Having a newborn is beautiful. Kids and babies are little angels and the purest thing ever. Their tiny hands, feet, the hair on their head and even their smell burst your heart with joy and love. Everything that your newborn does is a milestone for you, and you feel as if you have achieved everything in the world by just being his or her mother. Newborns are a blessing and they are the most precious thing ever.
From them clutching your finger for the first time to them looking up at you and smiling at you for the first time, they melt your heart at everything that they do. However, they might be small and angelic but the responsibilities they come with are anything but that. They come with so much care and stuff to do. To running around with dirty diapers in your hand to rocking them till your arms give out and they sleep. To running around to get their formula ready to calm them down so you can breastfeed them, kids are a hand full and require a village to raise them! Little monsters. Perhaps, the biggest task a mother of newborn faces is how to breastfeed them. It is no easy task. Your baby might not be comfortable, or you might not be able to do it at first. Thus, you need to be well researched about nursing bras, breastfeeding, different positions and so on. Here is what you need to know about breastfeeding your newborn.
1ST STAGE OF MILK
For many of us out there, there is a misconception that the mothers start producing milk the day they give birth. If only that was the case. Truth is that mothers don’t start producing milk instantly. There is a long way they need to go before that happens and it is not an easy road and is painful as well.
At the very beginning, the milk isn’t what we know milk to be. Mothers produce a yellow substance called Colostrum. Colostrum has the basic nutrients and antibodies that the newborn must get in the first few days of his birth. This is essential for your newborn’s growth and for him to have a strong healthy immune system. It helps him develop antibodies that fight infections for a long time and keep your baby healthy.
The 2nd stage is that of transitional milk. Transitional milk is very literal for its meaning. Colostrum is replaced by transitional milk after 3 to 5 days’ time. It is a pitstop in the middle of the journey from colostrum to mature milk. It has a light orange color which is a mix between orange juice and white pure milk. It is a thick sticky liquid and lasts for about 3 to 5 days.
Mature milk is the final stop. It comes between the tenth to 14th day after birth. It is the most mature and fully developed stage and form of milk. It might start with being a little blue in color and then transitions to being of its natural white color. It is not very thick and thinner than traditional milk. Once you start producing this, you are ready to feed your baby.
STRUGGLE OF MAKING YOUR NEWBORN LATCH ON
Another misconception is that the baby just latches on to your breast and starts sucking. Your newborn doesn’t know anything but that of crying when hungry and dirtying their diaper. Everything else, you need to teach them and make them comfortable too. Thus, the baby might be a bit troublesome when it comes for him to latch onto you.
There are many reasons for this. The kid might not know how to adjust, or he might not be comfortable in his position. It might be something too new for him and he might be disturbed. Remember you know that this is natural, but your newborn doesn’t. He doesn’t know where the milk comes from. All he knows is that it does come and that he wants it or else he will cry his eyes out!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BABY LATCH ONTO YOU
Babies not latching onto your breast is a very common issue. Thus, there are a lot of solutions out there for this. New mothers must be aware of these. Breastfeeding is a hectic task and requires a lot of physical effort. Thus, you need to put your and your baby’s comfort first. You can’t provide comfort to your little angel unless you yourself are comfortable. So, sit in a comfortable position. Sit on a chair that has elbow, back and neck support. This way you and your baby would be relaxed.
Then comes the positioning of your baby on your body. Your baby is tiny. You are not. Thus, some adjusting would need to take place. Line up your baby’s tummy with your tummy so that his mouth can be elevated to the required height for breastfeeding. Then proceed to guide your baby towards the milk. Adjust and move his head accordingly. Make sure that you understand when the baby is suckling milk. You will get to know if he is drinking by the way his cheeks would move in and out and by his breathing pattern and rhythm.
Although all of these methods are tried and tested, this doesn’t mean however that they will work for every mother out there. Your baby might not just attach to you no matter what effort you put in and techniques you try out. This is where nipple shields come in. They are a protective plastic covering that you can cover your nipple with and is much easier for the baby to attach to. The baby sees it as if drinking milk from his bottle and so, adjusts very easily and you don’t have to stress anymore. Another help is that from the attire you wear. When you are a breastfeeding mom, your breasts are much sensitive and you might need to switch to other bras. This is where nursing bras come in, with a soft material and an easy way for you to take it off so that your newborn can take his feed.
Being a new mother is scary. You don’t know everything, and you want to be everything for your baby. You want to be the best version of yourself that you can be. You don’t need to feel bad, you are new at this. Take all the help you can get from experienced mothers and the internet and be well researched.