Breastfeeding is recommended as the best option for your baby’s health, and it also has amazing benefits for you as a mother. However, we understand that breastfeeding can be challenging, especially for first-time mothers.
That’s why we want to provide you with all the information and support you need to embark on this incredible bonding experience with your baby.
What You Should Know about Breastfeeding
During your pregnancy, it’s important to start reading and researching more about breastfeeding. Educating yourself about the practice will help prepare you when the time comes to begin your own journey.
Preparing for the Breastfeeding Journey
During pregnancy, educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more you know, the better you’ll be prepared when it’s time to start.
That Magical First Moment
The best time to start breastfeeding is right after delivery, when you hold your baby in the delivery room or hospital for the first time. Don’t worry if at first, your breast produces only a small amount of milk called colostrum. Colostrum is a specially designed milk that helps boost your baby’s health and protects them from infections.
Mastering the Art of Breastfeeding your Child
It’s common for newborns to have difficulty finding and properly latching onto your nipple initially. Remember, patience is key here because breastfeeding requires practice. You and your baby will learn together over time.
How Often do you Breastfeed your Baby? Whenever They Need It!
Trust those early cues like increased activity or mouthing instead of waiting for tears. On average, 8 to 12 nursing sessions in 24 hours are considered normal.
The simple answer is: as often as possible and as often as your baby needs milk. The more frequently you nurse, the more milk you’ll produce. Aim for nursing 8 to 12 times within every 24-hour period as a good average.
Pay attention to early signs of hunger in your newborn, like increased activity or restlessness, mouthing, or reaching for your nipple. It’s best not to wait until they start crying because crying typically indicates advanced hunger stages. Nurse your baby as often as they show signs of hunger.
Find What’s Comfortable
Be prepared to spend up to 40 minutes in one position during each breastfeeding session, especially during the first few months after birth. It’s essential to be comfortable because discomfort can be sensed by your baby and might affect the feeding experience.
You want to create a peaceful and relaxed environment where your baby feels at ease, without the need for constant movement. Consider finding a comfortable spot in your home and utilize support items like nursing pillows or chairs to make breastfeeding easier for both of you.
Healthy Mommy = Healthy Baby
Maintaining a regular healthy diet is crucial while breastfeeding. Keep hunger in check and maintain high energy levels throughout the day. Following the dietary habits you had during pregnancy can be beneficial.
Eating small meals and incorporating snacks between them can ensure that you have enough nutrition to produce quality milk for your baby. Stay hydrated as well by drinking plenty of water.
Don’t Skip Those Extra Calories
Your body will require an additional 200 to 500 calories daily compared to someone who isn’t breastfeeding. This isn’t the time to restrict yourself or go on a strict diet to get back to your pre-pregnancy body. Both you and your baby need all the necessary nutrients, so listen to your hunger cues and don’t worry about counting calories.
Be Mindful of Your Food and Drink Intake
What you consume will directly pass on to your baby through breast milk. It’s important to be mindful of certain substances, such as caffeine and alcohol, which should be limited while breastfeeding. Pay attention to how certain foods, like spicy dishes, may affect both the quality of your milk and how your baby responds (i.e., colic) to changes in your diet.
Seek Support and Guidance
Breastfeeding has been practiced by mothers for centuries, but that doesn’t mean it always comes easily or without challenges. Many women experience difficulties during the early stages of breastfeeding. Some common problems you may encounter within the first six weeks include:
Some of the most common problems you may encounter in the first six weeks include:
- engorgement (breasts are excessively full)
- sore nipples
- mastitis(a breast infection)
- baby doesn’t latch
- low milk supply
Remember, you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you experience any of the above or if you’re in pain or discomfort that interferes with nursing, immediately reach out to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant. They can provide the support and guidance you need to overcome these hurdles and ensure a successful breastfeeding journey for you and your baby.
We hope these additional details and insights help you navigate your breastfeeding journey with more confidence and ease. Remember, each mother’s experience is unique, so be patient with yourself and trust that you’re doing the best for your baby by choosing to breastfeed. You’ve got this!
How did you get started with your breastfeeding journey?
Any tips that you can share with first-time mothers?
My tip is not to be shy. When I had my daughter it was like taboo to breastfeed in public. I Carried around a blanket to cover myself and baby and just felt so awkward. Now it is becoming more and more accessible to breastfeed in public it is a natural thing and shouldn’t have to be hidden. Next baby (Due in March) I will definitely be less worried about it.
– Melissa A. | Abbotsford, BC
Positive attitude is key. Yes, it’s difficult at first. You just have to keep in your mind, “I can do this” and “this is a wonderful thing I can do for my baby.” You got this!
– Austynn M. | Edmonton, AB
Make sure you establish a milk supply in the first 3 weeks. Feed or pump as often as you can.
– Mandy | Leduc, AB
Be calm….. The calmer you are the calmer baby will be and have a better feeding, don’t believe everything you hear or read….. Find what works for you what may have worked for others may not work for you, we are all different and that includes breastfeeding. And finally remember above all else breastfeeding is natural. There is no shame in feeding your child. The shame is on the people who feel uncomfortable with you breastfeeding…. Relax and enjoy, it goes by faster than you realize.
– Jacqelyn T. | Mission
Every nurse will tell you a different way as the only right way to breastfeed. Find a way that’s right for you and your baby, as long as your baby latches right then you’re fine.
– Katrina P. | Sudbury, ON
Stick with it. It is challenging at first and painful. But if you keep at it, the nipple soreness goes away. Drink pineapple juice for any engorgement issues. Don’t eat anything that makes you gassy because then it goes into your milk and your baby can get colicky. Make sure you enjoy the bonding of bf because it doesn’t last forever.
– Gigi M. Winnipeg, MB
I’m a first time mom and the best tip that I received and would like to pass on is Don’t Give Up. It’s not easy but worth it when the baby and the mom get it.
– Jen B. | Cornwall, ON
Skin to skin with your baby. Unlimited latch to produce more milk. Don’t time breastfeeding your baby. Healthy diet (more soup) liquids. Seek advice or help to the lactation nurse. Stay positive and think positive.
– Donabelle J. | Markham, ON
You are going to have days where you are frustrated. Remember that the baby can feel your frustration and it will make it even more difficult. Just take a deep calming breath and even take a moment before trying again. Once you are calm baby will be too and will latch easier. Breastfeeding isn’t easy but you can do it!
– Shanna F. | Conception Bay South, NL
– Rhonda B. | McLennan, AB
Make horseradish tea or eat the vegetable to increase your breastmilk production.
– Priscilla C. | Delta, ON
Don’t give up! The more persistent you are in the beginning will make it easier in the long run – but also don’t be afraid to supplement with formula if you need to. Sometimes it’s just the boost the baby needs to get started with their latch. Hang in there!
– Kayla | Barrie, ON
Don’t be afraid to breastfeed in public ! Remember it’s a beautiful thing so don’t be embarrassed!
– Jennifer T. | Centerville, ON
Watch baby not the clock! Don’t stress at how long baby is feeding as long as they are gaining weight and wetting enough diapers!
– Brittney T. | Edmonton, AB
Don’t introduce a bottle for at least 1 month. Keep positive and don’t give up they will get it eventually. My son only eats lying down.
– Stephanie M. | Squamish, BC
Learn to feed lying on your side. Makes night feeding so much easier.
– Megan A. | Vancouver, BC
Just stay calm. It can be frustrating at first and you Just do your best. That’s all you can do. Also don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t breastfeed. Everyone’s bodys different.
– Kristen W. | Warburg, AB
Be patient. Take deep breaths if you feel frustrated because the baby will sense it and it’ll make you want to give up but DONT! Take a minute to calm down and then try again. Third time is always the charm for my baby girl. But it could be the 10th time until the baby latches so keep trying! You can do it!
– Cera Q. | Campbellford, ON
Warm up your breasts with warm towel for better milk flow.
– Anastasiya T. | Richmond, BC
Don’t give up! It could be challenging in the beginning but keep at it…it will get easier!
– Melissa M. | Prince Albert, AB
Fennel essential oil on the breast tissue (not the nipple) helps with milk flow.
– Joelle M. | Timmins, ON
I used a silicone nipple shield the whole 8 months I nursed him, didn’t have to worry about cracked nipples, And to wean him off I just used the same silicone bottle nipple.
– Brittany J Thomas | Saskatoon, SK
Don’t beat yourself up, it isn’t easy for everyone!!!
– Jessica Y. | Halifax, HS
Take your vitamins and drink lots of water.
– Stephanie S. | Toronto, ON
Breastmilk is the best thing for sore cracked nipples and how much you pump is not a good indication of how much you are producing! Babies are better at getting milk out than the most expensive pump out there, so don’t worry!
– Samantha S. | St.Francois Xavier, MB
Relax your body. Bring the baby to your breasts, than the breasts to baby.
– Crystal M. | Vancouver, BC
Babies are all different, even with feeding habits. Some babies prefer several “short courses” of feeding, while others prefer one long feeding. Don’t rush your baby. Discover what works for both of you.
– Amanda C. | Saskatoon, SK
Written by: Donna Costa
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