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  • Jenna Papaioannou

Making it through the first few weeks

The first few weeks should be about hunkering down with your new sleepy baby, snuggling, and healing. Here's some tips to help you make it through those first few weeks.

How do I know if the baby is getting enough milk?

A good rule of thumb is to look for at least 1 wet diaper per day of age. For example, 2 diapers 2 days old, 3 diapers 3 days old, etc. until 6 days/6 diapers. We look for 2-3+ stools daily, but more is also fine.

Baby WILL act hungry. This is normal! They are sucking constantly for 2 reasons: they are doing their job in signaling your body to produce more milk and they are comforting themselves. At just the size of a cherry, their stomachs are very, very small after birth.

Baby is asleep and won't wake up to get a full feeding!

I had this same experience with my second child. You're not alone, and they do eventually get the energy to eat more and more. The typical tricks to try to keep baby eating for a full feed are to take them out of their onesie (keep the diaper on), tickle their cheeks, shift positions, talk to baby, really anything to bother them and keep them awake.

In the first few days of my daughter's life, anytime she was on me she was asleep. A trick that worked for me in the first few days was to give my daughter to my husband and she would wake up and be searching for me. I would be able to put her back on my chest and latch her and repeat that process until my breasts felt emptier and I felt she had a good enough feeding. Really, its about doing whatever it takes to keep that baby awake for a few moments to eat!

My nipples really hurt.

Breastfeeding is a new sensation for first time moms and it does take some getting used to. There are a lot of hormonal cascades happening in your body after birth. Milk may be engorging your breasts, you could be leaking, and baby is also learning how to eat. In an ideal scenario, breastfeeding should feel like gentle tugging.

Toe curling pain, misshapen nipples, nipple damage, bleeding, cracking, etc. are not normal even for a brand new baby who is learning. Sometimes it's as simple as a positioning fix or a temporary nipple shield usage. Sometimes something more complex is going on such as tension from birth, anatomical irregularities, tongue ties, inverted nipples, recessed jaw, mom's nipple shape and baby's mouth not being a match, if pumping maybe it's the wrong flange size. Many things are at play during the beautiful process of breastfeeding. This is a good time to consult with a breastfeeding specialist, *cough cough* like me!

I'm here to help you through the first few weeks and beyond. Book online or send me an email and we can discuss how I can help you!

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