Newborn babies eat all of the time. Seriously. All of the time. I always tell mothers to plan to spend the first few weeks sitting on the couch or in your comfy chair feeding your baby. It will probably seem like that is all you do. And it is totally normal. Most baby should and do eat eight to 12 times per day. This lasts for the first six to eight weeks, but sometimes up to the first three months. As long a your baby acts happy and alert when not nursing or sleeping, is peeing and pooping regularly and is gaining the appropriate amount of weight, frequent nursing is not a concern.
Make the time you spend breastfeeding less stressful by creating your nursing nest that includes supplies for your little one as well as supplies for you. Make sure you have a place for water, snacks, reading material, and your audio-video remote and/or favorite internet connected device. Invite your friends over to see you. Let them know you will be feeding baby, but you would love their company.
Also remember, pumping especially in the early weeks is not a good indicator of supply. Pumping is a learned art that often takes practice.
Kellymom.com is a great resource and you can read about this topic here.
Engorgement can be very uncomfortable. It is important to empty your breasts by feeding your little one early and often. We recommend feeding 8 -12 times per 24 hours and making sure your latch and position is correct. In order to get your breasts soft enough for you little one to latch on, you pump a little (to comfort only) or taking a warm shower and hand expressing. Sooth the discomfort with cold packs and whatever pain relievers your healthcare provider told you was okay to take.
For more thoughts on engorgement check out these links:
La Leche League
Jack Newman, MD
These are the five things I tell every new mother I work with on breastfeeding.
- Tummy to mummy
- Nipple to nose
- Wide open latch
- Patience & persistence
- Ask for help if you think there is a problem.
The simple answer to that question is … well there is not one. Breastfeeding should not hurt. At least not more than a mild sunburn. And only at the beginning of the latch. And only for the first few days. If it does hurt more than that, ask for help and ask for it soon. The sooner the problem causing the pain is corrected, the better.
What might cause nipple pain? An incorrect latch and/or position. Engorgement. Infection due to nipple damage. Skin conditions.
The main reason is the first one listed, incorrect latching or positioning. This can usually be fixed with some simple adjustments. (Remember the basics: nipple to nose, tummy to mummy, wide open mouth, patience and persistence!) Read up on latching, watch a video, ask your support group for help or talk to a lactation consultant!
Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt!
I am a researcher in my heart. If something is happening to me or some one tells me about something I don’t know about, I go look it up. The Internet is great for that. However, there are many less than reputable sources out there. So what are some reputable sources for breastfeeding information?
Kellymom.com is my favorite Internet resource where I send people for accurate information. Mostly because it is so comprehensive and has links to other good sites with more information. There are also tons of great books out there as well.
You can check out my resources page for other good places to find information to include the books I often recommend to my mamas.