Some changes to your body explained better.....
Breast milk is produced naturally by your body and flows from the nipple as your baby begins to stimulate or suckle. It is encouraged to introduce your baby to your breast as soon as possible after birth. This is important for many reasons. It helps your body begin milk production and also creates a physical bond between you and your new baby. Your breasts will produce colostrum in the first few days, a milky yellow liquid that is much thicker than breast milk. This is rich in protein and vitamins and although it may not seem like a very large amount, it is very good for your baby. The more often you put your newborn baby to the breast, the more quickly you will begin to produce breast milk. This generally happens in about 3 days. By putting your baby to breast often this also helps the mum and baby become comfortable with each other in breastfeeding positions. It is important to be comfortable and relaxed while breastfeeding. For some women, the first few days or weeks of breastfeeding are a challenge. Do not get stressed or nervous, you will find the perfect fit for you and your baby! The first step is to get your baby positioned correctly at the breast, so dont be shy to ask even the most basic of questions on how to get comfortable. Once your milk has 'come in', you will probably feel a tingling sensation in your breasts each time you are ready to feed, and your breasts may begin to leak. This is known as the 'let down' reflex. You may also feel some cramping in your lower abdomen. This sensation is your uterus contracting as you feed and will ease with time and usually disappears after the first week.
2 very easy steps to help you get started...
Step 1: Get Comfortable!!!
The most important element to successful breastfeeding is the position in which you breastfeed. Be sure to always support your baby's head and neck while feeding. After delivery ask your midwife or lactation consultant to help you with positioning and latch on. Once you have achieved this and are comfortable you can sit back and enjoy bonding with your baby!
There are four main positions. Try each to find one what works for you and your baby. It's also a good idea to vary the positions.
- Cradle hold: Sit with your arm bent across your lap. The baby's head rests in your elbow and his body along your forearm and lap. The baby's chest should be against your skin so he or she doesn't have to turn his or her head to reach the nipple.
- Cross-cradle holds: Sit with your arm bent across your lap. This time, the baby's head is in your hand and his or her body extends toward your elbow. This is helpful in learning to get the baby latched on, as you can control his or her head better.
- Football holds: Sit with your arm bent alongside your body. The baby's head rests in your hand, with his or her head facing your breast and his or her body extended along your forearm next to your body. This position is more comfortable if you have engorged breasts, sore nipples, or plugged ducts. It is also good after a c-section, because the baby is not resting on your sensitive stomach. If you are able to multi-task, this is a good position for nursing twins.
- Lying down: Lie on your side with the baby on his or her side facing you. Put the babyХs face to your breast and ensure she can breathe through her nose. Use pillows for support. This is a good position for night feedings or if youХve had a c-section.
Step 2: Latch On!
Latching on is another important element to breastfeeding. When breastfeeding, remember to bring your baby to your breast and not your breast to your baby. Gently brush your nipple across your baby's lips and when your baby opens his mouth to feed (like he is yawning) be sure he takes in enough nipple and more importantly breast area to ensure a good latch. Your nipple should be toward the back of his mouth and there should be a small space between your breast and his nose. This correct position for latching on will also ensure you do not suffer from sore nipples. If he does not latch on correctly it is ok, just simply put your little finger in the corner of his mouth to break suction and start again. It is important to remember that babies breastfeed not nipple feed so always make sure that your baby feeds from your breast not just your nipple.
Your milk production...
The more you feed your baby, the more your breasts produce milk.
1st Milk: The first milk that is produced during feeding is the "foremilk." This milk is thinner and is created to quench your baby's initial thirst.
2nd Milk: The second part of the milk is the "hindmilk" this is rich in vitamins and satisfies hunger as well as providing your baby with the essential antibodies to fight against illness and disease. Because there are two stages of milk during breast feeding it is important not to rush a feed and be sure your baby is satisfied. Your baby will most likely want to feed every 2 to 3 hours day and night. You should naturally produce all the milk your baby needs, and maybe more! This is where a breast pump comes in handy; when you have too much milk it is nice to be able to save this precious milk for later feeds. Nuby™ Natural Touch™ Breast Pumps are simple, comfortable and perfect for expressing your extra milk!
Frequency of feeds
You should always try to feed your baby on demand and the more your breasts are stimulated the more they produce milk. All babies are different but on average babies will feed every 2-3 hours during the day and night in the early weeks and each feed can take up to 30 mins.