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31st December 2012 02:15 AM #1
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- Aug 2012
how to be successful in Brestfeeding
I will be a first time mom this January 2013 and I am wondering how I can be successful in Breastfeeding. I mean, Im scared that I wont have milk by the time my baby is born or enough milk supply till she gets older. And I wanna learn about proper positioning as well and cure for sore breasts.
Thanks in advance!!!
2nd January 2013 08:00 AM #2
How exciting that you will soon meet your baby!
That's great that you want to breastfeed and give your baby the best start to a healthy life.
Your body will produce the breast milk your baby needs - your body knows when to start doing this. It is recommended to breastfeed your baby on demand i.e. whenever your baby gives feeding cues and is wanting milk (e.g moving their head from side to side or sucking on their hands). Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis - the more frequently you put your baby on the breast the more milk your body will produce.
However, for many women breastfeeding takes some practice and a little time to establish. One of the most important factors to successful feeding is getting a good latch. I would recommend getting your midwife to check the latch and to keep asking for help if you are unsure at first. I also found a lactation consultant essential in helping me to get a good latch with my baby who had a tongue tie. Lactation consultants can also help with other feeding problems. It would also be a good idea to see if there is a local breastfeeding support group near you where you can share experiences with other mums.
If the latch is right then breastfeeding should be comfortable. Sore breasts are really a sign that something isn't right.
I wish you a happy breastfeeding experience! Please post back if you have any other questions.
2nd January 2013 03:34 PM #3
Most women have plenty of milk for their babies. But if you'd like to make extra sure that you have the best chance possible of having plenty of high quality milk for your baby then you'll want to make sure you are drinking plenty of water each day (purified water is best). When you have plenty of amniotic fluid for your baby (which drinking plenty of water helps with) then there are less complications. Then, after the baby is born, continue to drink plenty of water to help with breastmilk production.
Another thing you can do is to drink Mother's Milk Tea. I just recently responded to a question about the best ways for increasing breastmilk supply which you may want to read before baby arrives.
Aside from that, baby's time at the breast, positioning at the breast, and his ability to suck will play a large role in how much milk you produce.
Initially the body will know when to start producing breast milk due to the hormonal changes that occur during and just after birth. You wouldn't need to put baby to the breast at all during the first few days after birth, and your body would produce milk.
But you'll definitely want to put baby to the breast right away and often, for a number of reasons.
First of all, it's best, whenever possible, for baby to be placed on mother's bare belly and/or chest immediately after birth (placed between breasts is optimal). Skin to skin contact helps baby to regulate his temperature and also offers baby and mum the best opportunity to start their bonding and breastfeeding relationship.
Breastfeeding immediately after birth can help the uterus to contract which reduces bleeding, and it also helps mum to birth the placenta after the baby. Your doctor or midwife should wait until your placenta is fully detached from the uterine wall before they ask you to push and they do any tugging.
With a couple of my babies, we waited to cut the cord until after it had stopped pulsing (20 minutes or so) and then we waited for the placenta to fully detach before I pushed it out. A side note here - contractions and pushing the placenta out were very mild compared to the contractions and the pushing it took to deliver the baby.
Here's a UNICEF video called "The Breast Crawl". It shows that if you place a baby between mum's breasts, the baby will be able to find the breast and start suckling all on their own. It's amazing. Also, listen closely to what is being said so you can learn about the benefits of putting the baby to the breast within 30 minutes of birth.
During the first 3 days or so after birth, you will produce colostrum, which is a sticky, golden substance that is full of immunity boosting properties. Putting baby to the breast often will allow him to get all of that good colostrum and will also satisfy his need to suck while stimulating milk production.
When your milk comes in it will be imperative that you put baby to the breast often - at least every 2 hours in order to keep from becoming engorged. Engorgement is when your breasts get so full of milk that they become hard (not soft and squishy like they are now). A hard breast will be painful for you and will create flat nipples. Flat nipples are very hard for baby to latch onto. So feeding often is really important during the first few days. Engorgement can also lead to milk ducts becoming clogged and infected, so always be thinking about putting baby to the breast to relieve and empty the milk ducts all throughout the day and night.
As your milk comes in it will be a golden color, and it will eventually turn white or a bluish white, depending upon how rich your milk is. You'll be producing colostrum for at least a month but over time it will go from sticky to milky and from golden to white in color.
Sore nipples can be avoided by proper positioning at the breast and by keeping the nipples dry. Be sure to have plenty of breast pads on hand and change them often - at a minimum, at every feeding. Anytime they become damp, you will want to change them because nipples that are left in a damp environment can become painful.
Here's a page with many different breastfeeding videos showing proper positioning on Dr. Jack Newman's website. Pay particular attention to the positioning videos and the ones that talk about using compressions to get baby to drink faster. You want baby to get a good, full feed in a short amount of time. You don't want to sit on the couch with baby at the breast all day. This can lead to the nipples being damp/wet too much and not having enough time to really dry in between feedings. Some mums even find that once breastfeeding is well established and milk is in, that they can do a full feeding on one breast (allowing the other nipple to have a "break" and be dry) and then they can do a full feeding on the other breast 2 hours later.
Here's a video that shows how to know if your baby is drinking/getting milk and when your baby is not drinking (or just nibbling).
Here's a wonderful page on this site that has a lot more breastfeeding information that you may find helpful.
Please post back with any questions that may come to mind as you prepare for your new baby.