Your baby’s stomach is about the size of their fist. So you need to remember that it is impossible to take in a lot of milk at one time.
It is no wonder babies spend so much time eating!
If you’re breastfeeding, the most important rule is to RELAX.
You need a quiet place, away from visitors and distractions, to practice you first feedings.
Make sure you don’t stare at the clock because you baby isn’t being mindful of the time.
If you Mom is there to help you, then she can help with the changing, bathing the baby and bringing you baby to you for feeding.
Dress Comfortably for Breastfeeding
- Take a button down nightgown to the hospital with you, or a shirt specifically made for breastfeeding mums.
- Wear a stretch bra, which is easy for lifting or moving aside during nursing. Buy you bras before you delivery day at the hospital and try to get a cup size bigger than normal because you girls are going to be way bigger than usual.
- Bring nursing pads with you to the hospital because you are going to be very leaky. FYI: Printed tops make stains less obvious.
- You should unbutton front button shirts from the bottom for nursing modestly. Or wear a pullover made of knit material. The baby’s head will cover you breast and the pull over will cover you midriff.
- Don’t over look the possibilities of ponchos, scarves or receiving blankets. You should always have a loose fitting cardigan handy.
Techniques for Nursing
- Choose a cushioned rocking chair, sofa or armchair for nursing baby. Ideally one with low arms to rest you own arm on, and to be able to put a pillow under you nurse arm. If you have friends or Mom over to help out, ask them to help prop you up with pillows.
- Use one of those big bed pillows with arms for when you nurse baby in bed.
- Wrap you & baby up in a big blanket or get into a snuggle sack with you little one in the winter time if you are nursing at night. You wouldn’t believe how much better you milk will flow when you are warm and cozy.
- You should keep track of which breast you last used by using a safety pin and transferring the pin from one side of you bra strap to the other for whichever breast you last used. Or use a special ring that fits on both hands, to signify which side you last used.
- When you are engorged and you little one isn’t ready to nurse, then try expressing you milk and releasing all that pent-up supply in a warm shower or bath. Not all breast pumps work for everyone so experiment with different types until you find the right one for you.
So although we understand today that baby’s food needn’t be really hot, it goes against the grain for some moms to serve their baby a cold bottle.
You don’t need a fancy electric bottle warmer either.
However, which way you want to warm you bottle, you can use the time its warning to change you baby.
- You can warm you bottle but putting it in a couple of inches of water in an electric coffee maker for a few moments, or by putting it in any bowl of hot water, or by running hot tap water over the bottle ( although this wastes water )
- You CAN stand an uncapped 8 ounce bottle in you microwave at a high power setting for no more than 20 seconds. If you used really cold filtered water to make the formula and the milk is frigid cold, then you can microwave it no more than 40 seconds. Test the milk on the inside of you arm before giving it to baby.
- Boil you baby’s bottle nipples in water inside a glass jar inside the microwave to clean them.
- Make sure you discard unused formula two hours after preparing it.
- Rise out bottles as soon as you baby is done with them or else you will have “cottage cheese” in them later. Washing the bottles in the dishwasher at a really hot temperature will sterilize them enough
For more about storing and thawing breastmilk, check out this guide on Smart Mom Ideas.
Don’t trip if you baby doesn’t always burp after you feed him/her, especially after you breast-feed.
If you baby seems comfortable after you have given a good attempt at burping, then let it go, forget it, you baby will be fine.
Be careful not to “pat” too hard! Some mommies find it better to use a gentle upwards stroke instead of forceful patting.
- Put you baby on you shoulder with a “burp cloth” underneath and gently pat his back between his shoulder blades.
- Lay baby on you lap, with their tummy faced down, with his little head turned to the side. Rub or gently pat from the bottom up.
- Make a “horseshoe” with you thumb and index finger, then put you baby’s chin into it as he “sits” on you lap, leaning against you hand holding his head up. Pat or stroke upward.
- Put you hand under you baby’s sternum and lean you baby toward you palm while gently rubbing his back
- Squeeze you baby’s back very gently, while you baby is on you shoulder or in you lap, begin at the kidney area and working slowly up to the shoulders.
Whether you chose to breast-feed or bottle-feed you baby a good rule of thumb is to WRITE DOWN and document every feeding time, how much baby drank ( if baby is drinking from a bottle ) or how long baby breast-fed for.
Be consistent and make sure you also write down if baby burped or spit up afterward.
It is completely fine and okay to do a combination of both breast and bottle feeding as some women feel their milk supply is not enough to satisfy their babies.
When my son was born, he had to stay in the hospital for many weeks since their was an issue where I could not bring him home right way.
This was a blessing because I was also able to stay at the hospital with him and breast feed him.
With the help of the neonatal nurses, I was able to practice and learn how to breastfeed. I also was encouraged to pump my breasts up to 8 times.
Unfortunately my son got “nipple confusion” and would not nurse after a while, preferring a bottle instead.
This was not going to deter me from breast-feeding. I invested in a hospital quality breast-pump and I literally PUMPED for my son for 6 months, feeding him like that instead.
This is called “Exclusively Pumping” where you cannot, for whatever reason, breastfeed you child traditionally so you pump you breasts every 3 hours instead. This was A LOT of work. But it was WORTH it know I gave my son a gift that will stay with him for life.
It was my decision to commit myself to 6 months of pure breast pumping.
Do not beat yourself up if you are unable or do not feel like committing yourself to breast feeding ( or even pumping ) – being a mother, especially a SINGLE mother is so much work in itself.
You have a whole plate of challenges and things to look forward as a single person in this journey.
Just remember that. You do not have to live up to anyone else standards but you own.
Your child will love you no matter what.