8 Breastfeeding Things That Every Expectant And Breastfeeding Mum Must Know About!
It has been two and a half years since I became a mother and undoubtedly, one of the most important things that I miss the most is breastfeeding.
I had started breastfeeding my daughter since she was two-three days old and proudly continued it till she was two years old. But, I am not going to sugarcoat this, initially, it stressed me out a lot. And that was primarily because I wasn’t aware of several breastfeeding facts.
So, if you’re a new mum who has started exclusive breastfeeding or an expectant mum who’s is all set to deliver an angel soon, you might want to look on to this post.
Disclaimer- Before commencing with this post, I would like to clarify I am neither a doctor nor a lactation specialist. I am just an experienced breastfed mum and all the mentioned tips is primarily based on my practical experience. Hope you find them helpful!
Breastfeeding Is NOT Easy
To be honest, I actually thought it would be super easy. I thought breastmilk will come up with a bang just on my first day of delivery. The baby would be born specifically to be breastfed. I didn’t know about latching. I didn’t know about supply. I just didn’t know anything.
Breastfeeding is tough, very tough. Especially in the initial days, you will be almost in a bizarre state of mind. You have just delivered a baby who needs to be fed every now and then. You also need to pacify him. And you also need to rest.
Amidst all this, you are actually unable to feed properly. Trust me, this is normal!
Breastfeeding, especially in its infancy stage, includes a plethora of issues like engorged and painful breasts, improper latching and leaking breasts. And to be honest, it takes at least a week or two to get yourself properly hooked on to the entire breastfeeding session. And once it’s done, it will be an easy affair for both you and your baby.
Latching Can Take Time
You just delivered your baby and you’re still overwhelmed with the entire event!
Trust me, so is the baby!
When you start breastfeeding, especially if you’re a first-time mum, you might face latching issues. Your baby will be confused as to what is even happening. And as a first-time mum with all the milk filling your breasts, the pain will be there too soon. The entire latching, proper latching, to be specific does take around a week or two’s time. But, you will be there soon. And once you are latched, the breastfeeding journey will be better.
Low Milk Supply
What I actually thought before being a mum is that breastmilk shall always be available. I know it sounds absolutely funny. But that’s what I thought!
I actually didn’t know anything about low milk supply which can be a result due to several other factors as well. If you have just started breastfeeding and if you are worried about if your baby is well fed or not, here are some tips that show that your baby is doing fine-
Your baby will have at least 4-5 soiled diapers or nappies.
Your baby’s weight keeps increasing.
Your baby stays alert between when he’s awake.
Your baby gives off your nipples with content.
And here are some more signs that can help you know that your baby is not fully fed.
Your baby is cranky or unsettled even after feeding.
He soils less than 5-6 diapers.
His pee is strong smelling or is dark yellow.
He poops less than twice each day for around five days.
Low milk supply is one of the biggest reasons for your baby being not completely fed. And that is quite normal. If you are unable to produce the required amount of milk that is needed by your baby, you can formula feed as well. And that’s absolutely fine!
Don’t at all feel that you are an inferior mum just because your body is unable to produce abundant breastmilk. Everybody is different from the other, so don’t judge or compare yourself with other mums.
Your Diet Is Absolutely Crucial
Whether you want to believe it or not, your diet directly affects your baby’s system. Especially now that you are burning 500 calories with every breastfeeding session, (yes, it does) your body needs more nutrients and hydration than ever.
Make sure your postpartum diet and your regular diet, while you’re breastfeeding, comprises of wholesome and hydrating foods. Include a whole lot of fruits and vegetables, starchy foods like rice and potatoes, dairy produce and some protein like fish, pulses or lean meat.
Along with that, make sure you are also regular with healthy snacking and hydration. Mommies, hydration is actually the core of breastfeeding. You can definitely get a lot of lactation special foods like lactation cookies or lactation supplements. But what really worked for me was drinking plain water and having white rice. Before and after you feed your baby, make sure to drink a glass of plain water. Hydration is THE key!
Do Not Go With The Clock
I still remember my healthcare specialist advising me to feed for at least fifteen minutes. And I did that. But what I forgot was that it was during the initial newborn phase.
Your baby will himself leave the nipple once he’s full. You don’t necessarily need to check on whether it’s already fifteen minutes or so. Some babies take half an hour of a feeding session while some of them just do within fifteen minutes. Every baby is different from the other. So, don’t always go along with the given rules. Your body and most importantly your baby will clearly let you know when your breastfeeding session is complete. Your breasts will feel lighter and your baby will be happy.
Formula Feeding And Breastfeeding Is Okay
As long as your baby is well-fed and healthy, you mustn’t need to worry about anything else. If you do feel that your baby is not getting enough milk based on the abovementioned facts, you can definitely opt for a paediatrician prescribed formula milk. You can formula feed him once or twice as per your convenience during the daytime while breastfeeding at night. It’s totally okay!
Fore Milk and Hind Milk
So, honestly, I didn’t even have the slightest idea about the terms of milk. To explain in the simplest terms, foremilk is the thin watery milk that your breast has at the beginning of the feeding session. On the other hand, hindmilk is the milk that is rich in fats and that are available for your babies at the end of your breastfeeding session. The emptier and lighter your breast is, the more the hindmilk. Whereas the fuller the breast, the more is the foremilk.
While feeding your baby, make sure to let her have as much as he wants. Because the more he suckles at the end of your feeding, the more he will receive the fatty content, aka, hindmilk.
Resting Is Vital- Mental and Physical
And the last one that I seriously wished someone told me about breastfeeding is about resting.
Just like your diet, your mental health too does take a toll with your breastmilk supply. Take enough rest whenever possible. If possible, try taking more naps. Sleep does improve your breastmilk supply.
Along with that, make sure not to take too much stress. If you do suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety, don’t hesitate from talking to someone close. I used to suffer from anxiety every time I breastfed my daughter. It actually took me around 7 months or so to open up. I told my mother and believe me, I felt so better just by talking.
Talk it out!
So, mommies, these were are some the things that I really felt someone told me about the entire concept of breastfeeding. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, I hope you found this useful. And if you know any breastfeeding mum or any expectant mum, please do share with them as well. You never know you might help them unknowingly! Till then, take care! #newparent #breastfeedingtips #topcreatorentry #TopCreatorEntry #BBCreatorsClub #indianexpatmon
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