The birth of your baby is an exciting time. However, when it comes to breastfeeding this can pose challenging for many moms. Although breastfeeding is natural, it does not necessarily come naturally and that’s OK! Early and regular stimulation to the breast is KEY in the first few days. This is what encourages breast milk production. This sends a signal to your body to make that LIQUID GOLD. Below are a few of my personal tips to help you get through the first five days of your breastfeeding journey and beyond.
1. Be Patient:
Don’t stress about your MILK Supply. This is really important. Many moms expect to see milk flowing from their breasts immediately after giving birth. It is not that simple. There is a process to making breast milk. Your body needs time to adjust to the birth of your baby. The first milk your baby will get is called Colostrum. This milk is thin, yellow, and contains antibodies to protect your newborn from disease.
Colostrum contains everything your baby needs to transition to life outside your body. Babies tummies are tiny and when born are the size of a cherry. Babies typically only need about 1-4 teaspoons of colostrum each feeding on day 1-2. So even though you may not see much milk in the beginning, don’t panic! Your body is definitely in the milk production process. Remember, with consistent breast stimulation by nursing, pumping, and or hand expression your mature milk will begin to come in. This typically happens between days 2-5. Sometimes later. This too, is ok!
2. Be Prepared:
3. Know your Options:
If baby is unable to latch onto the breast for whatever reason, know there are other options if you want to breastfeed. This is important because milk production starts once your baby is born and the placenta is released. Delaying the stimulation part of milk production can send a signal to your body that you don’t need milk. That’s why stimulation of the breast early on is so important for future milk production.
You do have options.
4. Be Open to Try Different Breastfeeding Positions for both you and baby:
Try different Breastfeeding Positions. Find a position that both you and baby are comfortable with. There are 5 different breastfeeding positions. Cradle hold, Crossover hold, Football hold, Laid-back position (“biological nursing”), and Side-lying position. Also, use a pillow or a nursing pillow to help make you both more comfortable.
5. Make Special Requests:
It’s ok to Request certain things that you think will help. Remember, “My Body. My Baby. My Business”™. You have a right to make requests!
6. Fuel your body & hydrate:
This is another important component. Once we give birth, we are tired. Beat. Many times food and fluids are the last thing on our minds. However, it is important for your overall health. Remember, when your body is fueled and hydrated it is able to perform at its best… so eat up, and drink your fluids. This can definitely help you feel better, at the same time assist in the milk making process. Suggestions: I recommend iron filled foods like oatmeal and hydrating fluids like water and coconut water.
At the end of the day, take it one day at a time, one feeding at a time. This journey is not easy, but it is possible. You can do this! Good luck, mama.
YOU GOT THIS!
Trina G. is a mom of two and a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. She is the creator of The Lactating Mama brand and the author of the e-book “Life after Breastfeeding. How to Restore Wellness After Weaning!” She is known for providing real, uncut breastfeeding support and education from both a professional and personal perspective. She encourages, motivates and inspires mamas throughout their breastfeeding journey and beyond. You can find her on Instagram and on her web site: https://www.thelactatingmama.com.