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Tips for New Mom’s Preparing to Breastfeed

Tips Every New Breastfeeding Mom Should Know

Breastfeeding has so many wonderful benefits for both baby and mom. Breastfeeding allows many opportunities each day to bond with your baby, as well as set them up for success. It can be a lot of work for moms but very beneficial for your baby’s health and growth in the first few months of life. Here are some helpful tips to set yourself up for success when choosing to breastfeed.

The 3 Stages of Breast Milk

As you begin to prepare for breastfeeding, it is important to understand how your breast milk will change week by week to meet your newborn’s needs.

1. Colostrum

The first type of breast milk is colostrum, present at the end of pregnancy and in the first few days after a baby is born. Colostrum is very important because it provides nutrients and antibodies to your newborn to fight infection. The amount of colostrum your body will make is small, but it gives your baby all the nutrients in that initial amount they need.

2. Transitional Milk

Your transitional milk will come in about 3 to 5 days after you give birth. Some describe transitional milk to be the look of orange juice, the yellowy substance of colostrum mixed with your mature milk transitioning in.

3. Mature Milk

Mature milk typically comes a week and a half to two weeks after delivery. Your mature milk will be whiter and thinner than transitional milk and can often have a blueish hue to begin. Mature milk is lower in proteins, but higher in fat and carbohydrates, making up 90% water to meet your baby’s nutrition and hydration needs.

Getting “The Latch”

Getting your baby to latch can be stressful for both you and your baby. Here are some tips to practice so that latching will eventually come easily.

  • Be comfortable. Sit in a comfortable space and use pillows as needed.
  • Utilize help. Use as much help as you need whether it be a nipple shield, partner, or lactation specialist.
  • Line up tummy to tummy. Lining a baby’s tummy up with yours is the best position for success.
  • Guide baby. Move baby’s head towards your breast, placing the nipple around their lips so that their chin and tip of their nose are on your breast. Make sure the baby is latching and extracting adequate milk from the breast.
  • Practice is normal. It’s not going to work perfectly every time. If you need to restart, pull your breast out by putting your finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth.

How to Hold Your Baby When Breastfeeding

How you hold your baby when breastfeeding can make the biggest difference in your success and comfort. A few styles that many moms have luck with are laid-back breastfeeding, side-lying position, cradle hold, or football hold. Learning techniques to burp your newborn

How to Know Baby is Getting Enough Milk

The most stressful thing for breastfeeding mothers is ensuring their baby is getting enough milk. Here are some things to monitor to make sure they are well-fed:

  • Track diaper changes. Look for 6-12 wet diapers and 3-5 bowel movements per day (24 hours).
  • Monitor sleeping habits. Fussing less when it’s time for naps tends to mean they are full and content.
  • Listen to your doctor. Research shows babies should gain 5-7 ounces per week. Work with your doctor at appointments to monitor weight gain to ensure they are feeding enough.
  • Stay hydrated. Putting your health first to ensure you are hydrated and well-fed is equally as important to ensure your child is getting adequate nutrition.

The benefits of breastfeeding set your baby up for so much success as they grow and allow a mother to build a great relationship with their baby. Most importantly, fed is best so if breastfeeding is not working for you and your newborn, speaking with a doctor to find the right formula is equally as important in navigating the feeding journey as a new mom. Share these tips with a new mother who is preparing to breastfeed.