Things I wish I knew as a first time breast feeding mom - Mothership Milk

Things I wish I knew as a first time breast feeding mom

-At the beginning of my breastfeeding experience, I discovered that the discomfort I experienced was because of the learning curve associated with getting my son to latch properly. Learning that the entire nipple and areola should be in his mouth was key, and my I’m so grateful my doula emphasized that pain was not normal despite it being normalized as an inherent part of one’s breastfeeding journey in our culture. Remember, it's not called 'nipple feeding' for nothing. If you're experiencing pain, seek advice from a lactation specialist or postpartum doula who can assist. Help is available!

-In the early days, your body produces colostrum, a nutrient-dense substance that's more than sufficient to nourish your baby until your mature milk comes in a few days later. Even when your milk arrives, your baby's tiny stomach means they require less than you might think. It can difficult to trust the process as you can’t actually see what baby is eating, but as long as they have sufficient wet and dirty diapers, are gaining weight well and aren’t showing signs of an oral restriction, you’re likely in the clear. That said, don’t be afraid to reach out to the experts for a second opinion, even if things are going well.

-Cluster feeding can be intense, leaving your nipples tender and raw. Try and embrace the frequent feedings, as it prompts your body to match your baby's needs and to produce enough milk. Remember, it's a phase that will pass and rubbing some milk on your nipples and letting them air dry, using nipple salves or silverettes can provide immense relief while you get the hang of things and supply begins to regulate.

-Engorgement, especially in the first few days, is normal as your body adjusts milk production. While hand expressing to reduce some of the pressure can help, be careful not to overstimulate your breasts, as it could lead to an oversupply and further discomfort. Let your body find its balance and remove just enough milk for your comfort between feeds. Your body doesn’t know if it birthed a singleton or triplets, so try not to confuse it by removing too much milk.

-If pumping yields little milk, don't be disheartened. Not all people respond super well to pumps, and it doesn't reflect your *actual* milk production - your baby remains the most effective 'pump' around. Ensure your flange is fitting properly, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, an IBCLC can help.

-Lastly, be kind to yourself. Breastfeeding can be a challenging journey. It will get easier and give yourselves grace as you and baby figure this feeding thing out together.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.