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Breastfeeding - Take Your Time

Mar 7, 2008
Having spent the last 9 months focused on labour and delivery, you've now got your new little bundle of joy - and guess what? He wants feeding and he will be looking at you!

If this is your first child, then neither you or your baby have done this before, so it's a new skill that you have to learn together, and this will take time and practice.

So when that time comes and breastfeeding becomes a reality, rather than something that is going to happen at some time in the future, here are a few things to bear in mind.

If you think of a large marble, then this is roughly the size of your new baby's stomach. With this in mind, your baby will need to eat at least every 2-3 hours, If you have concerns about producing enough milk to keep up with this demand, don't! What your baby takes, your body will make - you will have enough milk!

Yes, breastfeeding may hurt and cause irritated and sore nipples in the first few days, but it should not hurt for the whole feeding or for more than a few days. If pain persists, don't "tough it out" - seek some help! There is lots of help out there to support you while breastfeeding - take advantage of it. Around 95% of the time, the solution to sore nipples comes by simply improving the position of your baby's mouth on the breast while feeding (more technically this is known as 'latching on').

Feel like your breasts are as big as Mount Everest with veins as clear as large rivers? Not to worry, they will settle down after the first few days, as you and your baby learn how to breastfeed together and settle into your own rhythm.
Your breasts should settle down in size and weight (and they won't behave like that leaky tap in the bathroom any more) once you are in a regular breastfeeding routine. In the meantime, enjoy your cleavage!

Let the dust bunnies and dirty dishes become your friends for the first few weeks. The world will not stop if you have a messy house and this is the time to concentrate on your baby. Get to know each other and learn how to read your baby cues, sing silly songs - whatever you like. Never hesitate to ask for help or accept it when offered, you don't have to or need to do everything yourself.

If you are hungry, then eat. If you are tired, then sleep. If you want to stay in your pyjamas all day, do so. If you're too tired for visitors, put them off but invite them back when things are calmer. In these first few weeks, you need to look after yourself as well as your baby.

By about 6 weeks, you and your baby will have learned the breastfeeding routine. Life will begin to feel more familiar again, and your breasts will look how you used to remember them. Having a family should now have become the norm.
About the Author
Andrew Smith is a Director of MumsTheWord, a leading supplier of Natural and Organic products for all stages of pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care .
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