For a full guide to breastfeeding each month, check out everything you need to know about baby development by month
Are you bored of hearing how many benefits of breastfeeding there are? Hey, we get it! Whether you're expecting, you're a new mum, or just doing your research; you've probably already been told about the benefits of breastfeeding for you and your little one. But, it's important to go over the positives involved, especially for those who might be struggling in some way, or might even be considering giving up on breastfeeding.
Breast milk certainly isn't one size fits all, and your milk will change and adapt to what your baby needs. It sounds like magic, right? Well, that's because it basically is! When you're breastfeeding, you can rest assured that your little one is getting all of the best nutrients and goodness they need to help protect them from infections and diseases.
On top of the health aspect of breastfeeding, there's also the added benefit of breastfeeding that the milk is readily available when your little one needs it. With the unpredictable world that we live in, it's always good to know that whatever happens, you'll be able to feed your baby and give them what they need. That's a super reassuring position to be in! For a full guide to breastfeeding each month, check out everything you need to know about baby development by month
There's no hard and fast rule regarding how often your little one needs nursing when breastfeeding. For a full guide to breastfeeding each month, check out everything you need to know about baby development by month.
Most babies who are exclusively breastfed will feed every two to four hours, but it can be as often as every one to three hours during the newborn stage. If you think that sounds like a lot... it is!
If you're wondering how your newborn is getting hungry again so quickly, your milk is super easy to digest, meaning that your little one can get hungry again not long after feeding! Depending on how often they wake up to feed, you might also have to wake them if you know it's getting to that time and they're still fast asleep.
Waking your newborn up might sound crazy! In the long run, though, it will probably be for the best. For more guidance, check out our article on how often to feed a newborn.
There's no right or wrong answer regarding the breastfeeding positions that are best to breastfeed your little one. It's all about trial and error, and finding what breastfeeding positions work best for you and your baby. Whether that's lying down, leaning back, sitting upright, or even standing up, it doesn't matter!
Are you getting a dead arm every time you breastfeed or waking up with a crooked neck? Positioning might be the problem, and there are a few different breastfeeding positions you can try to see which works best for you. Or, if you're still in the newborn stage and trying to find what works, it's a good idea to try a few popular breastfeeding positions out and see which is most comfortable. For more information, check out our handy guide to breastfeeding positioning.
Colostrum is what comes in a few days before your proper breast milk comes in, and what your newborn will have in its first few days of life. It's often called "first milk" or "liquid gold" because it's packed with nutrients and antibodies that are essential for a newborn's health and development.
Colostrum is thicker and yellower than regular milk, and it has a distinct, slightly sweet taste. It's also higher in protein, fat, and minerals than regular milk, which helps the baby build up its immune system and gain weight!
Check out our article on why you should harvest your colostrum from 37 weeks.
One of the most common fears that new mums have when it comes to breastfeeding is the worry that breastfeeding will be a super painful experience. Every expecting parent has heard horror stories from friends and relatives about their experience with breastfeeding and how painful it was, and it's easy to get worked up about this.
In reality, everyone is different, and everyone's breastfeeding experience is unique. Breastfeeding is a magical experience; you should never let fear put you off trying it!
So, does breastfeeding hurt? As a whole, breastfeeding shouldn't be painful. Still, we're sure loads of our members would tell you differently! A lot of breastfeeding mothers can experience discomfort and sore nipples when breastfeeding, but this is usually a sign of poor latch or another issue. If something else is going on, fixing this issue can usually stop the long-term pain. For more information on latch and breastfeeding, see our article here on dealing with pain when breastfeeding.
Aside from a poor latch, some other causes of pain when breastfeeding can include mastitis, a plugged milk duct, or a yeast infection.
As we mentioned above, while breastfeeding, in general, shouldn't be painful, sore nipples are pretty standard in the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding your newborn. For nipple pain that carries on past this point, or if your sore nipples are becoming cracked or grazed, a poor latch is a likely culprit.
But what exactly is a poor latch? It's pretty much when your nipple doesn't get far enough back into your baby's mouth for them to latch correctly, and it can get trapped in between the roof of the baby's mouth and tongue, which can be pretty painful for you! Try to work on getting a better latch or a different position for breastfeeding, and if the pain continues or you suspect your baby is in pain, reach out to a medical professional.
Another cause of continued nipple soreness when breastfeeding that we often hear of, and that's often overlooked, is allergies. For more on this, take a look at our article on allergies in babies.
Trying to keep up with a healthy diet while breastfeeding is one of the most important steps to ensure that your milk supply stays consistent. You don't need a special diet, and it probably isn't the best idea to up-haul your eating habits with a new diet plan while breastfeeding. You're going through a tricky adjustment period, which is just one more thing to worry about!
Depending on what time of year you're breastfeeding in, 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D a day can also be a great way to help both you and your little one have super strong and healthy bones.
Most foods and food groups are safe in moderation for breastfeeding mums. Still, there are a few specific types of foods that should be avoided where possible or that you should try to limit your intake of. Click here to see 3 foods to cut out when breastfeeding.
Experts also recommend limiting your caffeine intake to 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day while nursing, but many new parents find it easier to avoid caffeine while breastfeeding. For more advice, see some of the benefits of avoiding coffee as a new mum. For a full guide to breastfeeding each month, check out everything you need to know about baby development by month