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Breastfeeding Basics: Nursing right after giving birth

Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Breastfeeding has always been tagged as being the best for babies. Breast Milk is specially designed for your baby. The bond that you formed from pregnancy to birth continues on to breastfeeding. Your milk is the most complete and nutritious food for your newborn. Although breastfeeding comes so naturally to moms, not everyone is as lucky. The best weapon is information. Educate yourself on the many aspects of breastfeeding.

Let us first tackle what happens right after you give birth. Do you have milk right away? Can you use your breast pump immediately? Why doesn’t any milk come out?

What is colostrum?

For the first few days after birth, your body will produce colostrum. It is also called as “pre-milk” or “practice milk”. It is often described as being yellow, sometimes clear, and thin in appearance. It is essential that your baby drinks this as it is super rich in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to fight off infections, viruses, and bacteria. You may also notice that your breasts leaked during pregnancy with a similar substance. This is most likely to be colostrum as well. It is vital that your baby continues to nurse in order for your body to produce the next type of milk.

What is transitional milk?

The term describes what it really is: the milk produced after colostrum and before “mature” milk. It is often described as a mix of milk and orange juice. Compared to colostrum, it contains more lactose, fat and calories.

Finally, mature milk!

Mature milk is thin and white in appearance. It usually arrives roughly 10 days after you give birth. Don’t be fooled by its watery appearance! This milk has all the essential goodies your baby needs to grow and develop.

Pumping milk

Experts recommend withholding pumping your milk for the first 6 weeks. Your baby should be latching directly so that your body produces milk depending how much your baby needs. It is advisable to research on what pump to buy before you give birth to lessen another to-do list while caring for a newborn. Make sure to have the pump cleaned and ready for use. Breast pumps are great for working moms who need to be back in the office soon. Keep in mind that you also need storage bags, cooler, and bottles ready. Nipple confusion is another challenge when introducing babies to bottles. Look for bottle nipples that are very similar to breast nipples to minimize confusion. You can also try cup feeding to your babies as this method reduces the risks of nipple confusion.

Do not be discouraged if your milk does not “come out” right away. Let your body adjust to your newborn. It is recommended to keep the baby latched onto your breast on demand. Not only is it their source of nourishment, it is also a source of comfort and security to your newborn baby.

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