1. First time breastfeeding
First 3 days. Oh my goodness! Before birth I thought I’m going to exclusively breastfeed my baby. Well I did but I was thinking I’m not going to give even single drop of formula milk. Baby’s stomach increases in days. I thought I will be having enough milk. On my second day postpartum, I was feeding my girl for 1 hour and then 2 hours but she was crying and crying and crying. I was at my wits end and at the end of day I started crying as well. Thoughts like I’m not a good mum or I’m not providing enough for my baby keep bombarding my mind. I gave her one ounce formula and there you go. She got settled. Looking around. And then she slept for 3 hours.
I kept breastfeeding her during all day. On the third day, she slept for 4 hours and my supply was at its peak. I remember I was trying to wake her up so I feed her. Because it was leaking.
2. Managing milk supply
As a first time mum, you have to feed with both breast for a constant time. Well it’s a common sense but I was myself use to forget which side I fed her. Ending up one side heavier than other.
Newborn babies take long to feed but as they grow older, feeding time tends to get shorter. I downloaded an app for breastfeeding. It was so good . It indicated each side and how long and how many times baby has been fed.
If your baby sleep longer after one breast. Try using pump for the other side only when you feel it’s too full and your baby is not waking up. To my own experience I don’t like using pump. But there are times you don’t have any option . You have to take it out.
Now I don’t use any app or pump. My baby has started weaning and she feeds for shorter time and not very frequently. And now I learnt and knew how to manage.
3. Blocked ducts or hardened milk
This is a killer. I had it 3 times now. So painful and frustrating. It happens when you don’t feed or express milk for long period. And you have full milk. Hard lumps formed in your breast that won’t go even after you feed your baby.
I still remember one night when it happened to me first time . I literally woke up from my sleep. I saw there was a milk blister on my nipple and 3 lumps in my breast. I went into hot shower to bring it down, I expressed, I fed nothing helped.
I searched and searched and found milk blisters can be treated by sterilised needle if you just burst the blister and feed. Well I know so many of you will disagree . But it worked for me. But I am going to get checked from my gp as well.
I observed it happens more after I started weaning my girl. Always tell your gp about anything that need to be concerned.
Sometimes even if your baby bump his head on your chest or by mistake it got hit by anything that can cause lumps and pain in breast as well. So be careful.
4. Increasing supply
I’m a pakistani, so my mum always bombard me with so many baby hacks and tips. Supply always depends on the demand. Usually, your body will produce the amount your baby needs. But there are ways to increasing supply as well.
My mum told me to drink water boiled with fennel seeds. It helps increasing the milk supply and will also be good on baby stomach.
The other thing she told me was eating fish increase milk supply as well. And it truly does.
In first few months,baby wakes a lot during night for feed. My mum used to give milk before bed. Now I always have a glass of milk before sleeping. It helps with milk supply during night time.
5. Quality of milk
It all depend on your diet. I really really want to tell most the new mums to please look after your diet. Your baby is what you eat. Babies tummies are so sensitive in early days. So as your body. So eat clean diet at the beginning. Avoid spices or heavy junk food. Drink plenty of water. Do not drink cold juice or drinks. Limit your caffeine. Eat lots of nuts. Our asian mummies always make ‘panjeeri ‘ for new mummy. This is the whole blend of nuts, seeds, dry fruits roasted in clarified butter. It is so good for milk and it gives so much energy to mum. It helps soothe and recover the postpartum body as well.
6. Proper latch
It’s very important. Milk doesn’t flow properly causing hardening and making lumps in breast if baby is not properly latched. The nipple should by fully in mouth and make sure the baby is breathing fine.
7. Breastfeeding positions
Always make yourself comfortable while feeding. Invest in good nursing pillows. I swear by the one I have. It’s c shaped. Do not lean on your baby while feeding. It gives you so much back pain. If baby is fussy try changing the positions.