn. Many hospitals and birthing centers have lactation consultants on hand to help guide you through the early days, and midwives and doulas are often trained to help new parents get the hang of breastfeeding. Some common questions you may have include:
In the beginning the baby will more than likely feed briefly but more often. This is great and will also help you establish a good milk supply. Your body will naturally adjust to the babies demands of milk once your feedings become a pattern.
The way your baby latches during feedings is very important. If the baby is latching on correctly the baby will be able to feed efficiently and allow your body to produce a good milk supply steady and plentiful. You will also be saving yourself from sore nipples.
For a newborn to latch correctly may take some trial and error. To latch properly, your baby should be latching onto your entire nipple as well as some of your areola. If their lips are turned outward (like fish lips) and their chin and nose are touching the breast, those are good signs they've latched on well. If your baby has taken just your nipple into their mouth, gently use a finger to break the suction between their mouth and your breast and try to reposition them.
You can choose to breastfeed in any position that you feel comfortable. You can learn the common breastfeeding positions (or "holds") to see what you like or find your own.
For newborns who have trouble latching, many breastfeeding parents find the laid-back position or cross-cradle position to be helpful. However, it's a good idea to try a few different positions so that you can alternate them. By changing your breastfeeding holds from feeding to feeding, your baby can drain milk from different areas of your breast.
Basically, the more frequently and effectively your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you'll make . Your breast milk will go through three main stages in the first weeks of life:
To be sure, you can keep an eye out for the signs that your baby is getting enough milk. They should be:
It's rare that a mom wouldn't produce enough breast, this is a common concern for fist time moms. If your baby is eating every 2-3 hours and latching on correctly the you should be producing enough milk for your baby's demand.
One of the greatest things about breastfeeding is you don't need any additional supplies just your breast and your baby. there are some items you can get for comfortability. For example if the baby has trouble latching on you can try breast shells or nipple shields. Also nursing pads are great to have for the let down process so when your breast leak near feeding time you dont have two wet spots on your shirt.
What About Pumping?
If your a working mother and are returning to your job after your postpartum then you will wanna buy a breast pump and milk storage bags. Breastfeeding is both dedication and exhausting. While this is the best for you and your baby mom's may pump once in a while to give the baby a bottle especially if there's other smaller children in the house. Most importantly you wanna make sure you pump when possible and some Dr.'s recommend you can pump about an hour after a feeding.
How Long Is Breastmilk Good For Once Pumped?
After each pumping, you can:
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