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Being a new mom can be frightening, trying to be sure that your taking proper care of yourself and your baby can be overwhelming. Although it may seem like you don’t know where to begin, it is pretty simple. The main priority of your newborn is being sure that your baby is getting the proper nutrients and milk supply. One of the biggest worries of every new mother is thinking that they are not providing enough milk for the health of their baby. In most cases, your baby is, in fact, getting the proper milk supply, but because this is a new thing for you, you aren’t sure. We want to put your thoughts to rest and give you all of the tips and tricks you need to be sure that your baby is getting exactly what he or she needs.

How often should I nurse my baby?

Regular nursing facilitates the production of quality milk supply and also reduces breastfeeding complications like engorgement. The daily nursing target should be in the region of 10-12 times daily. Simply put, you can’t nurse excessively, and you can make it too inadequate.

breastfeeding tips for new mom

Do not wait until the baby starts crying before you nurse. You have to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to nursing. Nurse when you notice the first signs of hunger. These signs usually include; hands in mouth, stirring, and rooting. Do not limit your baby’s time on your breast most, especially when they are actively sucking. Some newborns usually sleep for a long time. You can wake them up during the day or at night if 2 hours or 4 hours have passed respectively without nursing.

Is the baby receiving enough milk? 

Weight gain: It is common for newborns to lose around 7% of their birth weight during the first couple of days. As soon as your baby starts breastfeeding, they can gain 6oz/week (170g/week) on an average (source). You should check the weight of your baby either at the end of the first week or at the start of the second week. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant if you suspect your baby is not gaining weight as expected. Dirty diapers: In the first few days (typically the first three days), your baby will make use of one diaper per day. So, you will have one diaper for day 1, one for day 2, and so on till you get to the 4th day. After the 4th day, your baby’s stool should be yellow, and stools would appear 3-4 times a day measuring a minimum of 2.5cm. There are some babies that stool every time they nurse, while others will stool more than that. If you experience such with your baby, don’t be alarmed as it is very normal. Typically, the stool of a breastfed baby is either loose or curdy. Wet diapers: In the first few days (typically the first three days) your baby will have one wet diaper per day. But as soon as the breastmilk comes in, you can expect at least 5 wet diapers daily. If you don’t know what a wet diaper feels like, just wet a clean one with 3 tablespoons of water. You can also add a piece of tissue in a diaper as an indicator to know if it is wet or not.

Breast changes while breastfeeding your newborn

You should experience an increase in the quantity of milk between day 2 and 5. Nursing regularly (that includes day and night), along with maintaining a good breastfeeding position, will help reduce engorgement. Following a breastfeeding diet is more important than you think. Don’t rush your baby when feeding; allow your baby to finish with one side before going to the other side. Cold cabbage leaf compresses between feedings can help reduce engorgement. If you notice that your baby is finding it difficult to latch as a result of engorgement, you can use express milk yourself until the nipple is soft enough for your baby.

breast changes after breastfeeding

You should call your baby’s doctor, or lactation consultant if you observe the following;

  • Your baby’s diapers are not wet or dirty
  • Your baby’s urine is dark even after day 3 (the color should either be pale yellow or clear)
  • Your baby’s stool is dark after day 4 (the color should be mustard yellow)
  • Your baby nurses less than the expected time, and your baby also have less dirty or wet diapers than expected.
  • You have the following; flu-like aching, chills, sore breast with fever (these are all symptoms of mastitis)

Will my breasts go back to normal after breastfeeding?

Often times new mom’s will experience a loss in skin elasticity which means a reduction in their breast size. These are normal signs of breastfeeding your newborn and should not be worried about. Many moms wonder if they will have the breasts that they had before they began breastfeeding, the answer is not black and white. In most cases, once you’ve lost elasticity in your skin, it is very difficult to build that up. Depending on your genetics and age when you began breastfeeding, your breasts may return to their original state. The good news is, no matter the size, shape or condition of your breasts, this will not affect the ability to produce milk for your baby.

breast changes in pregnancy

There’s no need to panic if you notice that your breasts aren’t as full as they were before, there are many alternate ways to restore your breasts after pregnancy. The most important thing at this point is being sure that your newborn has the nutrients he/she needs, the stage of your breasts can be restored once you have completed breastfeeding. Don’t worry, although it may take time to have the breasts you once had, the good news is, it’s not impossible. Saggy breasts after pregnancy are not something to worry about too much as there are many natural remedies you can follow to get your perky breasts back after pregnancy.

How often should I nurse my baby?

From week two to six: Regular nursing facilitates the production of quality milk supply and also reduces breastfeeding complications like engorgement. The daily nursing target should be in the region of 8-12 times daily. Simply put, you can’t nurse excessively, and you can make it too inadequate.

tips for breastfeeding

Do not wait until the baby starts crying before you nurse. You have to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to nursing. Nurse when you notice the first signs of hunger. These signs usually include; hands in mouth, stirring, and rooting. Do not limit your baby’s time on your breast most, especially when they are actively sucking. Some newborns usually sleep for a long time. You can wake them up during the day or at night if 2 hours or 4 hours have passed respectively without nursing. As soon as your baby has a good weight gain pattern, you can start nursing on the baby’s cue rather than waking the baby up. You should expect the following

  • Regular and/or long feedings
  • No particular nursing pattern
  • Cluster nursing for a long time. Usually occurs n the evenings daily
  • Growth spurts with frequent nursing. Usually happens in between the first 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, and 4-6 weeks.

Is the baby receiving enough milk?

Weight gain:  As soon as your baby starts breastfeeding, they can gain 6oz/week (170g/week) on an average. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant if you suspect your baby is not gaining weight as expected. Dirty diapers: Your baby’s stool should be yellow, and stools would appear 3-4 times a day, measuring a minimum of 2.5cm. There are some babies that stool every time they nurse, while others will stool more than that. If you experience such with your baby, don’t be alarmed as it is very normal. Typically, the stool of a breastfed baby is either loose or curdy. Stooling may appear less after 4-6 weeks. You can expect one stole once every 7-10 days in some cases. The most important thing is that your baby is gaining well. Wet diapers: You can expect at least 5 wet diapers daily. If you don’t know what a wet diaper feels like, just wet a clean one with 3 tablespoons of water. You can also add a piece of tissue in a diaper as an indicator to know if it is wet or not. You will notice your baby at 6 weeks will have a larger amount of urine due to an increase in his or her bladder capacity, wet diapers will drop to around 4 to 5 daily.

How to increase milk supply during the first weeks of breastfeeding

The most important thing is that your baby is gaining well on your milk alone. You shouldn’t worry too much about milk supply. If your baby has the right number of wet and dirty diapers and is gaining well, then the milk supply is adequate. Keeping track of your baby’s weight during this time is very important, if your baby is gaining weight well then chances are you are not as low on milk supply as you may think. A lot of time, new mom’s think that they are low on milk supply when they aren’t.

baby tips for new moms

If your baby is experiencing any of the following, then chances are they ARE getting the milk supply that they need:

  • Your newborn is nursing more often
  • Your newborn is fussy at night
  • Your newborn isn’t nursing as long as usual
  • Your breasts are softer and not as hard as the beginning stages

If you’re doing any of the following, you may notice a decrease in your milk supply:

  • Using nipple shields
  • Supplementing
  • Scheduling your feedings (you should be nursing any moment your newborn is hungry, not on a schedule)
  • Offering only one breast for your baby to feed on

Most of the time new moms worry that they don’t have enough milk, in most cases they are fine. It takes some time to adjust and understand your baby’s needs. There is no need to worry, just pay attention to the signs your newborn is giving you.

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