Tips for the First Two Weeks of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding: The Beginning
During the first few weeks of a breastfeeding period, problems can arise. These problems include fear, and lack of knowledge regarding how to handle breastfeeding. In this case, it is helpful to learn the important aspects of breastfeeding.
How the Body Reacts to Having a Baby
Once the baby is born, your breasts will begin to enlarge. When this happens, it is important not to panic. They do this in response to having a baby so that the baby has access to as much milk as it needs. There will be inflammation and swelling, but this is a normal part of raising a child.
Upon breastfeeding for the first few times, the milk that breasts provide is called colostrum, and it is loaded with antibodies and nutrients necessary for a baby to grow up healthy. Only a little amount is produced, but this is not a problem; the baby’s body will still benefit greatly from this important substance because your baby’s stomach is very small.
Side Effects to Watch Out For
If the baby latches on improperly, this can lead to cracked or bleeding nipples; naturally, this is a painful sensation.
To escape this pain, it is vital to correct the latching technique. Once a proper strategy is established, the nipple will begin to heal. Sometimes, even the slightest change can make a difference. For assistance, consult a lactation expert.
How Much is Enough?
When feeding a newborn, it is important to feed the baby until he is finished. When a baby is done feeding, the baby will either stop eating, or fall asleep. If the baby is receiving the proper amount of milk, the baby will be alert, healthy, and happy. After around 10 days, your baby should regain its weight from birth. If concerned, you can always check with doctors at Riverside Medical Group for verification.
During the initial 14 days, however, it is important to try and keep the baby from falling into a food coma in order to ensure the correct amount of milk is administered. This is to ensure it regains the aforementioned weight.
How Do I Keep My Baby Awake?
If you find your baby is sleeping during feeding time, it is necessary to take action to keep the little guy awake. You can do this through stimulation; rubbing the baby with your hands (usually the nails) along its back, and down to its feet gently to provide a little energy, helps the baby stay awake.
You Deserve Help
At first, breastfeeding may seem scary. Sometimes it can be tough getting the baby to take in the milk, as it can be hard compressing the nipple and areola tissue, meaning the baby will have difficulties with latching onto the breast.
During this time, mothers might want to consider getting a doula (a trained professional) for support. They will do their best to provide information, as well as support. A doula can also help with getting the baby to latch on, which is obviously important for feeding the baby. If more help is necessary, lactation professionals are available if you are struggling to feed your baby.
Do Not Overexert
When babies do not take to the breasts, sometimes women may panic and try to pump as much as possible into a bottle. However, it is crucial not to do this, because it forces the body into a rhythm that is not in sync with the baby; the breasts may pump too much milk. This leads to swelling and pain that can take months to heal, not to mention tacked on stress.
What You Can Do
You might be thinking: If not a pump, what is the best way to give milk to my baby? Luckily, there are methods to breastfeed properly without a pump.
Something women can do include using hand gestures, and using a hot/warm rag on the breast, which increases productivity. Utilizing hot water, the breasts will soften, meaning the baby will be able to latch on much quicker, and the milk will have an easier time coming out.
Most importantly, this will help with the engorgement phase; by increasing milk flow, the breasts will have to work less, aiding in the process for the swelling to go down.
What Riverside Medical Group Can Do for You
If you need further help with your baby, Riverside Medical Group is here for you! We understand the first few days of having a newborn can be frightening, which is why we offer prenatal classes. To help teach you proper techniques to raising your little miracle. Interested? Check us out, and book a session now!