10 Things I Tell All New Parents
Learning how to breastfeed has plenty of challenges, and it's even more difficult when you're in the newborn fog because sleep deprivation and oxytocin have a strong effect on the brain. So I try to give little bullet points that parents can retain to help them get through the first few days. These are the things I say to every new parent:
Congratulations! What an amazing gift you’re giving your baby. Colostrum (your first milk) is baby’s first immunization and provides lifelong benefits.
Babies want to breastfeed a lot! It’s recommended to breastfeed 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Watch the baby, not the clock! Watch for sucking and swallowing, and switch breasts when they come off on their own.
Brand new babies may need to be awakened to feed! For proper weight gain and for your milk supply, be sure to not go more than 4-5 hours between feeds.
For a comfortable latch, think “tummy to tummy, nipple to nose.” Getting a good latch is a dance, and takes practice.
It’s OK to feel frustrated! Breastfeeding can be very difficult in the beginning.
You are not alone! Get support with breastfeeding if you are struggling.
Tenderness in the first week is normal - pain is *not* normal. If you’re having pain with breastfeeding, seek help from an IBCLC.
Your “white milk” comes in around day 3. Your breasts may start to feel fuller and firmer. Keep nursing to avoid engorgement.
Don’t forget to drink water! Breastfeeding makes you very thirsty.
Bookmark this to come back to when you promptly forget everything you are told in the first few hours after birth!