When a new baby arrives… Our lives our transformed literally just from the word GO. There is a plethora of information that gets downloaded from your medical staff at the hospital and from the family. Anyone who comes to meet you probably brings a new piece of unknown information to bestow on you… So many things happen at the same time, while you are still coping with the joy of having a child to fighting the constant body pains or your changing body, the overwhelming feeling of the new responsibility, the rush of relatives constantly coming and going – and the endless free advise you keep getting — rest assured you are learning everything at lightning speed.
so, how much milk does you newborn really need in his initial days?
Here are a few pointers that can surely help a new mother if followed properly –
o- The more you feed, the more you will produce.
o- When a baby is born, your body starts producing milk. You will only get 2-3 drops initially, but do not worry, that is how your body is designed. In the first few days – it is very important that you have maximum skin to skin contact with your baby.
o- If you had a vaginal delivery – your body will probably start producing milk right away, but if you had a C-section, you probably would have to wait for 1-2 days.
o- Most women freak out at the thought that they are not producing milk and the baby will remain hungry
o- Rest assured – in the starting that’s how milk comes and it’s absolutely normal.
o- Before you start feeding; drink one glass of any warm liquid like – milk, soup or plain water. Keep a warm towel on your breasts and massage them gently to open any closed milk ducts.
o- Many mothers when try to press their nipple – don’t find any milk coming out. They assume that since they are leaking milk – they are NOT AT ALL making milk. The way we express milk or the way a milk pump works cannot replicate a baby’s sucking action. When a baby is cupped properly on the areola and sucks, that action stimulates the body to produce milk. The hormones work accordingly, which a hand or a pump action may not replicate
o- You can feed in 4 different positions. If you find the child is cranky and is not accepting feed – try and change the position. You can try cradle hold, seated position, cross cradle position, and side lying hold. Experiment to see what works for you and the baby the best.
o- Support your breast with your thumb on top, well back from your areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple) and the fingers underneath. Your fingers should also be well back from your baby’s mouth.
o- Your breasts work on the simple technique of demand and supply. The more the demand the better the supply. When you give the bottle to your child that reduces your supply. WHY? Because the formula is heavier than breast milk and it fills up baby fast and easily – so baby remains full for a longer duration of time and does not ask for the next feed, and the next feed is missed. The body gets the signal – that baby does not need milk and so the supply adjusts itself accordingly.
o- Feed as much possible again and again. The more you feed, better your supply. U will feel empty like you are not making enough milk…But that is absolutely normal. Feed for at least 30-35 min per side, burp the baby and change side, repeat the process. The feeling of fullness goes away after 2 weeks – once your breasts understand the demand and supply for your child
o- For the first 20 minutes – our body produces water based milk (foremilk) and then after that weight gaining milk (hindmilk) starts flowing. It’s very important for the baby to have both for the overall development of the body.
o- There is nothing called low supply; unless you had a major surgery in the past or have a hormonal imbalance and you were/are undergoing treatment for the same OR your lactation specialist has confirmed the same. Supply purely depends upon a child’s feeding pattern. Our breasts have been designed in such a manner that it understands the regulation very well. After initial 2-3 weeks (yes, it’s a struggle in the initial phases) the pattern is set n your body works in perfect tandem to feed your baby.
o- If you have Inverted, Flat Nipples, Sore Nipples or Cracked nipples – there is help and solution available. Do not panic. Talk to your doctor and you will get help.
o- Have plenty of liquids – One liter of milk and 3 liters of juice, soup, water is recommended daily. Have a healthy nutritious home cooked food. Avoid any junk, oily and extreme sugar. Try and walk after every meal – may be for 15-20 minutes. This will help you remain active and help you get rid of any acidity and flatulence. If you had a C-section, then this helps bowel movements and helps heal your stitches better and faster.
o- Include Cumin, Garlic, Oats, Fenugreek, Flax seeds and Yogurt in your diet to stimulate and increase your milk production.
o- If your child is not gaining weight may be u would like to prolong the time of latching on.
o- If you feel engorged ( the condition where breasts feel hard and lumpy and you feel pain), the best and the easiest way to relieve yourself is to gently massage your breasts. You can use coconut or olive oil to do this. You can also use crushed ice wrapped in a cloth to gently press on breasts to get a relief from engorgement
o- Last but not the least – breastfeeding is a mind game. Convince yourself that you will and are making milk and you surely will. Else, if all fails, please do meet a lactation specialist to rule out any medical issues and look for alternatives.
Best of luck and happy feeding!
Disclaimer – All the above pictures and gifs are NOT owned by me. They have been picked up from Google as a reference picture for the blog purpose ONLY. I do not own or claim any ownership of the images and GIF used,