Now that your little one has arrived in the world, the real fun begins. And by “real fun,” we mean breastfeeding! The medical professionals in the hospital can help set you up for success, but it really comes down to a mama and her baby working together. We know it can be nerve-wracking to breastfeed for the first time, but Pumps for Mom is here to help. Begin your breastfeeding journey on the right foot and read below to learn more about what to expect during your first breastfeeding after birth!
Plan to feed as soon as possible.
As if you didn’t have enough to think about after giving birth, many health professionals recommend breastfeeding as soon as you can after your little one is born. In the past, newborns were often taken away to be bathed, weighed, and checked out by doctors. But today, doctors recognize that any amount of skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth is extremely valuable. If moms are physically able, they should try to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. Providing breast milk to a newborn as soon as possible after delivery helps babies adjust to life outside of the womb and signals moms’ bodies that it’s time to start producing breast milk!
Take advantage of colostrum.
If this is your first baby, breast milk may seem like a magical substance. And in some ways, it is! A mom’s body is ideally set up to make the best nutrients for babies, starting with colostrum in the first days of breastfeeding. This thick, yellowish liquid is packed with outstanding nutrients that help babies recover from birth and begin building the immune system. The colostrum only lasts for a few days, as moms’ bodies quickly adjust and produce transitional milk and then mature milk over the next several weeks. Colostrum does not last long, so moms should breastfeed as soon as possible, or pump and store expressed colostrum so their little ones get the amazing nutrients they need.
Be ready for low supply.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is not a perfect science. There are tips and tricks that lactation consultants and experienced mamas may know, but some breastfeeding mistakes are unavoidable. Attempting breastfeeding immediately after birth can help establish breast milk supply, but moms shouldn’t expect ounces and ounces of breast milk to come in all at once. Many new moms have trouble building up their supply of breast milk, especially if their baby has problems latching or does not have a regular schedule in the first couple of weeks. This is nothing out of the ordinary, and there are plenty of ways to address this issue. Moms can use a breast pump to help increase breast milk supply, try new breastfeeding positions, talk with a lactation consultant, and, of course, talk with their doctor if they are concerned their baby isn’t eating enough.
Expect a sleepy baby.
Giving birth is no easy task for mamas, but being born isn’t a walk in the park either! After the first breastfeeding session in the hospital and in the days that follow, newborn babies will likely spend most of their days and nights asleep. In the first several days of life, new parents may have to wake their newborns every few hours to make sure they eat enough. During the first postpartum hours while many parents are still in the hospital, a mom can wake her sleepy newborn and practice breastfeeding when she has access to help from medical professionals and lactation consultants.
No one can predict the challenges that new parents will have to overcome. But new mamas can expect the unexpected with the right preparation. Work with Pumps for Mom to make sure you have the tools you need to breastfeed successfully without breaking the bank. Our breast pumps through insurance give moms the flexibility to provide breast milk to their little ones in the way that works best for them. Qualify for your breast pump through insurance and get started with our maternity product specialists today!