If you are choosing to breastfeed and are a first-time mum, it can be quite a nerve wrecking subject to prepare for. However, the benefits of breastfeeding are phenomenal, so don’t let the nerves put you off. As well as being cost friendly, it actually helps to return your uterus to pre-pregnancy size and burns 500 extra calories a day helping you to lose your post-pregnancy weight. Not to mention the skin on skin time and important bonding sessions with your newborn too. Here are some tips to make the first few feeds as smooth as possible.
Within The First Hour Of Birth
Once giving birth, you are obviously going to want to spend as much time with your newborn as possible. This is a good time – within the first hour – to try breastfeeding. A nurse will be on hand to check your baby is latching on ok, and you will have the guidance on how to position baby for the most comfortable feeding experience. It’s a good idea when first starting out to alternate nipples, as they will become quite sore the more you breastfeed.
Feed On Demand
Your milk will come in within the first couple days, so be sure to have a couple of nursing bras on hand for when this happens. Of course, the more you nurse, the more milk comes in, so don’t worry about feeding more than you thought – up to twelve times a day is perfectly normal. Baby will give you plenty of signs to show they are hungry, which you will get used to picking up on in your first couple of days as a new mum. Be sure to smooth lanolin on your nipples after every feed to ease the sourness and cracking that comes from over 8 feeds a day. You can also get hydrogel pads that are extremely soothing and can help to alleviate some of the pain.
Breastfeeding With Implants
If breastfeeding after a breast augmentation, you will need to be sure how your implants were fitted to make sure it is still possible. Incisions through the armpit or under the breast do not usually cause problems. However, if your incision was around the areola, you may find breastfeeding more difficult. Since your breast may be a little less movable, be sure to use pillows to secure the baby in a comfortable feeding position, and be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s weight gain to make sure you are producing enough milk for feeding. If you find this an issue, try pumping after every feed to stimulate milk production.
What To Look Out For
As well as making your baby your number one priority, you also want to make sure you are staying healthy. Infections, nipple thrush (from baby’s mouth), engorgement (overly full breasts) and blocked milk ducts are quite common when breastfeeding, so you will need to keep an active eye out for any symptoms. If you do find symptoms, do not panic, they are easily treated and you will be right as rain again very soon.
If you are expecting, congratulations and best of luck with the delivery! Hope the tips presented above are helpful when you come to breastfeed for the first time, if you are choosing to do so.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.