Breastfeeding reality during first week

Breastfeeding reality during first week

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This post is about the breastfeeding reality during the first week after giving birth. Breastfeeding doesn’t come so easily to everyone. How I managed to breastfeed my kids for a minimum of one year?

Probably you will think that it comes naturally without any problem for me. That is not the case. I also experience difficulties but eventually, I learned from it. The breastfeeding reality doesn’t really come exactly like our own expectation.

First child

During my first pregnancy, I had already milk even before I gave birth that I need to already use pad often. The little problem was that the baby doesn’t know how to drink yet, we both had difficulties to find the correct technique. We had to pump the milk because it was more than the baby can take, that was the first breastfeeding reality for me. Producing too much is also not good if ignored.

Due to the huge amount of milk, I “almost” had the mastitis. Luckily I informed the nurse, during her home visit she gives me proper instruction. Instruction how to lessen the milk if pumping doesn’t help. It works for me and I also learned the proper way of breastfeeding. As a first time mom, I didn’t know that there are different breastfeeding positions to try.

Second & third child

The next had been different. The milk came when I was about to go home from the maternity ward. The baby got extra milk for her first 1.5 days. The third is almost the same except that there is little coming and I can see it. It came more only the next day when I am already home. He got always extra milk every after I try breastfeeding with no result for 2 days. I remembered that we arrived home late from the hospital and forgot to buy extra infant formula milk. I only offered to breastfeed the whole night but at 7 am, the baby was crying so much.

Husband went to the grocery store first thing in the morning and we gave to the baby. He even bought a few boxes but after lunch, I noticed that my milk finally arrived. We never used the formula anymore.

Fourth child

The youngest, I experience having more difficulties in the hospital because I felt the frustration. I want to give my baby the milk he needs but it´s not coming at all! Baby has a very good technique of drinking but there wasn’t just anything coming out “at least that what I thought”. The nurse said that there is coming for sure because the baby is not crying so much and wanted to drink often.

The reason why I feel that way is not only because I feel that the baby doesn’t get enough milk. I am also in pain! It hurts! I get cracked nipple during that time! I’ve been in this situation before but this time I felt more pain. The thing is, I only forgot that every first few days of breastfeeding can be painful even there is already milk, how much more if there is less. The main reason is the wrong breastfeeding position. This is part of breastfeeding reality. At some point, I wasn´t paying attention to the baby’s position. The baby’s way of sucking pattern went wrong which caused that. Luckily there is an ointment for that and breastmilk also helps to heal.

They only advised me to continue even it feels like there is nothing coming out. It was my 4th time to be in the maternity ward but they are guiding and helping me as if I am a first-time mom. Then we tried the skin-to-skin contact with the baby. Almost all the time that we are in bed in the ward, I will remove babies clothes and leave only the diaper and put him to my chest inside my clothes. We stayed there so long until it is feeding time again or I had to get up of bed. I did exactly same at home and my milk finally arrived on the third day.

Here is the thing I learned. During the first day of the baby, they want to be always closer to us and always be drinking but looks unhappy and unsatisfied. That is normal! The second day, if the milk hasn’t arrived yet, even though from the mother’s point of view it is “NEVER COMING” anymore. That is again just normal. “My baby wants milk from me but I can’t provide!” Isn’t that frustrating? Do not feel stress. That is just the breastfeeding reality versus the expectation we always think of.

What we don’t know when the baby is showing more desire to have more milk. When the baby keeps trying and trying plus always close contact with us, the “production” is starting. That´s right! We don’t see/feel that but it is starting, that’s why the baby wants to have more.

This is one breastfeeding reality, the baby has only a very small stomach to fill. Tips below based on my own experience if you want to be successful with the breastfeeding.

1st day No milk:
The baby tries and want to learn how to breastfeed so give when you think that baby wants milk (mostly every 1 hr) + give the skin contact.

2nd day No milk:
The baby wants more milk, cries because wants even more so feed the baby! Do skin contact. No matter how frustrated we are, the more the baby wants to drink then GIVE.

Eventually, the reward will arrive about 3 days after giving birth. The milk will come! It is teamwork, the work is mainly done by the baby if the baby is being breastfeed even without milk yet. If you really think that baby wants extra milk, then you can give but only a little. Only after offering the breast first then if still crying then give extra. If you start giving other milk full time or before the breastfeeding, the baby’s desire to help with the milk production will be less. Why? Of course, because the baby already gets the food he needs in a faster way.

One thing to keep in mind too, don´t be stressed. Every time is different for me but it always comes in that specific period mentioned above. Keep in mind, your milk will come.

Then if you want to maintain to have the milk longer, mothers need to have a healthy diet. Eat more often, more vegetables and fruits. Baby takes energy from us so we must have enough nutrients. It is advisable to fully breastfeed from 0-6 months. After 6 months you can start giving extra puree baby food but keep nursing. The milk will less if you lessen the time you are breastfeeding. When I went back to work, I used pumped milk and continue nursing in the evenings.

It is always a personal choice for mothers how you like it and what are situations affecting the length. My personal choice is to breastfeed at least a year. The shortest time I nursed is 1 year and longer is a little over 2 years. Having long maternity leave plus parental leave makes this happen.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for this. This is helpful and encouraging at the same time, especially for first time moms or moms-to-be. I’ll definitely take note of this when I’ll start breastfeeding my baby. ☺️

    1. Thanks Eunice! Good luck to your breastfeeding journey soon😊 Skin contact is very powerfull to generate the milk production and don’t stress😊

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