Breastfeeding is a journey of learning. Do not anticipate things to come together right immediately during the first week. Allow yourself enough time to recover from labor and delivery. With assistance from your husband, a lactation consultant, and family members, try to establish a routine and get beyond any first nursing challenges.
Skin-to-skin contact, often known as "Kangaroo care," promotes breastfeeding. It improves the baby's breathing and deep sleep patterns, maintains the baby's body temperature, and is advantageous for both mother and child. Your stress response is lessened, and your milk production is increased.
Discover your baby's feeding cues and be alert for the first indication of hunger. The baby may be awake or moving around, smacking lips or opening their mouth, sucking ferociously on your hand or your arm, or rotating their heads in search of their nipple. Since crying is the last indicator of hunger, the baby will already be in too much distress to feed properly. When a baby is crying, try to calm them first by holding them close, talking to them, or giving them a gentle stroke.
Pay attention to your baby's hunger cues and feed them whenever they request food to maintain a healthy milk supply. Let your baby feed as long as they want from each breast allowing them to get the fattier hind milk at end of the feeding. A supply and demand system means that when the breast is empty, your body will start producing more milk for the subsequent feeding.
In a 24-hour period, your baby will desire to breastfeed 8–12 times. It's because a baby's stomach is small and breast milk is more easily digested than formula milk. Usually, a breastfeeding session lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. There is no need to go to the next breast if the infant is happy and at ease at the current one. But if your baby still seems to be starving after sucking from one breast, give them your second one until they are satisfied.
After breastfeeding, your breasts ought to feel softer. Try to avoid skipping any breastfeeding sessions because skipping sessions might diminish your milk supply and lead to blocked ducts.
Breast milk changes as your baby's needs change. To learn more about the different stages of breast milk, head to our article.