Supported Birth Covid Update: We are holding in-person classes (5 couples max).
Serving the Greater Los Angeles area
Serving the Greater Los Angeles area

Breastfeeding Basics

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Breastfeeding Basics from Birthing Classes in Los Angeles

TO THE BRAND NEW MOTHER:

1. Nurse the baby in the LDR room or Recovery Room.

2. Keep baby close to ensure unsupplemented feedings every 2-3 hours for at least 20-30 minutes per feeding if the baby is willing (newborns can be sleepy and may not get into it for a few days.

3. Avoid sore nipples by attending to any latch-on problems right away. Sore nipples are not due to long and/or frequent nursing. Get early help from a lactation consultant, both in hospital and at home.

4. Promptly attend to any engorgement with hot packs, frequent feedings, and manual or pump expression if needed.

5. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet and drink adequate fluids for good milk supply and replacement of your nutrient stores.

6. Avoid artificial nipples or pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established (3-4 weeks).

7. Nap as much as possible- quicker recovery, energy to make breastmilk.

8. Seek out informed, supportive sources of advice; avoid unsupportive, negative people. Ignore myths, rules, and generalizations about breastfeeding.

9. Before “the milk comes in” you are producing a different form of breastmilk called colostrum. Don’t confuse this with a lack of providing for the baby. You are giving your antibodies and immune system to your baby!

BREASTFEEDING TIPS

1. It is Never Too Soon to feed your baby. If 5 minutes pass and your baby starts nursing again, consider it the beginning of a new feeding.

2. Baby can lose 10% of their birth weight and regain it in 2 weeks. Not a sign of poor feeding.

3. Sucking is not always a sign of hunger. If they are comforted by breastfeeding, nurse them.

4. For the first 1-2 days after coming home, the baby should produce a minimum of 4 wet and/or soiled diapers in 24 hours. On the 3rd day and after, the baby should produce a minimum of 6-8 wet and/or soiled diapers in 24 hours.

5. Nurse a maximum of every 3 1/2 hours. You set the maximum time between feedings, your baby sets the minimum.

6. A lack of “letdown” sensation (tingling as in an area being “asleep”) does not signify a lack of milk production.

7. If bothered by breast tingling or leaking, firm pressure on the breast or nipple can help. A good-fitting nursing bra is important.

8. Engorgement is the swelling of the breast tissue with extra blood and fluid. Apply warm, moist heat before feeding or pumping. The engorgement should subside after 2-3 days.

9. Sore nipples may indicate an improper latch-on.

CONSULT LACTATION CONSULTANT FOR ANY PROBLEMS

Seek help before small problems become big ones! There is so much childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding education out there; here is yet another version of early breastfeeding advice. As you raise your children, there will always be multiple opinions about every subject. Do your research and make your own decisions, based on experts that you trust, and your own instincts.

YOUR BABYS FIRST FEW DAYS

Your baby will probably fall asleep after nursing well. If your baby has been nursed consistently for at least 5 minutes, this is considered a good feeding on the first day. Feed your baby at least every 3 hours. Your baby may lose up to 10% of birth weight during the first few days. This is normal for a breastfeeding baby. Your baby should have at least one wet diaper and at least one stool within the first 24 hours.

NIGHTS 1 and 2

Your baby may want to be on the breast most of the night. You might begin to doubt that your baby is getting enough breast milk because it seems that every time you put him down after a feeding, he begins to cry. However, this is normal newborn behavior on nights 1 to 3. Your baby needs the comfort and reassurance of being close to you. Newborns will often wake for night feedings as they grow. (Hint: You may cope better if you and your partner take turns holding your baby after night feedings, allowing both of you to get some sleep).

DAY 2

Your baby should become more alert and active at the breast. Breastfeed your baby at least every 90 minutes to 3 hours – whenever he’s alert enough to feed. Watch for feeding cues, such as clenching his fists and pulling his arms in tightly; moving his mouth, tongue, or lips; pulling his hands up to his face; or being in an alert state. Crying is a late sign of hunger, and it will be more difficult for your baby to successfully latch on to the breast when he’s upset. Your baby should have at least 2 wet diapers and one to 2 stools in his second 24 hours of life.

On day 2, nap when your baby naps because tonight may be a challenge for your family.

DAY 3

Your baby may be more awake and demanding at feedings today. Continue to nurse your baby through this feeding frenzy.

Your baby’s stomach capacity is now approximately 20 milliliters (the size of a walnut) and preparing for the expected increase in your milk supply over the next few days. Your breasts may begin to feel fuller, warmer, or heavier on days 3 to 5. Your baby should continue to feed at least 8 to 12 times in 24 hours and have at least 3 wet diapers and at least 2 dark-green stools today.

DAY 4

Your baby should have at least 4 wet diapers and at least 2 stools today. As your milk supply increases, your baby’s stool will change to a watery mustard yellow and increase in number. Some babies have a small amount of yellow stool after every feeding during the first 3 weeks.

DAY 5 

Your breast milk should be transitioning to higher volumes in days 3 to 5. Feed your baby frequently to avoid breast engorgement (painful swelling of the breast). Do not skip feedings or supplement them with formula, as this will reduce your milk supply.

Make sure your baby latches well and empties your breast. To latch your baby effectively, you may need to use manual compression to soften the latching zone before breastfeeding. If you’re experiencing engorgement, take a warm shower or apply warm compresses to soften your breasts before feeding and gently massage them in a circular motion, moving toward your nipple from the outside edge of your breast. After feeding, apply cold compresses for 10-20 minutes to reduce swelling.

If you experience extreme engorgement, apply cold compresses only (no heat) and use a breast pump to help soften and remove some milk from your breasts before attempting to latch your baby. If your baby is unable to latch on, pump your breasts to empty and soften them, then feed your baby the pumped breast milk.  On day 5 your baby should have at least 5 wet diapers and 2 or more yellow stools. 

DAY 6 AND BEYOND

 Your breast milk is most likely flowing well, and your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers and at least 3 stools a day. You baby should regain his birth weight by 10-14 days of age. You and your baby should become pros at breastfeeding over the next few weeks and you’ll enjoy the benefits for a lifetime.

For birthing classes Los Angeles, try Supported Birth –  a birthing class for your new life.

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