Breastmilk is by far the best nourishment a mother can give her new-born baby. From colostrum during the first few days to mature milk which can support your baby through toddlerhood, your body will produce the optimum food to meet your baby’s needs. In addition, breastmilk is an incredibly complex and nutrient rich substance, which builds and boosts your baby’s immunity too.
Although breastmilk is the most natural way to nourish your baby, it doesn’t mean it is always easy, especially in the beginning. During labour and birth your body has gone through a huge overhaul, with hormones running rife and monumental physical changes to boot. This is a really important period for mum and baby, so give yourself time and find the right support to help you begin your breastfeeding journey comfortably!
Frequent questions from mums
How often should my baby be eating?
After the first few days, most new-borns feed at least eight to ten times in 24 hours. This means your baby could be asking for a feed every 90 minutes to three hours. I can help you manage this by helping you understand a new-born’s digestive system, describing hunger cues and the importance of winding (including useful techniques). As your baby gets older, their stomach size increases and they become more efficient at feeding, meaning their feeding frequency will change.
How do I know if I’m making enough milk?
This is a very common question, especially for mums whose new-born seems to want to nurse around the clock, (but this is completely normal and doesn’t necessarily mean you have a low supply). I can help you determine if you are producing enough milk and provide tips on increasing production, if necessary. There are almost always solutions to a low milk supply, so try not to worry. You’ll know if you’re producing enough milk by gauging how many wet nappies your baby produces each day.
Is my baby latched on properly?
Your baby needs to get a good mouthful of your breast when they start feeding, taking in as much of your areola as possible (not just the nipple). You’ll know when your baby is latched on properly as it will feel right, and you’ll be able to see your baby swallowing. You should be able to feel your breasts draining of milk and filling back up again later.
Helping your baby to latch on to your breast can take practice, but with support, patience and time, it will become easier. Once your baby is latching on well, you'll feel comfortable, and your baby will be able to feed happily and easily.
There are many different techniques and positions you can try to optimise feeding efficiency and your comfort.
Keep in mind that there is no correct position but only the position that suits you best. Breastfeeding is a skill that needs to be learnt and as with anything you learn, a good teacher can make all the difference.
Common problems during the first few days or weeks of breastfeeding include
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy and if you’re experiencing difficulties you’re not alone. Most of my clients have some problems the first weeks of breastfeeding. You can experiment mastitis, thrush, engorgement and sore nipples. Your baby can have a tongue-tie / lip-tie, colic or being fussing at the breasts.
Any of these problems can be difficult to manage on your own, especially when you’re tired and looking after a new-born. But you can get through it, and breastfeeding should not be painful. Seeking advice from an experienced Breastfeeding Consultant before or as soon as any problems arise will make them easier to find solutions.