The first six weeks postpartum are a crucial time for […]
The first six weeks postpartum are a crucial time for breastfeeding, says lactation consultant Ann-Marie Christian. Knowing what to expect lays the foundation for a successful experience.
The most common concern breastfeeding moms have, according to Christian, is “How do I know if my baby is getting enough food?” Babies are built for small, frequent feedings. Yours should be eating eight times or more during a 24-hour period. Pay attention to weight gain (after about day 3) and dirty diapers to help you monitor whether or not he’s being nourished.
Cluster feedings (when baby wants to eat every 30 minutes or so instead of every three hours) are normal and could signal a coming growth spurt, Christian says. They often occur around the 2-week mark and do not indicate that you aren’t producing enough milk.
Some discomfort, especially with latching at the beginning of a feeding, is typical and should subside. But if pain continues, get help early. You can find a certified lactation consultant at ilca.org
Consider seeking out a mother’s support group, such as a local chapter of La Leche League International (llli.org). You’ll have a place to ask questions, get advice, and develop friendships with other new moms.
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