Breastfeeding My Baby, Where Do I Start?

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Congratulations you have a new baby! Having a new baby is hard enough but when you choose to breastfeed you sometimes feel that you made this experience even harder. Breastfeeding is not as difficult as it looks or as you may have heard from others. It is actually pretty easy and a very fulfilling way to nourish your newborn once you get the hang of it.


by: Melida Cohen

breastCongratulations you have a new baby! Having a new baby is hard enough but when you choose to breastfeed you sometimes
feel that you made this experience even harder. Breastfeeding is not as difficult
as it looks or as you may have heard from others. It is actually pretty easy and
a very fulfilling way to nourish your newborn once you get the hang of it. Remember
as with most things practice makes perfect! Breastfeeding is new to you and to
your little one but with a little practice you two will become pros in no time!

During the first week of your baby`s life, your breasts will produce colostrum
for your baby to drink. Colostrum is rich in antibodies and aids the baby`s immune
system. It also helps him pass his first bowel movement, which is called meconium.
Meconium is black and tarry looking and is in the first few diapers after birth.
Then he begins to transition to a brown substance and after your milk comes in,
it becomes a yellow, mustardy stool that is loose and watery. Bottle-fed babies
pass firmer, tannish stools than breastfed babies.

After 24-48 hours after birth, your baby will start having wet diapers that will
increase to two or three a day.

Your technique and positioning is a very important factor in ensuring that your
breastfeeding experience is a great one. There are a few different positions that
can be used to make the experience more comfortable for you and baby. Some of
these positions include:

- Laying down - Lay down on you side with pillows behind you to support your back. Lay baby
facing you with her head on a pillow your breast should be level with baby`s mouth.
Bend your legs with a pillow between your knees and then have baby latch on.

- Sitting Up - Sit up either in bed or a comfortable chair or couch with pillows supporting
your back and head. Place a pillow on your lap and put baby on top of the pillow
in your arms, you can rest your arms on the pillow to make it easier to bring
baby up to your breast. Bend your knees to make this even easier have baby latch
on.

- The Clutch Hold - This is also known as the football hold. This position is also good when nursing
twins as it allows mom to have a baby on each side. Sit down and tuck your baby
under your arm almost like a handbag. Rest baby`s head on a firm pillow on your
lap. Ensure that baby`s feet are behind your back. Your hand is at the back of
baby`s neck, not on baby`s head. Your arm will extend down baby`s back , guide
baby to latch on

These are just a few of the positions that you can use there is also the cradle
hold, clutch hold, and the transition position. Do some research to learn these
other positions to nurse your baby if you find the above positions uncomfortable.

While your baby drinks colostrum and then milk, you should listen for a pattern
of “suck, suck, suck, swallow.” This pattern will be rhythmic and there should
be no “clicking” noises. The “clicking” sound can indicate that your baby is not
properly latched on and may not be getting enough milk from you. If you start
to hear this, you need to unlatch him and then reattach him. If you continue to
hear this sound after reattaching him several times, then you may want to consult
a lactation consultant or your pediatrician.

After the first week of life, you should see 6-8 wet diapers each day and at
least 3 bowel movements a day. His urine should be clear and he should become
more alert with each passing day. Your baby should also be gaining weight and
growing, as this is the surest way to tell that they are getting enough nutrition.
If you have two days in a row that deviates from the above indicators, then you
should call your pediatrician immediately.

Breastfeeding problems, such as milk production difficulties, are not as common
when using the PDF feeding method, but they do occur. Even if you are well rested,
eating healthy, have a pretty routine life, and your baby is growing and getting
enough food, you still may experience a milk production issue. Many things can
cause production problems. Here are just a few.

Some things that can affect your milk supply are:

- What mom eats

- How much mom rests and sleeps

- Her state of mind

- The age of the mom

- How many children you have

- Your desire to breastfeed

- Your nursing capabilities

- Your nursing techniques

- Baby`s latch on abilities

If you choose to breastfeed, it is very important that you take your baby for
their check-ups as needed. If you don`t, how will you know if he is getting enough
milk and growing at the correct rate? There is no way for you to tell that your
child is getting enough nutrition for sure without your child being weighed.
 

About The Author

Melida Cohen is author of “Baby’s First Year: Everything You Should Know but
probably don’t,” She is a mother to 3 children. Her goal is to empower new moms
and mothers to be. Visit
http://www.CareForMyBaby.com to get a free copy of her baby care newsletter or visit her blog http://www.CareForMyBabyBlog.blogspot.com to chat with her and other new moms.



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