January 04, 2022 5 min read
It is said that breastfeeding comes naturally to women once they give birth. However, the reality is far from it. Like many other things, breastfeeding has its share of challenges. New mothers often struggle with the proper latching technique, irregular milk supply, engorged breasts, and above all self-doubt.
To ease you into a healthy and happy breastfeeding routine, we have come up with a two-week plan that can help you set the pace. It will help you and your baby begin this beautiful journey of bonding and love on the right note.
1. Day 1
The first day of breastfeeding can be overwhelming. You are just recovering from childbirth and the baby is finally out. It can be both stressful and joyful at the same time.
On the first day, focus on getting the latch right. A latch is when the baby takes the nipple and some part of the areola into her mouth and starts sucking. Babies have a natural instinct to start sucking. You just need to pay attention to whether the baby is making any swallowing sounds. This indicates that the latch is good and the baby is getting milk. If the baby isn’t swallowing, change the position and latch the baby again.
Getting the perfect latch and finding a breastfeeding position that works for you can take some time and patience. Remember that most new mothers go through this challenge. You can take help from the hospital staff, lactation experts, or other mummies who have breastfed.
The first milk that comes from your breasts is thicker in consistency and is yellowish. It is known as colostrum. Colostrum contains essential nutrients for your baby. It helps the baby have her first bowel movement. It also helps to prevent infant jaundice.
2. Day 2
On the second day of motherhood, work more on the latch. Your baby might cry for a feed every few hours and will sleep during or after feeding. At this point, babies might want to feed several times during the day as well as the night.
It can feel a little tiring to sit up and feed the baby whenever she demands. But remember that this also helps boost the milk supply. The more your baby nurses, the better is the milk supply regulated.
Mummy Rachel nursing her little one, wearing Chloe Dream Love Organic Bra.
Some mothers are able to breastfeed normally on Day 2. But for some mothers, the milk supply will not be established on the second day. This can lead to the baby being hungry. If this happens, take the opinion of a doctor or lactation expert and supplement breastmilk with a top feed.
If you are committed to breastfeeding your baby, don’t stop latching and feeding even if you are supplementing with a top feed. Continue to let the baby suckle and your milk supply will improve.
3. Day 3
From day 3, things might start becoming easier and more familiar. For many mothers, the milk starts coming in from the third day. As your milk supply increases, consider reducing the top feed and gradually moving towards exclusive breastfeeding.
You might experience milk leaks when the baby isn’t feeding. This is your body’s way to understand how much milk the baby needs and regulate supply accordingly. On the other hand, if the milk supply is low, do check with a lactation consultant so that they can prescribe supplements for improving lactation.
You will also start noticing cues from the baby when she is hungry or sleepy. Your baby might show some weight loss. However, this is normal and you shouldn’t be concerned as long as the paediatrician confirms there’s nothing to worry about.
4. Day 4
By day 4, the baby usually starts sucking milk with more energy. However, the fourth day is also when you might experience an oversupply of milk.
If the breasts are engorged with milk, they can feel hard to touch. It can become difficult for the babies to latch on to engorged breasts. If this happens, hand-express some milk before latching the baby.
5. Day 5 to Day 10
During this time, both you and the baby would have become comfortable with nursing. If you had started with a top feed to supplement breastmilk, during this period, you can completely stop the top feed.
Your baby will be wetting her nappies 6 to 8 times a day which indicates that she is getting enough milk. Your breasts will start feeling heavy before a feed and softer after the baby is full. This is again a sign that the baby is able to suck milk efficiently.
Breastfeeding can take its toll on your back muscles and cause backache. During this time, experiment with different positions and use cushions and/or breastfeeding pillows to find the most comfortable position.
Some mothers find it easier to feed from one breast and tend to feed more from that side. Avoid this by feeding from both the breasts. For example, if the baby feeds for 20 minutes, latch the baby for 10 minutes on each breast. If the baby gets done sooner from one breast, use the other breast for the next session.
6. Day 11 to Day 13
Your body is likely to regulate milk supply by this time and you will see lesser milk leaks. But don’t worry - this does not mean that your milk supply is fixed at this point. As the baby grows and needs more milk, your body will produce more milk.
Some mothers might still have engorged breasts at this point. If this is you, seek help from a lactation expert. Engorged breasts and an oversupply of milk where the baby is not taking all the milk from the breasts can lead to blocked milk ducts and other infections.
7. Day 14
This day marks the end of your first two weeks of breastfeeding. Your baby will prepare to go through a growth spurt at this point. This means she will want to feed more frequently and for longer sessions.
Your body will continue to produce enough milk to meet the baby’s demands. You will also start seeing the baby gain a few ounces every week and become stronger and bigger.
Mummy Lynn nursing her little one, wearing Ellie Cruz Nursing Camisole.
As a new mother, you can focus on getting breastfeeding right during the first two weeks. However, also prioritize your rest and comfort. Wearing good maternity clothes and a nursing bra can make a world of difference to your comfort. They make breastfeeding easy and also support your breasts to prevent sagging and discomfort.
For many mothers, breastfeeding is a cherished part of motherhood. Breastmilk is high in nutrients and is good for the baby’s health and immunity. Breastfeeding also makes the bond between a mother and her baby stronger. Lots of love and good vibes to you as you step into motherhood!
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