Breastfeeding and What to Expect

Breastfeeding is a great option for new moms and it comes with plenty of amazing benefit. For those that are new to the experience, you might not know what to expect, so we came up with a list of symptoms and common side effects for when you start. There will be a lot of changes for both you and the baby, so it’s important to know what to expect.

Nursing Frequency

For the first month of breastfeeding, your newborn will feed at least eight times a day. Milk tends to digest more easily than formula, which means your baby will be hungry more often. Feeding your little one frequently the first few weeks is also great for milk stimulation. It’s common for breastfeeding to be “on-demand” and more often at the beginning, but over time your baby will nurse less and have a more consistent schedule.

Breast Changes

You’ll be going through a lot of changes, more specifically though with your breasts. While you’re pregnant, they’ll start to grow, usually around one to two cup sizes. Every woman is different, but each mom experiences the growth caused by milk-producing cells. Once you’ve given birth, prolactin takes into effect and it’s what will help you produce milk regularly. Your breasts will feel sore in the beginning, but after a few days your mature milk will come in. This means they will start to engorge and feel hard. How do you fix this? Breastfeed!

Nipple Tenderness

It’s normal to feel sore for the first few days of breastfeeding, and it’s a common problem among moms. If the pain persists and does not subside, then it’s a problem that can easily be fixed. Lactation experts have contributed pain with breastfeeding to latching problems. Not only does the baby need to have your nipple in the mouth, but she also should have part of your breast in the mouth too. This results in your nipple resting on the soft palette of the baby’s mouth. This can be achieved by making sure your baby’s head is tipped back and her nose is turned away from your breast. Every mama is different though, so try out different positions to see what works best for you.

There are also a lot of creams out there to help soothe any tenderness you might be experiencing. They are great for relieving any itching, soreness or throbbing you are currently feeling.

Changes in the Baby

There are two change that will occur once you start breastfeeding your little one: weight gain and dirty and wet diapers. Typically, newborns lose around 7 percent of their birth weight, but after about five days breastfed infants should start gaining weight. It’s common for your baby to gain around four to seven ounces each week or an average of one to two pounds each month for the first few months. If you feel your baby isn’t gaining the expected weight, then it’s best to consult your doctor.

In addition to weight gain, your infant will have have more consistent dirty and wet diapers. Around the fourth or fifth day after birth, your baby’s stool will start to look yellow and appear more frequently. He or she might not have a stinky diaper after each breastfeeding session, but will at least stool four times a day. Also, the more you breastfeed overtime, the more wet diapers there will be. Ideally, your baby will urinate after most feeding sessions.

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