Being a first time mum can be very daunting for some, especially if you feel like it won’t come naturally to you. Breastfeeding can help create an amazing bond between a baby and mother, however it can also be an extremely frustrating time if you aren’t sure of how to do it correctly.
You may be worried about your milk production, mainly that you may not produce enough milk. The more you feed your baby, the more milk your body will know it needs to produce.
The next worry you may be having is knowing when to feed your little one. Each baby is different, however you will get to know your babies own queues for when they are hungry. The most common being that they are getting restless, making sounds, sucking their fingers or putting their fist in their mouth. Some babies will also signal that they are hungry by putting their head to one side and opening their mouth, as if they are trying to find your nipple to feed. Responding to these signs that they are hungry will help stop your little one from becoming frustrated, causing them to not be able to feed and making it more difficult for you.
Many first time mums aren’t sure if they should wake up their sleeping baby in order to feed them. More often than not, a healthy baby will wake up when they are hungry and want to feed. There are occasionally reasons why your little one may sleep in longer than usual and need waking for a feed, this includes jaundice and other medical reasons.
As a rough guide, it is recommended that you feed your baby anywhere between eight to twelve times in a day (over a twenty four hour time period). This is recommended during the first couple of weeks, so that means your baby will need to be fed around every three hours. Babies that are breastfed are more frequent feeders than babies that are bottle fed, this is usually down to formula milk taking longer to be digested by the baby.
Try to feed your little one on demand, when they are hungry and showing signs that they need milk. This will help your baby get all the milk they need, more so than trying to get your baby to feed on a schedule. By feeding on demand the baby will take all the milk they need, therefore keeping them satisfied as well as helping improve your milk production to supply your little one.
We know that breast feeding your baby can be both emotionally and physically challenging for lots of different reasons. When your little one feeds frequently it can make you think that they are not getting enough breastmilk from their feeds, causing you to worry and supplement them with formula milk. However, you must keep in mind that your tiny baby has a tiny stomach and therefore it is far better for them to feed little and often.