Congratulation on your new baby!
Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! After all the hard work you have done, carrying, growing and then birthing your little human you are now responsible for feeding around the clock! Learning to breast feed can have its highs and lows and although it is something that women have been doing forever it doesn’t always come as naturally or freely as we hoped. Just like everything else when it comes to parenting, breastfeeding has a learning curve!
I have compiled the top five questions I receive daily with regards to those early days of breastfeeding.
1) How do I know if my baby is eating enough?
It is normal for your newborn baby to eat frequently 8 – 12 times in a 24 hours, which if we do the math is every 2-3 hours but you might find your baby wants to feed hourly for a couple hours in the evening and that is normal. The more your baby breastfeeds the more milk your body produces “supply and demand.” Another way to determine if your baby is getting enough milk is by keeping track of output to ensure your baby is having the proper amount of wet and dirty diapers for their age.
2) Will I know when my milk comes in?
Milk “comes in” usually around 72 hours after giving birth but prior to this you have colostrum which is the perfect food for a newborn baby. Most people will know the difference when your milk comes in as your breasts will start to feel full and heavy before feeding and feel emptier after feeding.
3) How do I know if my babies latch is correct?
Latch is usually the number one reason most Mamas request lactation support. A correct latch can make all the difference; it can eliminate nipple pain and helps your baby eat more efficiently at the breast. This allows them to get milk quicker and swallow less air reducing the chance of gas. The latch should have a wide open flanged lips and asymmetrically covering all of the areola, the chin should be touching the lower breast and the nose should be in a sniffing position.
4) How long should my baby be feeding?
Length isn’t as important as observing the feed. Watch your baby for active feeding cues such as swallows and a strong suck. If your baby is no long actively feeding but wants to suck at the breast to sooth the feed could be finished. Burp and offer second breast.
5) What is the deal with weight gain?
Newborns normally lose weight in the first few days home from the hospital, once your milk supply has come in they will start to regain. Most babies will regain their birth weight within 10 -12 days old. Following this, normal newborn weight gain is about 115-200gm per week (4-7 ounces) during the first month of life. Most babies will also double their birth weight by about 5-6 months.
If breastfeeding is tougher than you expected, try not to get discouraged! Feeding a newborn every few hours can be tiring. Good nutrition for Mama, plenty of fluids (without caffeine) and rest will support the production of breastmilk!
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