Breastfeeding tips for first-time Mothers
As a new mum, you may find breastfeeding to be trickier than imagined. The idea of an infant suckling on your nipple does not always sound ideal. Some may even be anxious about the process of breastfeeding. This article aims to provide tips to clarify any inquiries and help ease a first-time mother’s worries.
Your breasts start producing milk halfway during your pregnancy. It is not produced in large amounts. A high progesterone level stops the milk discharge. The quantity increases after childbirth when your progesterone levels drop quickly and result in lactation. The initial milk produced is Colostrum, which is thicker, concentrated milk that contains a large number of nutrients and anti-bodies. Your baby will slowly adjust to the mechanisms breastfeeding in the first few days.
Below are 7 breastfeeding tips you may find useful
- Don’t scrub your nipples
There’s an old myth that says that you could toughen up your nipples by scrubbing it. This is false and may cause you unnecessary pain. This will make your nipples sore and get rid of the natural oils your breasts make. Gently massaging your breasts and nipples instead will relieve any discomfort and help you relax. Rubbing lanolin over your nipples can prevent your nipples from drying out and chafing.
- Milk production may take longer for some
It may take longer for some moms to start producing milk and that’s normal. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor, or lactation consultant.
- How to know when your baby is hungry
We usually associate crying as an indication of hunger, but other signs show when a baby is hungry. These may include a suckling gesture or placing his or her hands near her mouth. It is recommended to feed him/her.
- Newborns are expected to nurse a lot
It is normal for babies to be constantly hungry. On the average newborns eat every 2 to 3 hours, or about 8-12 times a day. Their appetite increases after the few days following childbirth.
One thing you don’t have to worry about is running out of milk during the period of breastfeeding. As long as your baby needs it, you’ll have an unlimited supply. When you decide to stop breastfeeding, your breasts usually take about 2 months to completely stop producing milk.
- Inverted nipples
Some women have flat nipples or nipples that are turned inwards. If you fall into that category, you may worry that you would be unable to breastfeed. Rest assured, although it is more difficult, it is not impossible. You may use a nipple shield that helps the baby latch on to the breast and sucks. You can use other devices to pull out the nipple such as breast shells, or breast pumps.
- I’m leaking?
Although not every woman experiences this, some might notice their breasts leaking milk. If not noticed in time, the milk may leak down your shirt or stain your shirt. To avoid this, consider wearing nursing pads, which can be placed in the bra, over the nipple.
- Can I return to work while nursing?
It is possible to return to work while nursing. Some mothers choose to remain with their babies until they finish nursing, whilst others opt to go back to work while nursing. You would have to use a breast pump to store milk for your baby while you are gone. There are convenient breast pumps for work, such as freehand breast pumps, available on your online baby store in Malaysia.
If your baby is;
- Breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours
- Sleeping for a few hours after feeding
- Breastfeeding for less than an hour and more than 10 minutes. (Although, it’s up to your baby to decide how long it wants to breastfeed for)
- Feeding from both breasts
- Settles after feeding
Then you are doing it right. The best advice would be to not be overly anxious about the process of breastfeeding. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor for consultation.