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Hey Lexi! is back with another exciting topic! This month I wanted to focus on Breastfeeding, dos, don’ts, schedules, care, production the list goes on! There are a lot of helpful websites, and articles out there, but I wanted to share my knowledge and journey with you to encourage you, and give you hope! Let’s jump in!
- Follow Baby’s hunger cues-watch your baby not the clock
- Make sure you have good latch and offer both breasts
- Keep feeding until baby show’s signs of fullness
- Unclenches fists
- Falls Asleep
- Unlatches by themselves
- Drink LOTS of water and eat Nutritious foods
- Sleep! (I know this one is rough! But sleep when you’re baby sleeps and you’ll both feel better😉)
- Consume Alcohol, Nicotine Products, or Unnecessary Medications
- Overdo Caffeine (Ask you Dr. their recommended amount/day is)
- Stress yourself out over production
- Be afraid to ask for help
Newborns-Every 2 Hours or as worked out with your Lactation Consultant (at least 8-12 times a day is normal) The time will elongate as they grow. Just go with what feels right for you and your child.
This is something that no one really explained to me. I figured it out from reading blogs and talking to other moms. A cluster feeding is several feeding sessions in a row, with little to no time in between. Take extra care of your ladies during this time, make sure to keep hydrated and apply ample nipple cream things can get rough here!
- Label and Date stored milk containers
- Store in small portions 2-4 oz
- Keep Milk collected from one day separate from other days
- If storing more than one expression in a single container let newest milk cool for 1 hour before adding to cold milk
- Oldest milk should always be used first
Milk is good for:
- 6-8 hours at room temp
- 24 hours in an insulated cooler bag
- 5 days if refrigerated
- 3-6 months frozen
- 6-12 months in a deep freezer
Breast and Nipple Care
Use Nipple pads if leaking breastmilk (not mini pads as there is no air flow and may cause more soreness)
Ointments to keep nipples hydrated: My favorites are Madela’s Tender Care Lanolin, and Coconut Oil. I personally used the second option more frequently as Lanolin made me a little itchy.
Supportive but not smothering nursing bra (be careful with underwire)
How to Ease Engorgement
- Breastfeed frequently
- Massage breasts between feedings
- Use cold compress (frozen veggies work well) after or heated compress (wetting a newborn diaper with hot water works amazing!!!) before/after nursing
- Manually express milk, or pump before nursing for a few mins to soften the breast
Tips for Supporting Your Partner
- Keep her hydrated-offer to refill her water or tea
- Ask her what she needs from you right now
- If you have other children spend some time with them so mom can focus on the baby, and they won’t feel left out
- Take over diaper duty and help out with other non-breast related tasks, this will help you bond with your baby and give your wife some relief! (Brownie points!!!)
- Take a midnight feeding one or two nights a week once your baby is an established nurser, give mama a chance for some extra sleep!
- Tell her she’s doing great, you’re proud of her, and other compliments (we tend to forget everything in this phase…reminders are great! Also another good place to earn brownie points!)
I found it helpful to pump on my daughter’s normal feeding schedule while at work to keep my production level up. I also did a lot of early morning pump sessions as milk production has a peak in the 1-3 am window, so a 4:30 am pump session was a good fit for my work schedule and morning routine. Don’t overwhelm yourself with this, take in advice and talk to your lactation consultant but do what feels right for you, your body, and your baby. 🙂
See these helpful websites for more information on breastfeeding, pumping, and nutrition during breastfeeding:
Breastmilk Every Ounce Counts
La Leche League
Lastly, I just wanted to say good job Mama! Breastfeeding is hard work, and sometimes our bodies don’t do what we think they should. I worked SO hard with my first baby to get as much milk as possible. She was a great at the breast, but my body only made but so much milk per day.
I used to agonize over the amount I was getting, or not getting. I counted ounces, ate all the things they tell you help with production, read countless blogs, talked to other moms, and at the end of the day I still only made just enough milk for that day! It was tiring, and very frustrating.
Honestly, I think that if I ever breastfeed again, I’m just not going to worry about all that. If I’m producing milk and doing what I can, I’m not going to stress about it. After all I made it to almost 30 months! Worrying didn’t help any…and relaxing helps with so much as a new mother. Looking back now I don’t regret it.
Nursing my daughter was one of the greatest joys motherhood brought me. Every body is different, and every baby is different. Don’t beat yourself up, or think you’re doing something wrong because you’re not meeting your own expectations or those of the people around you. Relax Mama! Enjoy the journey it will be over before you know it!
Until next time, TTFN
Hey Lexi! Signing Off!
As always, if you’ve enjoyed this post please share this with your friends, and don’t forget to leave your questions in the comment section below! I am here for you friend, let me know what you’re struggling with. What are your fears? Together we can face them, find a solution, and encourage one another along the way! Keep up the good work, you are BEAUTIFUL, and I’m so glad we’re doing life together!!! 😀