If one thing in this world makes you feel like you’ve been thrown into the deep end, its giving birth to your very first baby, one minute, you are just looking after you and your growing bump, and the next, you have s small human whose every need must be catered for. One major change you will very soon discover is the new and sometimes daunting world of breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding may be the most natural thing there is, it can sure take a lot of work before it seems that way. Check out some of our favourite breastfeeding tips below, and you will be well on your way to becoming an expert.
Be patient in the first few days
What many mothers expect is to be flowing with milk as soon as their baby is born; however, this is not always the case. When you’re still pregnant, your body will start producing colostrum. Colostrum is a nutrient-rich, syrupy, pre-milk that your baby needs in its first few days of life. After two to three days, your body will most likely start producing milk; however, it can take five or six days for some mothers. Stay calm and patient and remember that a health care professional is just one call away.
Your baby will nurse a lot
Newborns are constantly hungry. What’s great is that you have the perfect source of food readily available. Breastmilk is quickly digested, and with a baby’s stomach being the size of an egg, it’s expected that babies will need to nurse often. Frequent nursing also serves another purpose. Your breasts work on supply and demand, and your baby is helping your body to learn how much milk it needs to make. Furthermore, be sure not to worry about being low on supply. As long as your baby is making at least five or six wet nappies each day, your supply is perfectly adequate.
Cluster feedings are your friends
Many mothers worry the most is when their baby suddenly goes from feeding every few hours to demanding to nurse every few minutes. Cluster feedings have more to do with your baby growing, rather than with your supply. Growth spurts usually last two or three days and happen at about 1 week old, 3 weeks old, 6 weeks old, and again at 3, 4, 6, and 9 months old.
Look after your nipples
While pregnancy and birth sure put your body through some changes, breastfeeding is a workout for your breasts and nipples in particular. While pain can be due to a bad latch, in the beginning, it can be just as likely that you need to get used to nursing. Your own breast milk is the best remedy, next, rubbing purified lanolin onto your nipples after each nursing session can help prevent chafing and excessive dryness. Be sure to be especially gentle when cleaning yourself and most certainly do not scrub them to “toughen them up.”
Drink plenty of water
It takes a lot of water to make milk. Until your body regulates and figures out exactly what it’s doing, you’re going to need a lot of water. Be sure to keep a large bottle of water by your bed and take one out with you wherever you go.
After having a baby, it takes time to figure everything out so always go easy on yourself! If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding, or would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Dr Bevan Brown is one of the most trusted obstetricians in Sydney and will be thrilled to give you complete and compassionate care in every way possible.