Congratulations! You have survived 9 months of pregnancy, powered on through labor, and are now cradling your sweet newborn in your arms. But then she lets out a wail, soft at first and then getting louder by the minute. The nurse or your OB assists you in positioning her to your breasts to feed. And then you realize that breastfeeding is not that easy. It may be the most natural thing in the world (as everyone keeps telling you for the past few months), but it’s definitely not as simple as just plugging your breasts into your baby’s mouth.
If you’re overwhelmed with the hundreds of breastfeeding information on Google and your crying baby, then fret not mama. We’ve got your back, here are a few simple tips and facts on breastfeeding that you need to know:
For the first 3 months:
1. Don’t expect milk to flow. For the first few days, most moms get worried that their babies are not getting enough milk because they could not see a drop of it. This is because the mom produces just enough milk or colostrum for her baby. A newborn’s stomach can only hold 5 to 7 ml (1 to 1.4 teaspoons) at a time, and is about the size of a calamansi. So how do you know if your baby’s getting enough milk from you? A good gauge of this is if he fills his diaper, then you have provided him with breastmilk mama. Also note that newborn babies should poop everyday.
2. A good latch is important. Your breastfeeding success relies on getting a good latch, and to do this, here are a few things to keep in mind:
a. Settle in a comfortable position, preferably one with ample back support. Use a breastfeeding pillow if you have one.
b. Ensure that you and your baby are tummy-to-tummy at all times, so your baby does not have to tilt his head sideways just to feed.
c. Bring your baby in to you, and don’t lean in to your baby. Aim your nipple towards your baby’s upper lip or nose and not the middle of his mouth, so that he will tilt his head back, open his mouth wide and latch on.
3. It could hurt in the first few days. You and your baby might take a few feedings to perfect your latch, and a few days to develop your routine, so sore (and even bleeding at some instances) nipples can be quite common at this stage.