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Increasing Breast Milk Supply Concerns – Nurse Your Baby Often
Breastfeeding may be one of the most natural things in the world, but babies don’t know how to breastfeed when they’re born. Breastfeeding is one of those things that you have to do to learn it and it will get a lot easier as you practice it. Even if you’ve watched others breastfeed their babies, read all the books you can get your hands on, gotten advice from friends and professionals, or attended classes, you’ll only learn by doing so.
An increase in breast milk will occur as your baby nurses more and you increase your fluid intake. Although you will get better and nursing will become easier as you become more experienced, there are some basics that are easy to learn before your baby is born.
1. Babies are usually very active immediately after birth and it is important that you introduce the baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth. Your milk will take a few days to come in, but letting the baby nurse right after birth has many benefits for both of you. For your baby, the colostrum will be the first things your baby receives and this fluid is full of antibodies, easy to digest and has all the nutrition your baby needs until your milk comes in. Early breastfeeding helps your uterus contract, encourages milk production and helps reduce bleeding.
2. Try not to wait until your baby is crying to breastfeed. Watch the clock and offer the breast approximately every 2-3 hours. It takes a lot of effort to get the baby to get milk from the breast and if he is too restless or tired, you may find it difficult to get him to latch and nurse. The more the baby nurses the sooner your milk will come in and your body will work to produce more milk to meet the demand.
3. Breastfeeding a lot during the first few weeks makes your baby happier, builds your milk supply and forces you to stop and rest. Nursing will be comforting for your baby and you should offer the breast to your baby whenever you think it will help. It is difficult to overfeed a baby with breast milk.
4. When you sit down to breastfeed be prepared to spend about 15 minutes per breast. Put everything you’ll need within reach, the phone, burp cloth, remote controls and something to drink so you don’t have to get up and interrupt your meal.
5. It is important to feed your baby from both sides at each feed. Breastfed babies generally don’t take in much air and may find it harder to burp, but try to burp before changing sides. Always start feeding with the last breast you offered, this helps to maintain your supply even as the baby will not drink as much from the second breast.
6. It may not be a good idea to offer a baby a bottle during the first few weeks. Getting milk from mom is a bit of a challenge and your baby may decide that he likes the instant gratification of the bottle more than the breast. There is no need to give your baby bottles of water; your milk has all the nutrients he needs.
7. Your baby needs to breastfeed for your body to produce milk and offering formula will inhibit your production. Infant formula will keep your baby full longer because it is harder for him to digest. If your baby is full, he will not feed.
8. Drink as many healthy fluids as you can handle and get plenty of rest to help milk production.
Nursing mothers often wonder if their baby is getting enough to eat. The best way to measure this is by the baby’s weight. There is usually no need to worry unless your baby has wet diapers or bowel movements. Breast milk is so easy to digest that your baby will most likely have at least a small bowel movement every time you change him.
A baby’s stomach is about the size of his fist so it won’t take much to fill him up. In the beginning it is the act of nursing and your fluid intake that will increase breast milk. As your baby grows and eats more, your body will produce the milk he needs. You will need to make sure you are getting: enough fluids, enough rest and letting your baby nurse if you are concerned about increasing breast milk.
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