Prepping For Baby
Online Breastfeeding Class
If you don’t want the stress & worry about how to “figure it all out” after baby arrives, take a prenatal breastfeeding class to gain confidence. Start learning in your first trimester! Consider taking an online course to learn the basics. This recommended course (affiliate link) is helpful not only for first-time moms but also women who have breastfed previously.
For breast pump recommendations and help with insurance reimbursement, try Pumping Essentials.
If you aren't exclusively feeding via a bottle, it is unnecessary to pump breast milk during the first few weeks postpartum. Introduce your baby to a bottle when they are around 4 weeks old. At this time, your breastfed baby will have figured out how to latch correctly, so there is little reason to be concerned about nipple confusion. Begin bottle feeding once or twice a week until your baby has successfully fed from the bottle.
There are many reasons people choose not to breastfeed or cannot physically breastfeed. If you are in the category of not breastfeeding, remember, that is okay! Do not allow others to put you on a guilt trip. It is your body and your baby, so choosing what works for you is your decision. These 6 Tips Will Teach You How to Comfortably NOT Breastfeed.
Some people find that their bodies have a hard time producing enough breastmilk to keep up with their baby’s demand for it. This is where a hybrid mixture of feeding directly from the breast and using donor milk and/or formula is quite beneficial to increase supply as well as keeping your baby well-fed.
Breastmilk directly from breast or pumped and delivered by bottle, cup, syringe, or SNS system, etc.
Breastmilk collected from a milk bank or donated by friends and family and fed to baby using a bottle, cup, syringe, or SNS system, etc.
Formula delivered by bottle, cup, syringe, or SNS system, etc.
Hybrid version of using formula or breastmilk to be fed via bottle, SNS, etc. and/or feeding with the breast directly.
Once Baby is Here...
Newborn Weight Loss and IV Fluids in Labor
It appears neonates exposed to increased fluids before birth might be born over-hydrated, requiring the baby to regulate his or her fluid levels during the first 24 hours after birth. The more IV-logged the mother, the ‘puffier’ the baby. As the baby regulates its hydration, weight calibrates to what probably would have been its natural birth weight (usually at 24 hours, say the researchers).
If a baby loses weight quickly in the first few days of life it can cause a desire for supplementation to offset the weight loss. Baby and mom should be monitored and given time to resolve the issue before resorting to unnecessary supplementation. Read more about newborn weight loss and IV fluids during labor.
Join a Local Mother's Group or La Leche League
The mission of the La Leche League is to help mothers breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement and education. Local groups and conferences are available to join so that you may receive and provide assistance with breastfeeding complications and solutions. Check Facebook for updates too. Also, Kelly Mom is a great online resource for learning how to fix common problems with breastfeeding.
A Proper Latch
Supply, Infections and Troubleshooting
You will likely only pump 1/2 to 2 ounces of breast milk at one time when you first begin. Don't get discouraged! As your baby gets older and feeding requirements change, you will see an increase in your pumped milk output. Choose 2 or 3 set times per day to pump and stay consistent. Doing so will allow your body to produce milk at the set pumping times. Be sure to get adequate rest, nutrition, and hydration to maximize pumping sessions.
Returning to Work
When you're ready to return to work, try these tips from our blog.
If you find breastfeeding postpartum or pumping after your return to work is decreasing your quality of life, weigh the pros and cons. If pumping makes you unhappy, switching to other milk supplies, such as donor milk or formula, might be the healthiest choice for you, emotionally. Yes, breastmilk from you offers the most nutrition for your baby, but having a happy, well-balanced parent is important too.