BREASTFEEDING a NEWBORN | Breastfeeding PROBLEMS, TIPS & TRICKS

BREASTFEEDING a NEWBORN | Breastfeeding PROBLEMS, TIPS & TRICKS


Breastfeeding a newborn is such a special opportunity to provide your baby with the absolute best nutrition, immense comfort, kick-start their health and immune system, all while building a bond that will last a lifetime.

The benefits of breastfeeding are endless, but that is not what this post is about. Knowing how important breastfeeding is, adds a lot of pressure to deliver this “liquid gold.”

Everyone’s experience with breastfeeding is different.

For some it comes really easy, others have a really difficult time, and most fall somewhere in between.

I breastfed both of my babies and both times it started out a bit difficult. With some troubleshooting, research, education, and a mental breakdown or two along the way I figured it out.

Once I figured it out, it was smooth sailing. I am sharing what I have learned along the way in hopes to help other moms out there avoid as many obstacles as possible!

Here is what to expect when breastfeeding a newborn, common breastfeeding problems, and tips to solve them:

COLOSTRUM

breast milk supply

After your baby is born, you will be producing what is called Colostrum. Colostrum is a thick yellowish secretion that is produced by your mammary glands.

It is extremely rich in antibodies, which are the first to colonize your little one’s sterile GI tract. (super important for keeping them healthy and free of disease!)

This is all they will be drinking for the first few days, and luckily it is all they need at that time. Their stomachs are extremely small, and fill up very quickly so they don’t need much at first.

MILK

breastfeeding baby

Your milk supply will come in around 2-5 days after birth. Feeding as often as possible before your milk comes in will help you establish a good milk supply down the road.

I even pump in between feedings to get my body producing as much as possible.  This tricks your body into thinking it needs to produce more milk.

Once your milk comes in, it comes in with a vengeance!

You will most likely be extremely engorged for the first week or so.

This is pretty uncomfortable and basically feels like your boobs are about to explode. Don’t worry, once your milk production regulates this goes away.

When you are engorged, you may start to notice some small lumps. These are clogged ducts, which are very common. If left untreated, they can get infected, which is called mastitis.

I have never had mastitis, but I hear that it is extremely painful and usually requires antibiotics.

I managed to avoid this by clearing out any clogged ducts as soon as I noticed them. To clear out a clogged duct you need to massage it out. It takes a decent amount of force, kind of like you’re kneading dough.

It doesn’t feel great, but I imagine it is a whole lot better than mastitis! I used a heating pad (I loved this Lansinoh 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack) to soften everything up before I would massage it out.

Also, frequent feeding or pumping helps to clear it out as well.

DEEP LATCH

breastfeeding baby deep latch

It is absolutely CRITICAL that you learn how to establish a deep latch.

There is a ton of information out there on how to achieve this, and I suggest you watch a few YouTube videos,  get some 1 on 1 help from a lactation consultant or take a breastfeeding course online (read below for my favorite one!)

A bad latch is the NUMBER ONE cause of pain during breastfeeding. There are a few other (less common) causes such as tongue-tie or thrush.

It’s common for your nipples to be sore during the first week or two while they adjust, but extreme pain is avoidable and should be addressed if you’re experiencing this.

With my second baby, I had EXCRUCIATING pain (I’m talking worse than labor contractions)  because he took about 2 weeks to establish a deep latch.

I learned all about deep latches with my first and did not expect to have any problems with my second, but for some reason, he had a hard time getting a deep latch.

I talk all about this experience, how I got through it and everything else you need to know about surviving the first week home with a newborn.

It really saved me from quitting, because it was a tough week, to say the least.

FREQUENCY

breastfeeding timer

You will be feeding your baby every 2-3 hours (or sooner if needed.)

This means you most likely will not be getting much sleep at first, but once they hit 5 weeks old they are able to go about 4-5 hours in between feedings which will give you longer stretches at night.

Around 2 months old they are capable of sleeping through the night, but will most likely still have one middle of the night feeding.

RELATED: How to get your baby to sleep through the night.

EDUCATION

mom learning online

These are just the basics for new moms, but there is SO MUCH MORE to learn about breastfeeding to ensure you have the most amazing experience.

For more in-depth knowledge on everything breastfeeding, I highly recommend the Milkology Breastfeeding Course. It was created by a fellow mama who happens to be a certified lactation consultant!

It’s simple, extremely affordable (only $19) and it provides SO much valuable information (and how cute is the name?!) It is a web-based course that you can take from the comfort of your own home which truly helped me so much. (Who has time for anything else, really?!)

You get access to exclusive knowledge on breastfeeding a newborn. Covering breastfeeding problems, how to overcome them, guidance in making the right decisions despite outside pressure, and my personal favorites: the PDF printouts at the end of the course.

They have bullet points highlighting the key points, recaps of everything the course covered, pages of helpful tips and tricks, answers to common problems and more.

Not only did it educate me on so many aspects of breastfeeding, but it gave me the reassurance and encouragement I needed when I was struggling. This course truly is so helpful, I highly recommend it.

breastfeeding a newborn

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How to Increase your Milk Supply (overnight!)

How to Increase your Milk Supply (overnight!)

Our bodies are amazing.

It still blows my mind when I think about all of the extraordinary things our bodies are capable of, especially during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding has endless benefits to mother and baby, and a lot of moms want to breastfeed longer than their bodies allow.

That being said, you CAN increase your milk supply if you need to.

Here’s how I increased my breast milk supply in one day (and kept it up!):

GET TO PUMPIN’!

increasing milk supply by pumping breastmilk

Depending on how much you need to increase your milk supply, scheduled pumping will trick your body into producing more milk.

Pump about 30-60 minutes after feeding (when your body has had a chance to fill up again).

It is important to do this no later than an hour before your next feeding so you have enough milk available for your baby to consume.

Another way I like to pump is by feeding from only one breast and pumping the opposite breast immediately after feeding.

This is good if you want to keep your breasts producing evenly and not looking lopsided all the time.

(Here is the pump I loved)

PRO TIP: Collect a TON of extra milk by using a Haaka

LINKED BELOW

SUPPLEMENTS TO INCREASE MILK SUPPLY

increasing milk supply by taking supplements

Taking a lactation supplement can be really helpful! I used the Honest Company Lactation Plus capsules and they worked wonders for me! Whether you take a supplement, make lactation cookies, or use herbal teas, they all have pretty much the same ingredients. For me, I found the supplement to be the easiest to take on a consistent basis.

ONLINE COURSE: Breastfeeing & Pumping for new moms

This is my #1 favorite course for all things breastfeeding!
breastfeeding class

HOW TO INCREASE BREAST MILK IN ONE DAY: DRINK WATER!

increasing milk supply by drinking water

Drink a TON of fluids! I repeat…drink a TON of fluids! This is essential! Breastfeeding often, pumping often, you are depleting your body of fluids and nutrients.

You really need to replace the fluids lost or your supply WILL dry up!

Drinking plenty of water will literally increase your breast milk in one day. Literally.

But it is temporary. Make it a habit to keep that supply up and running for as long as you need.

My favorite way to make sure I was drinking enough fluids throughout the day was by using a cute tumbler! Having a tumbler that keeps your drink cold all day long and is easy to carry around and bring with you makes staying hydrated a breeze.

Here’s a link to my favorite one:

EAT FOODS TO INCREASE MILK SUPPLY

increasing milk supply by eating enough calories

Consume enough calories, in particular, PROTEIN.

As I said, you are seriously depleting your body of vital nutrients and in order to have enough energy to produce breast milk, you need to consume enough protein.

I used MyFitnessPal to track my calorie intake, which also broke down the amount of protein I was consuming.

I noticed a very obvious link to my protein intake and milk supply. Trust me when I say this is a key factor!

This is information I have gathered from research and from our pediatrician. This has worked for me, however, everyone is different so please take this information with a grain of salt and only do what is recommended for you personally.

Related: Tips on Returning to Work (after baby)

TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE!

I highly recommend taking a class on the subject so that you are prepared, have all of the information to make the best decisions for you and your baby, avoid any unnecessary obstacles, and have the tools to overcome any struggles you are faced with.

But what new or expecting mom has the time or energy to go to a class?! That is why online courses are SO convenient! Finish at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home!

Milkology has my favorite courses, created by a certified lactation consultant and filled with a TON of helpful information covering every single topic, free printables at the end of the course, and is SUPER affordable!

Check it out HERE!

milkology
milkology

Thank you so much for stopping by, I truly hope that these tips help you through your breastfeeding journey!

Leave me a comment below and let me know which tip helped you the most!

NOTHING makes me happier than making a positive impact on a fellow mama.

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