Breastfeeding for Beginners From Weeks 1 To 6
First-time moms that want to nurse are very nervous about doing it right and there is a process when it comes to nursing a newborn that is from 1 to 6 weeks old. During the first week of birth, the fluid that comes out is colostrum which is there before the milk comes in and it is something that newborns need as it has so many health benefits. However, during this time there will be struggles when it comes to the baby latching on properly.
This is why this guide is here to help you by providing the steps you need to take in order to nurse properly so the baby has a much better chance at latching and that will reduce frustration for you as well. While you are shopping for the clothes for the newborn such as those cute Halloween baby clothes and other cool sleepers, you will need to shop for a breast pump and bottles as well since you will not be the one always available to feed your baby. The first thing you need to do when it comes to feeding your baby is this:
- Keep yourself uncovered and let your baby see your entire chest - Newborns from 1 to 6 weeks old can only see 8 to 10 inches away so they can't see much that is far away. This way when you are keeping your infant near you by holding him or her close, you will want to make sure that you are uncovered so your baby can see your breasts. Poor latching sometimes results from the baby not being able to see your breasts well for this reason.
- Make sure the baby's mouth is positioned towards the nipple properly - The baby has a strong sucking reflex and if the baby is not positioned right then this could cause a painful poor latch. This is why it is important to make sure that the baby's mouth is positioned right when the baby begins to suck. This could help with latching and pain. And another thing to note is if you are giving the baby formula in addition to breast milk, you may overfeed the baby because the sucking reflex is very strong until around 4 to 5 months old.
- The breast sandwich latching idea does work - If you are concerned about the latching which is a common concern for nursing newborns, you can always pinch your breast behind your areola. This will create a longer version of the nipple which will match the shape of the baby's mouth and that will make latching a lot easier.
- Get close to the baby and open your mouth - Did you know that babies can interact with you from birth onward? You can take excellent advantage of that. This means you will want to get 8 to 10 inches close to your baby and open your mouth, and your newborn will copy you. And once that happens, you can place the nipple into the baby's mouth and the baby will begin to suck. This is something that a lot of mothers are surprised to learn but babies can begin to interact with you literally right away.
- Pull the baby's lips out - If your baby's lips are not flared out while nursing, then the latch will be poor. It is perfectly fine to pull the baby's lips out gently so that the latch can be a lot easier and better.
- The baby's tongue position matters - You will need to look at the position of your baby's tongue as it should protrude over the lower gums while the baby is nursing. Otherwise, the latch will also be poor and this even means that will be the case with the baby's mouth wide open and the lips flared out as well.
Those are the steps that can be taken while you are nursing your newborn. However, the next important thing to mention is that breast pain is common in nursing. This also does not mean it is the worst-case scenario such as the mastitis infection. The pain can happen regardless of what you are doing. This means for instance if you are organizing your baby's clothing such as putting your infant's harry potter baby outfits away and your breasts are hurting, then there are things to do in order to minimize that pain:
However, if you have been utilizing those tactics but you are in more pain and you have a fever, and you are sick, then it is more than just normal breast pain. That can be a sign of mastitis which is an infection where the milk ducts are clogged and you need antibiotics. This means to go right to the doctor.
Additionally, if you find that your supply is low, there are medications you can take such as domperidone that will help increase the supply. And at the very worst, if you find that nursing is frustrating you and you just can't do it anymore, there is nothing wrong with that either.
You want to do what is right for you and your baby and in some cases that means to no longer breastfeed if it is making you worse off. Even though the baby formula is not natural and can never be like breast milk, it is full of excellent nutrients that will nourish your baby as well. Not being able to breastfeed is not a failure on mom's part. However, if you want to keep persevering with it, keep coming back to this guide for help. Remember too as the baby matures, it will become easier so that in itself is a motivation to stick it out if you want to keep at it!