Welcome to the world of parenting, where your days and nights are mixed up and you do not even know what day it is! For the next few weeks you may feel like all you are doing is feeding your baby, but with these helpful hints you will gain confidence that your baby will thrive with breastfeeding. If you have any questions or concerns such as with latching or your milk supply, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help make your breastfeeding experience as stress-free as possible.

Here are some tips to make your breastfeeding experience an easier one:

When or how often should I feed my baby?

In the beginning, always allow your baby to eat on his or her own schedule. This “schedule” is known as on-demand feeding and will be easiest for you and your baby. Please do not watch the clock - watch your baby. On average, babies should nurse at least every 3 hours during the day and no longer then every 4 hours overnight in the first few weeks – some may feed much more frequently too. After longer periods of sleep, your baby will cluster his or her feedings to "catch-up" on the missed feedings.

How do I know when my baby is hungry?

Your baby may display early signs of hunger by rooting on your finger or sucking on his or her hands or blanket. Later signs of hunger include crying or increased fussiness. Always try to calm your baby before putting him or her to the breast.

>h3> How do I know if my baby is eating enough?

You will know your baby is getting enough breast milk when he or she has 6-8 wet diapers, has at least 4 yellow seedy poops (sometimes with every diaper change!), and feeds 8-12 times in 24 hours. This schedule will usually begin around days 4-6 of life when your milk typically arrives if you are a first-time breast-feeding mom. The more frequently you breastfeed initially, the sooner your milk will arrive. If you feel your milk is not arriving or your baby just seems to nurse "constantly" without satisfaction, please contact us.

What if my baby falls asleep during nursing?

Let your baby nurse on one breast for as long as he or she wants until he or she falls off the breast in a relaxed and calm state. Then burp your baby and offer your second breast. If your baby is full, then let your baby sleep and begin with the opposite breast at the next feeding. If your baby only nurses a brief time period and keeps falling asleep, then try to stimulate your baby awake. You may undress your baby completely and then attempt to nurse “skin-to-skin,” rub his or her back or feet, hold him or her upright or wipe his or her face with a cool, damp cloth. If you are truly unable to arouse your baby with any methods, please contact us.

What if nursing is painful?

Nipple soreness usually peaks between days 6-10 of life. You will experience initial latch-on discomfort as your baby begins to nurse, which should resolve as the feeding progresses. If you experience pain throughout the entire feeding, your baby is not latched on correctly. If your baby is not latched correctly, first release the suction with your finger to remove your baby off the breast. Then, reposition your baby and open up his or her mouth by pulling down his or her chin. When the mouth is opened wide, move your baby again onto your nipple and areola.

Our goal is for you to gain confidence in nursing your baby. Please try to relax and enjoy, this is not meant to be stressful. It has often been said that breastfeeding is the most “unnatural, natural” thing to do for your baby. It takes practice for every mother to be successful. Please do not feel that you are alone, we are here to help you feed your baby, no matter what that nourishment may be! Contact us for any questions.

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