First Time Breastfeeding
Most first time breastfeeding moms give up in the first few weeks of
breast feeding, that’s why it’s so important to find all the
breastfeeding information you can, and to talk to other mothers who have
had a successful breastfeeding experience so that you can learn what to
Many of the nurses at the hospitals or clinics give advice, but have
never successfully breastfed…they end up giving the wrong breastfeeding
Read more here on some of the
usual breastfeeding myths.
When moms know what to expect during breastfeeding they will have
more confidence which will lead them to a great breastfeeding
When will my milk come in?
When beginning breastfeeding your breasts will contain colostrum until the fourth day when your mature milk starts coming in.
Most recent breastfeeding statistics
- 35% of women choose not to breastfeed at all
- 5% start breastfeeding, but stop within the first week
- 18% stop breastfeeding within the first month
- 42% continue to breastfeed for longer than a month
What are the biggest reasons that new mothers give up on breastfeeding?
- Most new moms suffer from breast engorgement during the first few days
- The perception that your baby is not getting enough milk
- Infant problems, Sucking problems, illness
- Problems arising with growth spurts
- Low milk supply
- Sore nipples
Decorating your own baby nursery?
has all the ideas you'll ever need.
Here are some good tips and advice for first time breastfeeding mothers
Many moms think that they are the only ones struggling with
breastfeeding, which is not the case. Most moms have some difficulty
breastfeeding. Breastfeeding baby can be a very stressful and difficult
time. This is not to discourage you, but to make you aware that you are
not the only one struggling.
- Take a breastfeeding class if you
can. They should show you how to breastfeed and this will also allow you
to ask all the breastfeeding questions that you have on your mind.
- Get an early start: Try to breastfeed baby as soon as you can, the best would be to start an hour after he is born.
- Find the best breastfeeding position for you
For the first few weeks your nipples are definitely going to be sore.
Your breasts need to get accustomed to baby pulling and tugging on them.
After about three weeks, your nipples should become a bit tougher
relieving you of the nipple pain.
- If after a month you still
have sore nipples, you should start look at how your baby is latching
on. A bad latch is the biggest culprit of sore painful nipples.
Do you feel like your baby is not getting in enough milk? In the first
few days of baby’s life he doesn’t need much milk. His tummy is very
small, about the size of a whole, unshelled walnut! The small amount of colostrum is all
your baby needs.
- NB! Do not supplement your baby with formula
for the first few weeks! If you do your breast milk supply will
decrease. Your baby needs to empty your breasts so that you can produce
enough milk for him. Breastfeed even though you think nothing is coming
out – the reality is the more you breastfeed the more milk you will
- You can pump, but only after every time your baby has
finished breastfeeding. If you pump after every breastfeeding session it
will ensure that your breasts are empty and will also increase breast
milk supply some what.
- Do not measure the amount of milk you are producing by what comes
out when you pump. Man-made pumps do not draw out breast milk like a
baby. A breast pump can be helpful to relieve engorgement when
necessary, but should never replace skin to skin breastfeeding.
An overactive letdown. This is when your milk squirts out and it’s too
much for baby to handle. If your breasts have an overactive letdown all
you have to do is either let the milk run out a bit when your let down occurs, or you can pump your breasts for a few seconds, or you
can hand express them.
- Don’t stress too
much about achieving the perfect latch or breastfeeding position. If it
works for you and baby then it’s perfect for you guys! It will take time
for you and baby to figure out a way that is comfortable for you both,
it’s a learned skill.
- Don’t let anyone
tell you that you have a low milk supply. Family members might suggest
that you have a low breast milk supply. The only way you will know for
sure is by checking your baby’s nappies. Is he having at least 3 to 4 wet diapers per day? Is baby gaining weight? Please read more here on urine and stool output requirements in the first few weeks.
- Breastfeeding on demand.
Don’t make a fixed breastfeeding schedule… this might lower your milk
supply. Feeding on demand will also help if you have engorged breasts.
- Air dry your breasts after every feeding, this will prevent them from becoming dry and cracked.Your own breast milk rubbed into your nipples can also keep them soft and supple.
Get enough rest. The lying down position while breastfeeding can help
you get in extra hours of sleep while your baby is breastfeeding. Other
that this, try to get as much help as you can around the house.
In the beginning when you are trying to increase milk supply, make sure
that baby has emptied the one breast before giving him the other one…in
this way your body will know that it needs to produce more milk. If
your baby becomes full on the one breast then you can always pump the
other breast to prevent engorgement.
Read more on how breastmilk production works
- Don’t use a pacifier. A pacifier can disrupt your baby's need for milk.
Want to learn more about creating a safe and
for your new baby?
Baby Safety Resources
is a free guide for new moms. You'll find all you need to know about
caring for your newborn and answers to many of the common challenges
parents experience when raising infants.
Things that you need to succeed
- A supportive husband, friend or family member.
- Good, accurate information on breastfeeding.
- Having a positive outlook and attitude. You can do this!
- Decide to stay away from formula.
- Invest in a hospital grade double action electric breast pump. Or hire one.
Preparing for breastfeeding
- Mentally prepare yourself. Your baby might need to feed every two hours and each feeding can last up to 40 minutes.
- Preparing your breasts.
If you develop sensitive nipples, you can start to use pure lanolin moisturizers. This will also keep your breasts supple and keep them from
drying out. If you have flat or inverted nipples…
read more on preparing yourself here.
- Back care preparation.
Make provision at home for a comfortable chair that has arm rests and preferably a
Get yourself a
Get yourself some good, supportive
…a few sizes bigger!
- Breastfeeding diet preparation.
- You will need to eat at least 250 extra calories.
- Eat at least 5 fruits or vegetables daily.
stress about losing weight while breastfeeding. An average baby will
consume about 500 calories per day through breastfeeding…so don’t
More detail on breastfeeding diet guidelines
- Stock up on nursing pads for breast milk leakage.
Many moms feel that they want to give up on breastfeeding after a while,
due to the many different difficulties they might be experiencing during
breastfeeding, but can I please encourage you to read our page on the benefits of breastfeeding, not just for your baby, but for your sake too.
Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" in connection with first time breastfeeding moms
- Adoptive breastfeeding
- Safe breast milk storage guidelines
- Breastfeeding and working
- Breastfeeding in public
- Breastfeeding after a c-section delivery
- Inspirational breastfeeding stories
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