Learning To Breastfeed - What New Moms Need to Know

Breastfeeding is a skill that can only be learned through practice. To ensure a smooth transition to breastfeeding, it's best to give yourself plenty of time to adjust. Typically, new mothers are the ones who suffer the most since they lack hands-on instruction and experience with breastfeeding and newborn care at the same time.

Breastfeeding is a skill that can only be learned through practice. During the first few days of life, many new mothers are concerned about whether or not their baby is getting enough to eat. Breastfeeding appears to be an easy process for some women, while it appears to be more complicated than a battle for others. 

To ensure a smooth transition to breastfeeding, it's best to give yourself plenty of time to adjust. Typically, new mothers are the ones who suffer the most since they lack hands-on instruction and experience with breastfeeding and newborn care at the same time. 

Breastfeeding is the most convenient and safe approach for feeding your child. Breast milk is considered as the first vaccine for newborn. Because it is made specifically for your child, contains critical vitamins and minerals, and is always available to you and your baby, it provides protection against certain infections as well as enhancing long-term health for your child. 

As a new mom having a lot of questions about breastfeeding is quite normal. In order to respond to all of your breastfeeding-related questions, we're adding information that will make your breastfeeding journey easier! 

Breastfeeding Position

Breastfeeding your baby in a variety of postures is possible. When you have your first child and nursing is unfamiliar to you, you may choose to experiment with some of the more typical breastfeeding positions that you have read about or seen.  

Then, as your confidence grows, you can experiment with different postures.  

You are not required to breastfeed in any one position. Breastfeeding can be done while lying down, sitting up, or even standing. It's acceptable if you enjoy a position, you've never seen or heard of before.  

You can nurse in any position that is comfortable for you and your baby, as long as your baby can latch on and breastfeed normally. 

Breast-feeding: Cross-cradle hold

The cross-cradle hold is ideal for early breast-feeding.  

Sit up straight in a comfortable chair with armrests. Bring your baby across the front of your body, tummy to tummy. Hold your baby in the crook of the arm opposite the breast you're feeding from — left arm for right breast, right arm for left.  

Support the back of the baby's head with your open hand. With the other hand, support your breast from the underside in a U-shaped hold. Guide the baby's mouth to your breast. Don't bend over or lean forward. Instead, cradle your baby close to your breast. 

Breast-feeding: Cradle hold

The cradle hold is identical to the cross-cradle position, except that you support the infant with the same arm as the nursing breast, rather than the opposite arm.  

As with the cross-cradle hold, maintain a straight posture — preferable in an armchair. Cradle your infant in one arm, with his or her head gently resting in the crook of your elbow and facing your breast. Place a pillow on your lap for more support. 

Breast-feeding: Football hold

The football or clutch hold is another possibility. If you're recovering from a C-section or have huge breasts, this position may be a decent alternative. 

With your elbow bent, hold your infant beside you. Support your baby's head with your open palm and turn him or her toward your breast. The back of your infant will lay on your forearm. With your other hand, you may wish to support your breast in a C-shaped grasp. Put a pillow on your lap and sit in a chair with broad, low armrests for further comfort. 

Breast-feeding: Side-lying hold

When you're relaxing, a lying position may be preferable — however it's critical to restore the infant to his or her own bed to sleep. 

Lie on your side with your baby facing toward your breast, one hand supporting him or her. With your other hand, grab your breast and bring your nipple in close proximity to your infant's mouth. Once your kid latches on, hold your head with one arm and the infant with the other. 

Breast-feeding: Football hold for twins

If you have twins, you may wish to breastfeed them separately at initially to monitor their development. Later, if you'd prefer to breastfeed both babies concurrently, try the football hold — one infant in each arm. 

With your elbows bent, hold one baby on each side. The backs of your infants will lay on your forearms. Pillows on your lap and a chair with broad, low arms will provide comfort. 

Common Signs That Your Baby Is Hungry

Here are nine common indicators that your infant is hungry: 

  • Arms and legs move in all directions 
  • Awake and aware or just waking up  
  • Cooing, sighing, crying, or making other little sounds  
  • Making faces  
  • Moving head from side to side  
  • Putting her fingers or fist into her mouth 
  • Sucking on her lips or tongue 

When a Newborn Doesn't Show Signs of Hunger

If your newborn is asleep, you may miss any of the frequent signals of hunger. It may appear as though your baby's only want is to sleep. However, the absence of visible feeding cues does not necessarily indicate that your child is not hungry. 

A newborn requires breastfeeding at least eight to twelve times in a 24-hour period, so rouse your baby up to nurse at least every three hours if she is not waking up on her own. 

Even if it is difficult to awaken your child, you can attempt to breastfeed her. You'd be astonished at how well some newborns can breastfeed when not fully awake. 

Signs Your Baby is Getting Enough Breast Milk

Lack of breast milk is a frequent concern shared by many breastfeeding mothers.  

Therefore, how will you know if you are producing enough breast milk and if your baby is receiving an adequate amount at each feeding?  

While you cannot see or quantify the amount of breast milk in your breasts, there are surely other ways to determine if your baby is receiving the nutrition he requires. Here are several indicators that your infant is receiving an adequate amount of breast milk. 

Baby's Weight Gain 

It is common for a breastfed newborn to lose up to 10% of his or her body weight during the first few days of life.  

However, beyond the first few days, a steady weight growth is the strongest indicator that your baby is receiving adequate nutrition. 

By roughly 5 months of age, your baby should have doubled his or her birth weight. By roughly the age of one year, your baby should have tripled his or her birth weight. This is not the case with premature infants. 

Additional Signs

• Your newborn is latching on and breastfeeding on a consistent schedule—at least every two to three hours, or eight to twelve times a day. 

• You may hear your baby swallowing and see breast milk in her mouth while she is breastfeeding.  

• After breastfeeding, your breasts feel softer and less full than they did prior to the feeding. 

• After nursing, your infant appears full and pleased, and he sleeps in between feedings. 

Count of Wet Diapers

Doctors recommend counting the number of wet diapers in 24 hours to determine whether the baby is receiving enough milk or not. After the fifth day of life, your infant should have at least six to eight wet diapers every day. When changing a diaper, assess the diaper's weight and determine if it is weighted by pee or not.

  • Check Newborn’s Bowel Movements  

Meconium is the first poop that your baby will pass. It is dense, sticky, and either black or dark green in color. For the first two days, newborns have at least one or two of these meconium stools per day. Then, as the meconium exits your baby's body, his bowel movements will change greenish-yellow before becoming a looser, mustard yellow breastfeeding stool that may or may not contain milk curds referred to as "seeds." 

Your infant should have two or more bowel movements per day during the first few weeks, but after that, the stool pattern may shift 

Each infant is unique. After around one month, it is usual for a baby to have a poopy diaper at each diaper change. However, it is very common for a baby to have a bowel movement every few days or even weekly. Breast milk is the highest source of nourishment and is highly digestible. Thus, some newborns produce little waste, resulting in fewer dirty diapers. 

  • Identify newborn’s Growth Spurt

Each infant is unique and experiences growth spurts at different periods. At roughly ten days, three weeks, six weeks, three months, and six months of age, newborns and babies commonly experience a growth spurt. 

A child breastfeeds more frequently during a growth spurt. 

Typically, this increases in nursing lasts for a few days. It is necessary to stimulate your body to produce additional breast milk in order to meet your baby's growing nutritional requirements. 

  • Newborns, Infants, and Sleeping

Your infant should breastfeed every two to three hours throughout the first two months, including at night. Attempt not to exceed a 4-hour delay between breastfeeding sessions. 

After two months, some infants will begin to have longer intervals between nighttime breastfeeding. 

You may miss your baby's feeding cues at first, but as you get to know her in the days and weeks following her birth, you will come to understand the tiny small hints that indicate when she is hungry and ready for some breast milk. 

Recommendation on How to Initiate Breastfeeding   

Alternate Your Starting Breast 

If you are capable of breastfeeding from both breasts, alternate the breast with which you begin each feeding. For instance, if you feed on your right breast first thing in the morning, your second feeding should begin on your left. This allows for the development and maintenance of a healthy supply in both breasts.  

Without alternating breasts, you will eventually cease producing breast milk on the side that is not being used. 

Let Your Baby Feed as Long as They Want 

When you breastfeed from only one side at a time, let your baby to suckle on that breast for as long as they desire. You want to ensure that kids receive as much breast milk from that side as possible. 

If you've been doing research on breastfeeding, you've probably come across some information about foremilk and hindmilk. While it may appear that each type of milk is distinct, breasts actually produce only one type of milk. At the start of a feeding, this milk is classified as foremilk, while the remainder of the feeding is classified as hindmilk. 

In general, foremilk contains less fat than hindmilk, and a baby will consume all the foremilk and hindmilk they require at a full meal. 

Extended feedings enable your infant to reach the creamier, higher-fat hindmilk at the conclusion of the feeding. Hindmilk assists in filling your child's stomach and keeping them satisfied between feedings. 

Allowing your baby to breastfeed for an extended period of time also helps to completely empty the breast and signals your body to produce more breast milk. 

Several signals that parents are concerned their baby is receiving too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk include the following:  

  • gassiness that appears to be bothering the infant  
  • frequent screaming or colic-like symptoms 
  • frequent bowel motions that are loose or green in color  
  • a desire to breastfeed more frequently than is normal 

It should be emphasized that this list includes symptoms and behaviors that may be entirely normal, have another cause, or have no underlying cause. Again, feeding on demand may assist in resolving any underlying difficulties. 

Prevent Breast Engorgement 

One disadvantage of breastfeeding from only one side at a time is that the breast on which your infant is not nursing can become engorged and painfully full. This form of breast engorgement is more likely to occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy, when your milk production adjusts to your baby's needs.  

Other common breastfeeding complications, such as clogged milk ducts and mastitis, can also occur as a result of an overfilled breast. 

If one breast is engorged while the other is nursing, you can alleviate the pressure and discomfort. Remove a small amount of breast milk from the overfull breast using a breast pump  or a hand expression technique until it is time to breastfeed from that side. 

The engorgement will improve over time. As you continue to breastfeed exclusively from one side during each feeding, your body will adjust. 


Burping is necessary for bottle-fed infants, but is it necessary for breastfeeding infants? 

Yes, it is! 

 Even though bottle-fed infants swallow more air than breast-fed infants, you should attempt to burp your breastfed infant during and after each feeding, as needed. 

When a newborn swallows air while nursing, the air becomes stuck in the baby's stomach. This trapped air might be a source of discomfort for your newborn, leading him or her to cry or fuss. Additionally, it can fool your infant into believing they are full when they are not. Burping aids in the removal of that air.  

When Should You Burp Your Baby?

Certain newborns do not take in as much air during feedings, and thus do not require as much burping. Other infants consume a greater amount of air during feeding. For instance, if you have a strong let-down reflex or an excessive supply of breast milk, the rapid flow of your breast milk may lead your infant to consume more air.  

You will need to burp your infant more frequently in these scenarios. 

If your child needs to burp, they may stop nursing and appear uncomfortable. If you breastfeed from both sides at each meal, you might attempt to burp your infant in between alternating breasts and immediately following each feeding. 

If you breastfeed your infant from only one side at a time, you can burp them when they stop nursing. Following your child's burp, offer the same breast again to determine if your baby desires more. After the feeding is complete, burp your infant one more. 

Burping is also beneficial if your infant is tired. If your newborn falls asleep at the breast, burping may assist in reawakening them and extending their nursing time. 

Additionally, some babies require burping in between feedings. If your child is fussy and unable to sleep, a burp may be all they require. When babies cry, they also gulp air. Because some babies cry more than others, especially those who suffer from colic, they will require more frequent burping. 

The Best Position to Burp Your Baby

There are several methods for burping your infant. Experiment with all of them to determine which one works best — or use a combination: 

Over your shoulder

With your baby's chin resting on your shoulder, softly rub and pat your baby's back with one hand while supporting the head and shoulder area with the other. It may be beneficial to walk around while performing this task. 

Sitting on your lap

Place your infant on your lap with his or her back to you. Place your palm against their chest and support their chin and jaw (avoid applying pressure to the throat area). Lean your infant forward slightly and softly touch or pat your baby's back with your free hand. 

Lying across your lap

Lie your baby face down across your lap. With your free hand, gently rub or pat your baby's back while supporting their chin (avoid putting pressure on the throat area). 

What is a Wet Burp?

When your baby burps, a small amount of breast milk may be expelled along with the air. There is no reason to be concerned. These small wet burps or spit-ups are natural and anticipated. Spit-ups are little and exit your baby's mouth slowly. 

If breast milk is ejected violently from your child's mouth, this is called vomiting, and it is not typical. Naturally, infrequent vomiting is usually not a cause for alarm.  

However, if your infant vomits more than once or exhibits other symptoms such as fever or diarrhea, contact your child's doctor immediately. 

Factors That Cause Reduction in Milk Supply

  • Your infant feeds no more than eight to sixteen times in a 24-hour period. How well the breast is drained has an effect on milk output. 
  • Your infant has a very weak sucking reflex or an incorrect latch. 
  • Starting solid foods too soon and/or prior to breastfeeding. The majority of babies do not require solid foods during the first six months if they are breastfed eight to sixteen times daily. 
  • Smoking can decrease milk production and impair the letdown reflex.  
  • Starting birth control tablets too soon can result in a decrease in milk production. Wait at least six weeks before beginning birth control and then only use the mini-pill (Progestin).  
  • If you continue to experience a decrease in your milk production, speak with your doctor about alternative methods of birth control. Other drugs may also have an effect on milk production.  
  • While pumping a breast flange that is either too small or too large can impair milk production. 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Breast reduction surgery may result in a decrease in milk production. 
  • Exhausted mothers may notice a decrease in milk supply. To avoid becoming very tired: 
  1. Sleep or unwind while your infant sleeps. 
  1. Consume a balanced diet that includes foods high in protein. 
  1. Consume water when you are thirsty until your urine becomes pale yellow in color. Both dehydration and excessive hydration might result in a decrease in milk production. 
  1. If your healthcare professional determines that you are anemic, take an iron supplement. Consult your physician or nurse midwife regarding the need for vitamin supplementation. 

What You Can Do in Case of Your Low Milk Supply  

You can enhance your milk production by:  

  • Frequent nursing of your infant. Nursing should occur every two hours during the day and every three to four hours at night (at least 8 to 16 times in 24 hours). If your infant is refusing to nurse, enhance milk supply with a high-quality double electric breast pump. Following breastfeeding, pumping stimulates your body to create more milk. It's merely a means of notifying your body to increase milk production when your feeding needs increase. 
  • Breastfeed your infant for a minimum of 15 minutes at each breast. Limit nursing time in no way. If your infant falls asleep after receiving one breast, gently awaken him or her and administer the second breast. Certain infants may benefit from breastfeeding at one breast per meal in order to boost the fat content of the food.  
  • Gently massage the breasts prior to and throughout feedings. 
  • Utilize relaxation techniques to alleviate stress and increase breast milk production. 
  • Spend around 20 minutes with your infant in skin to skin contact following feeding. This practice known as "kangaroo care" has been demonstrated to improve milk production. 
  • Ensure that the infant is properly positioned and latched. 
  • At each feeding, offer both breasts. 
  • You can use breast compression to assist in draining the breasts during the feeding. 
  • You may wish to take a food supplement recommended by your lactation expert. Also, consume foods that promote milk production, such as oats, watery vegetables, milk, nuts, garlic, and high-quality protein, as well as plenty of water! 

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