Breastfeeding the First Days After Birth
If you are wondering how to get your baby to breastfeed the first days after birth, this post is for you! There are 3 key tips to get your best foot forward with easy breastfeeding in the first days and for as long as you feel comfortable breastfeeding.
I’m sure many of you momma’s have spent countless hours reading pregnancy book after pregnancy book to get you prepared for your breastfeeding experience.
What does a baby want when she enters the cold, bright, loud world -you! Think about those days you want to crawl under the covers with something familiar (like the netflix remote). Your baby is the same way. You momma are the only thing your baby needs to feel good.
Let’s talk about the 3 most important things during the first few hours after birth that support these natural bonding needs that will set you up for breastfeeding with ease.
Number 1: skin to skin.
I have heard so many mommas say to me “I cannot wait for the baby to smile at me and say I love you”. Well, guess what girl, if we give babies a chance, they will appear to perform a miracle. They will find your heartbeat, snuggle in, and give you your first hug, all within the first hours of life. This is what some professionals call the breast crawl – Look. It. Up. On. Youtube. It is ah-mazing. Mamas that have a C-section, don’t worry, you can still advocate for skin to skin also!
Skin to skin is the practice of placing baby belly to belly with mom immediately after birth. Research has shown that all that other fuss of weighing, washing, and eye ointment, can wait.
Why is this important?
- It helps the baby regulate her heart rate, breathing, blood sugar and temperature
- It helps baby cry less
- Your baby will feed better
And it has benefits for you too, momma! First, it can help you produce hormones that increase your milk production. Secondly, it also helps decrease postpartum bleeding, and lowers your risk for postpartum depression.
Number 2: Your colostrum – and little amounts mean everything!
Colostrum is the first milk that you’ll make. It’s a yellowish liquid that will come in SMALL AMOUNTS. It’s normal to produce only about 1-4 teaspoons of colostrum per day. that is because a baby’s tummy is the size of a marble. So don’t freak out if you feel like you aren’t producing enough because your baby can only hold so much her first few days of life.
Colostrum is sometimes called “liquid gold” because all of the nutrients in colostrum are uniquely made to be easy to digest for your baby. It has the perfect amount of protein and fat to support your baby’s growth and development in the first few days.
Worried about trouble breastfeeding or giving colostrum? Show up with a spoon. In these early days there is no need for bottles. Babies can be fed using a small spoon! Doing this can be best for supporting breastfeeding long term!
Number 3: Rooming In
Rooming in means that your baby stays in your room at the hospital instead of going to a nursery. Why is this more important than sending your new baby off to the room full of baby cubicles?
You’ll start getting used to your baby’s sleep schedule and she is right there for you to get to know early feeding cues. Therefore, learning cues will save lots of feeding frustration and stress when you go home. BECAUSE baby’s stomach is so small she’ll need to feed every two hours or so, (or even more frequently!) especially during the night.
Sleep and Rest
I know what you are thinking. I just labored for 18 hours and pushed a bowling ball out of my whoo whoo, how am i going to get any rest? Well, studies show that rooming in and breastfeeding actually does not mean that you get less sleep.
Actually, it helps you get better quality sleep! Now, isn’t that exactly what all new mothers want, just some sleep! Rooming in increases your confidence in handling and caring for your baby by learning their different cues early on.