Breastfeeding Your Baby
The first few days of nursing will be a time of learning for you and your baby. Neither of you may accomplish a lot on your first few tries. A clear or yellowish fluid called colostrum that is extra rich in nutrients will come from your breasts. Although the amount will be small, it is close to what your newborn’s stomach can hold.
At first your new baby may nurse often, eight or more times in 24 hours. To begin breastfeeding, rinse your nipples with plain water, then dry them gently. Nurse from both breasts at each feeding. As long as you are holding your baby in the correct position and nursing is comfortable, there is no need to limit the time your baby nurses at each breast. Generally, 20 minutes of breastfeeding is sufficient.
At the next feeding, begin at the breast where the last feeding was completed. Some mothers pin a safety pin to their bra on the side last used to remind themselves where to start the next time.
Soreness and Latching Issues
If you have trouble with sore nipples, make sure your baby has “latched on” correctly. Also, start nursing on the side that bothers you least. If you need to skip any feedings due to sore breasts, express your milk by hand or with a pump at the baby’s regular feeding times so you will maintain your milk supply.
If you are having trouble breastfeeding and would like assistance, please call our office for references and suggestions. Pediatrics East also has a lactation consultant on staff, ready to answer any questions you may have!
What Mothers Should Consume While Breastfeeding
Mothers with colds or minor illnesses may continue to breastfeed their babies. Medications taken by a mother can pass into breast milk. Examples are sedatives, tranquilizing agents, mood-altering drugs, laxatives, and antibiotics. If you are breastfeeding, please check with our office before taking any medications.
As a nursing mother you will need to eat a balanced diet that contains 500 to 600 calories more per day than the diet you needed before pregnancy. Your daily food intake should contain a lot of protein foods and at least one quart of milk; these foods provide you with enough calcium for both you and your baby. If you are unable to drink milk or eat high- calcium foods, ask your doctor to recommend a calcium supplement.
If your baby seems fussy, markedly reduce your milk intake. Foods in your diet may have a disturbing effect on the baby. Certain foods such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, chocolate, and spicy foods can cause loose stools, colic, or excess gas. If your baby has any of these symptoms, review your diet for the previous 24 hours and eliminate foods on the above list and see if it helps.