In this chapter, we explore starting out as a new Breastfeeding Mama and different postures we can use to make it comfortable for you and baby.
You may find nursing your baby a struggle in the first few weeks home.
It is frustrating - something natural should come easier!
Nursing is also so tiring - most newborns breastfeed every two to three hours around the clock for the first few weeks. Yes, that means through the night too!
Watch for stirring, restlessness, sucking motions, and lip movements: these are all early signs that your baby is hungry!
When you've settled into your preferred breastfeeding position, allow your baby to nurse from the first breast for 15 to 20 minutes or until your breast feels soft. However, keep in mind that there is no specific time limit.
Then attempt to burp your baby. Following that, serve the second breast. Your baby's mouth will latch on if they are still hungry. If not, simply switch to the second breast for the next nursing session.
You should make it a habit to pump the other breast if your baby exclusively nurses on one breast at a time to relieve pressure and ensure even lactation.
Here are some recommendations to ease up the stress you may face:
Stay away from pacifiers, at least initially: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against using a pacifier for the first month since it can decrease hunger cues and take time away from the breast during this crucial time. After that, a pacifier shouldn't be a bad idea.
Lay down on your side: It allows you to rest your shoulders and lower back if you tend to hunch over. Furthermore, it's especially beneficial for mothers who have had a C-section, suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you're just plain tired!
Consider using a breastfeeding stool: It elevates your legs into a position that gives you more of a lap. It's beneficial if you're short, and it relieves pressure after an episiotomy.
Don't let your baby fall asleep: Tickle the bottoms of your baby's feet, stroke them under the chin, do anything to keep your baby from falling asleep on your breast!
Pay attention to your diet: When you're breastfeeding, you'll need roughly 300 more calories per day than when you're pregnant—even more if you're exercising or have multiples.
Getting Your Baby to Latch
Some mothers' babies are magnetically latched to their breasts from the moment they are born.
However, for most women, a proper latch needs a little more trial and error.
Here's what a proper latch should look like:
Both of your baby's lips should pout out and cover almost all of your nipple and areola.
The jaw of your baby should start moving back and forth. Instead of smacking sounds, your baby may make low-pitched swallowing noises.
Do note that if your breasts hurt during nursing, it could mean that your baby is not latched on properly.
As your baby feeds, their nose may come into contact with your breast. If you're worried that your little one is having trouble breathing, gently press down on your breast near their nose to give them more breathing space.
Your baby should be able to nurse without having to turn their head or strain their neck.
Try these breastfeeding tips to help your baby latch:
Face each other, nose to nipple, belly to belly: Make sure your baby's tummy is in contact with yours so she won't have to turn her head to latch. Then, instead of pointing your nipple at her mouth, point it at her nose. This will get your baby to lift their head, open their mouth wide, and latch on hard!
Make yourself comfortable: Choose a chair or glider that supports your back, neck, and shoulders.
Suckling and sucking are not the same: A suck-swallow-breathe pattern indicates that the baby is latched on and suckling. There is milk flow from the breast to your baby's mouth.
Break the seal and try again: Don't feel discouraged if you don't get your baby to latch right on the first try! Pull your breast out by inserting your finger into the corner of the baby's mouth. Then, begin again until you have a seal that covers both the nipple and the areola.
Common Breastfeeding Positions
This is probably one of the most common breastfeeding positions out there.
Start by placing your baby's head in the crook of your arm. Then, with your forearm, support your baby's back and bottom. Your kid should be lying with their back to you. The position of your breast should be directly in front of your baby's face.
Place baby next to you while laying down. Your baby should be facing you. Hold your baby close so they can latch on. If necessary, you can prop yourself up with a pillow.
This position may be beneficial for moms who have had a caesarean section.
Do be warned - you don't want to fall asleep in this position (or any position for that matter)!
Co-sleeping can be harmful to your child as it raises the chances of SIDS.
Tuck your baby under your arm and to the side of your body.
Your hand should be resting on their head. With your forearm, support your baby's body. Hold your baby facing you.
Try this position if you have had a C-section, huge breasts, a tiny baby, or many babies!
Hold your baby with the opposite arm of the breast you're using.
Use your hand and forearm to support your baby's head and bottom. Premature newborns and babies with a weak suck can benefit from this position as it provides better head support.
Laid-back breastfeeding, often known as "biological nurturing," is gaining popularity among some lactation consultants.
To try it, lie back or recline slightly, then place your naked baby on your chest, skin-to-skin and face-down.
Allow gravity and your baby's instincts to take over after gently guiding their mouth to your breast. Most babies will bob over and self-attach with a nice deep latch. This position can be a lifesaver if you've really been in discomfort.
Troubleshooting Common Breastfeeding Issues
Is my baby getting enough milk?
If your baby does any of the following, they are getting enough milk:
Acting satisfied after each feeding
6 to 8 wet diapers daily
At first, your baby will have 2 to 5 or more stools every day. This amount may drop to roughly two stools each day or less.
What is the let-down reflex?
Your milk is ready to flow when you feel the let-down reflex. It facilitates breastfeeding for both you and your baby.
Here are some characteristics of this reflex:
A tingling sensation in your breasts during nursing.
Milk leaking out of breasts while unused.
Fun fact: If you miss a meal, hear a baby cry, or worry about your baby, it can trigger the let-down reflex!
The reflex may be strong enough to make your baby cough. If this is an issue, try manually releasing some of your milk before feedings.
Should my baby have their own room?
Ideally, babies should sleep in the same room as their parents for the first year of life — or at least for the first six months.
This reduces the risk of SIDS and may also make feeding more convenient.
With that said, your baby should sleep alone in their own crib, bassinette, or other baby-friendly surfaces.
Babies should not sleep in adult beds.
A baby can become trapped and suffocated between the slats of the headboard, the area between the mattress and the bed frame, or the space between the mattress and the wall. In addition, if a sleeping parent rolls over and covers the nose and mouth, the baby can suffocate too.
How often should feedings be?
Feed your baby as frequently as they want.
To help gauge feeding frequency: a baby may be hungry 8 to 12 times a day or even more after birth!
This figure may fall over time or rise during a growth spurt. For example, growth spurts occur between the ages of 2 and 6 weeks and then again between 3 and 6 months.
On a related note - let your baby nurse for as long as they want.
Stopping feedings before your baby naturally releases may prevent your milk ducts from emptying entirely. This can reduce your milk production and make it more difficult for your baby to nurse.
When should I consult a doctor?
If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor immediately:
A site on your breast is red, sore, or uncomfortable
Painful engorgement that may indicate overfull breasts
A fever coupled with unfamiliar aches may indicate an infection
If your baby is losing weight for no apparent cause, you should also contact your doctor.
How can I improve my milk supply?
You must get plenty of rest and eat well. You need to allow your body to adjust to your baby's demands.
Baby formula or cereal should not be used to substitute breast milk. This may lead to your baby losing interest in breast milk. It will also reduce your milk production.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding should be the only food source for your baby until they are roughly 6 months old.
Are you still worried that you won't have enough milk?
Clookies amazing lactation bakes is an easy option that’s guaranteed to boost your breast milk to keep up with all your baby's feedings.
With our nutritious, all organic ingredients list, our delicious lactation bakes are formulated to stimulate lactation. Not to mention, it's a delightful treat for when you need a pick-me-up!
Breastfeeding mothers like yourself can take our lactation bakes any time after delivery.
But to truly benefit from our quality organic lactation cookies, we recommend taking them anytime you notice a drop in milk supply.
In the right quantity, they can take as little as 24 hours to see results!
We recommend 6 to 8 cookies per day for Clookies' lactation cookies, but there's no harm in indulging yourself a bit. Our mothers love eating them as a snack!
Taking care of a baby is hard work - you deserve it!
Clookies: Your Best Breastfeeding Partner
All our lactation bakes are made with imported, quality, Halal-certified ingredients with serious milk boosting properties!
Apart from delicious lactation cookies and baked goods, Clookies also provides tailored advice, text-based lactation consultant services and more!
If you'd like to know more or have any specific lactation questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Otherwise, you can reach us at email@example.com or drop us a WhatsApp at 9109 9724.