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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 do not know how to nurse when they are born. Breastfeeding is one of those things that you must do in order to learn it and it will get much easier as you practice it. Even if you have seen others nursing their infants, read all the books you can get your hands, gotten advice from friends and professionals or attended classes, you will only learn by doing it.
Increasing breast milk supply will happen as your baby nurses more and you increase your fluid intake. Although you will get better and nursing will be easier as you get more experienced there are some basics that are easy to learn before your baby is born.
1. Babies are usually very alert right after birth and it is important that you introduce the baby to the breast as soon after birth as possible. Your milk will take a couple of days to come in but letting the baby nurse right after birth has many advantages for both of you. For your baby, the colostrums will be the first things your baby gets 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 to reduce bleeding.
2. Try not to wait until your baby is crying to nurse. Watch the clock and offer the breast about every 2-3 hours. It takes a lot of effort for the baby to get milk from the breast and if he is too fussy or tired you may have a hard time getting him to latch on 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. Nursing 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 any time you think it will help. It is hard to overfeed a baby with breast milk.
4. When you sit down to nurse be prepared to spend about 15 minutes per breast. Put everything you will need within reach, the telephone, the burp cloth, remote controls and something to drink so that you don’t need to get up and interrupt the feeding.
5. It is important to feed your baby from both sides at each feeding. Breastfed babies generally do not ingest much air and may be more difficult to burp, but do try to burp before switching sides. Always start the feeding with the breast you offered last, this helps keep your supply even because the baby will not drink as much from the second breast.
6. It may not be a good idea to offer baby a bottle during the first few weeks. Getting milk from mom is a bit of a challenge and your baby may decide 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 nurse in order to for your body to produce milk and offering formula will interfere with 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 nurse.
8. Drink as much healthy fluids as you can handle and get plenty of rest to help with milk production.
Breastfeeding mothers often wonder if their baby is getting enough to eat. The best way to measure this is by the baby’s weight gain. There is usually no need to worry unless your baby is not having wet diapers or bowel movements. Breast milk is so easily digested your baby will most likely have at least a small bowel movement every time you change him.
An infant’s stomach is about the size of his fist so it won’t take a lot to fill him up. In the beginning it is the action of nursing and your fluid intake that will be increasing breast milk supply. 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 supply.
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