How to do it ? How to manage the rise in milk? How do I know if my baby has drunk enough? Our advice to start breastfeeding as serenely as possible.
Difficult, painful, tiring … Breastfeeding is not always easy to approach and, due to a lack of information and practice, it can raise some apprehensions. World Breastfeeding Day, which takes place this Friday, March 29, 2019, is an opportunity to remind all young mothers that the choice of breastfeeding or not is up to them. If you have decided to opt for this natural diet, here is 10 tips to help you get started smoothly. Manual.
1 – Get informed before birth
Misconceptions, fears, questions … If you want to opt for breastfeeding but questions are holding you back, or if you just want to be informed, this is the time to document yourself. Think especially about the interview of the fourth month of pregnancy, which is part of the birth preparation sessions: you have a great opportunity to talk about your breastfeeding project with a midwife who will answer all your questions, even the most personal. This interview is offered systematically in maternity hospitals. If this is not the case, do not hesitate to request this personalized interview.
2 – Baby is here: long live the welcome feed
If possible, breastfeed your baby as soon as possible! This will accelerate the arrival of lactation. Within two hours of maximum birth, if all went well. Indeed, baby has a stronger sucking reflex at this time. It is during this period that he will be most receptive to learning, and therefore to suckling for food. Skin-to-skin contact after birth is particularly good for babies to want to suckle. If however this was not possible due to a caesarean, for example, do not worry: your lactation will be done anyway.
3 – Milk and its variations: get to know your milk
At the very beginning, you secrete what is called colostrum: this thick yellow liquid is a real concentrate of antibodies and vitamins for your little one. Colostrum is present approximately from the first to the 4th or 5th day. It then gives way to colostral milk, or so-called transition milk, a thicker yellowish liquid made of colostrum and breast milk: it comes at the time of the rise of milk. Then comes breast milk, rather bluish in color, whose composition changes depending on the time of day (it is richer at night), the age of the baby and even during feeding (richer in water). and in lactose at the beginning because baby is thirsty, then, more fatty during the feeding).
4 – The rise of milk: apply some “tricks”
A rise of milk can be painful: your breasts are swollen, hot, heavy, tense … sensitive too! Indeed, the influx of milk can cause waterlogging. Put your baby on the breast when you feel this surge of milk. You can also perform small massages to relieve yourself: in a hot shower, massage your chest by making circles. Start at the base of the chest and massage gradually to the center, gently. This will allow you to express the excess milk. During breastfeeding, engorgement can occur (too much milk production). The same advice remains valid, you can also massage your breasts during feeding so that the milk flows as well as possible. A breast pump can also help.
5 – Small inconveniences: act!
For a few days, sucking the baby can be uncomfortable for the very young mother. If this is the case, check the correct position of your baby: belly against belly, it is turned towards you, his mouth covers the entire nipple, including the areola. His lips are upturned and his tongue placed under the nipple. You are not leaning on your baby, you are comfortably installed. If sucking hurts, apply a drop of milk on the nipple just after feeding: very effective! You can also apply a cream like beaver equi, which is no problem for baby feedings and will allow you to heal. But again, it is the correct position of the baby at the breast that will allow you to avoid these inconveniences as much as possible. Against small milk leaks, you can provide small pads to slip into your nursing bra. Be sure to wear lingerie that gives you good support. To choose your bra well, plan one more cup than the one you wear at the end of pregnancy. Also prefer special clothes, which allow breastfeeding without undressing too much, for more comfort.
6 – How often should the baby drink?
On the rhythm side, you can breastfeed on demand. Babies are very different when it comes to eating, but soon you will know the needs of yours. Some will suckle 7 times a day, others more! Your milk production will quickly adapt to its needs. When baby sucks, it stimulates your lactation by sucking. This is why it is important to breastfeed often at the start and leave it there as long as it needs it. Thus, you respond perfectly to his request. In terms of duration, some babies drink in 5 minutes, others will only be satisfied after an hour of lazy breastfeeding. To know if he is drinking well, baby sucks more vigorously at first, we see his ears move, and we hear him swallow. Then the rhythm slows down when he is less hungry.
7 – How do I know if my baby has had a good drink?
A baby who drinks enough wets about 5 to 6 diapers a day, and has golden yellow stools with small grains. It takes on average 450 g per month or 115 g to 200 g per week, as explained by Mélanie Schmidt-Ulmann, author of 100 breastfeeding and doula reflexes. Weekly weighing is normally sufficient to ensure that you gain weight. Regarding your diet, it must be varied, and you must drink a lot, but be careful: avoid coffee which is exciting and carbonated drinks whose bubbles can give colic to your child. Eat everything in reasonable quantities: the taste of your milk will change depending on what you eat: a good way to arouse it with different flavors!
8 – What if the surge of milk does not come?
Sometimes the rise in milk is long overdue! It will be all the more necessary for you to drink in good quantity. Besides, breastfeeding makes you thirsty! You can also try breastfeeding herbal teas, some mothers see it as a galactogenic effect. However, do not consume it non-stop, because the effect could quickly dissipate. Use them when there is a need. Good breastfeeding also requires … good sleep! It is tempting, when baby sleeps, to be busy in the house: mistake! At least in the early days it is better to sleep when he is also sleeping. It is essential for your milk production to be well rested. As far as possible, avoid complementary bottles, which can disturb your lactation. If necessary, talk to a healthcare professional or lactation consultant.
9 – Trust yourself!
An entourage who accompanies you, a husband who supports you, that’s what to help you. For your part, having confidence in your ability to breastfeed is important, stress does not mix well with breastfeeding. The more relaxed you are, the better it will be. Also trust your baby.
10 – Surround yourself!
To help you if necessary, do not hesitate to ask the medical staff or the lactation advisers who will provide the answers to any questions you may have. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your PMI. Consultations are possible, and you can weigh your baby to reassure him of his good weight gain, or ask questions that can tease you during breastfeeding.