I have an almost 15 month old little girl and I’m just gonna share a bit about breastfeeding. A lot of people find it difficult and some mothers want to but cannot. It is currently advised and popular to breastfeed a baby because, well, you can search the internet for that or this link: (https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/breast-bottle-feeding.html)
Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone, and if you can’t, it’s okay, FED IS BEST.
So back to breastfeeding. It was difficult at first, as a new mom, with all the uncertainties, anxiety and fear that anything could happen to that little life. You’re unsure how to hold that baby and more so how to feed the baby. The hardest part is the first week. First, the latching, sometimes a baby finds it hard to latch because it’s a new thing for them, like it is for you.
I am very lucky with my Pediatrician, she’s been mine when I was a child, and now, my daughter’s. I’ll list the facts I’ve found helpful here for first time breastfeeding experience. These are things that worked for me, either from my mother, my doctor or the internet (but as I searched these more than a year ago, I don’t have sources to share).
• Newborns feed every 1 1/2 hour to 3 hours during the day, up to 4 hours at night.
• Newborns feed approximately 30 minutes, sometimes they don’t let go for an hour. You should change sides every 30 minutes.
• Stay hydrated and well-fed, what you eat will be their milk and if you’re hungry, you have low quality and quantity milk. (You can try lactation cookies)
• In my country, Philippines, it’s common to take malunggay (moringa) capsules as supplement to aid in milk production. You can try searching for lactation cookies or supplements for breastfeeding available in your country
• Depending on your nipple type, it’s usually suggested that baby should be sucking on your whole areola or a part of it because they have to push with their tongue there to get the milk out.
• Make sure there is no loud sucking sound as it means air is being sucked too, it will make your baby gassy and uncomfortable.
• Break their latch when they’re not sucking properly as they will get gassy and gassy babies are fussy babies.
• Break their latch by inserting a pinky in their mouth or if you find it easier, push the side of your breast near the latch to break the vacuu
• This is the best time to use nursing pillows because when they’re bigger, it’s not that helpful anymore. They do get in the way sometimes but they help you keep your posture.
• Make yourself comfortable, it helps to have lots of pillows to help you position yourself. It also helps to have someone nearby to help you arrange pillows or the baby.
• Experiment on feeding positions and find your most comfortable position. Of course, both of you should be comfortable.
• Baby’s face should be facing the same direction as baby’s body. As a guide, his/her ear should be aligned with his/her shoulder.
• It’s not usually suggested because of risks as every person has different sleeping patterns, but if you’re desperate for some Z’s, you can try lying your baby on your chest to sleep at night. Make sure that the baby won’t fall and that you are aware enough of your baby even in your sleep.
• Be aware of food and drinks not meant for lactating mothers. Apparently, citrus fruits can make babies gassy. Some food can make baby uncomfortable or can change the taste of your milk. Too much sugar can also keep your baby awake and fussy.
• Know that what you eat affects your baby, but not immediately. Some food can cause gas, constipation, diarrhea or different colored poop.
• Spit-ups are normal but if it happens everyday with too much milk spit out, or if you are concerned, consult your doctor.
• Your first week breast milk is VERY IMPORTANT, it contains colostrum (google it). If you want to give up breastfeeding, at least get through the first 2 weeks.
• A newborn only has around 2 ounces of milk capacity but will stick to your breast for comfort even after feeding.
• drinking cow milk is not suggested, it’s like digesting animal’s milk to make human milk and some babies react weirdly to it.
• Remember to make your baby burp, you can google how to.
• DO NOT DILUTE BREAST MILK OR FORMULA, baby’s do not have to drink water so soon, consult your doctor on when it’s best to introduce water. Your breast milk is enough to hydrate them, you’re the one who should drink more water, not the baby. Your milk glands will regulate it for them.
• There are 2 kinds of milk, foremilk and hindmilk, hindmilk comes out only after 15 min of breastfeeding. Foremilk is almost clear and watery, hindmilk is white. (colostrum is yellowish and thick) hindmilk is more nutritious.
• The first few days or weeks can be hard to adjust to with all the things you have to remember, sometimes, it helps to download an app to help you keep track, search for one with a screen widget.
• Warm compress and massaging can help if you want to produce more milk. it also helps unclog milk ducts.
• It hurts at first, but it gets better.
• Don’t neglect yourself too much, pee and poop as soon as you need to. If you get an infection, your baby will also drink your antibiotics through your milk.
Things you should google:
• food and drinks that are not okay for breastfeeding
• breastfeeding positions
• food for more milk production
• positions for baby burping
• how to sooth engorged breasts
• benefits of breastfeeding
• breastfeeding apps
Lastly, enjoy the experience and the bond. It’s a bittersweet experience full of surprises and new things. Every mother is different, and every baby is different, if you have something to share, share it, it will help others who might be going through the same thing. I hope this helps a bit. 🙂
(please comment if you’re a professional and anything is wrong)