10 Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding Before Baby Arrives

Do they have a milk drunk face?

A fed happy baby will look drunk. Milk contains melatonin and so once baby is full, they become very sleepy. You will be able to lift their arm and it will be limp. It will just fall back down. They are completely relaxed and happy.

Check using a breast pump

If you are worried that baby isn’t getting anything or you want to check how much you are producing, then use a breast pump. It will also give you an idea of how your breast works. The first time I used a pump I finally understood letdowns since I got to see it in action.

You can also use a pump to latch a crying baby

A lot of times, if you get to the crying stage, a baby won’t stay on the breast long enough to produce a letdown. They are so hungry that they cannot stay latched. The best trick in the book if you are struggling to keep a crying baby latched is to grab your breast pump and pump until you start to see your milk flowing.

At that point, you can stop and try to latch them. If they still will not latch, collect some milk using the pump and give it to them through a syringe. Now, they will be calmer to latch because they have something in their belly.

Wait on starting your storage supply

Do not start storing milk, right now baby needs everything you pump. I wanted to start a supply right away and the lactation consultant convinced me to wait. I’m really glad I listened to her.

Your milk will change so much over the first month adjusting to baby’s needs. If you save that milk, then baby might not even like the taste by the time you want to use it. Your only goal at the beginning should be learning to breastfeed.

Look into various tracking methods

You breastfeed around the clock and it is very easy to lose track. At the beginning, it can be helpful to track your nursing sessions to ensure you are nursing enough. It also helps you nurse as much and as often as you can during the day, so your baby sleeps better at night.

A tracker would remind me to wake baby to nurse every two hours, preventing her from doing her big sleep (usually 3-4 hours in a row) during the day. After nursing, baby would go back to sleep but this way I made sure to get more nursing sessions in during the day.

What kind of tracking methods can you use?

  • Simple pen and paper to keep a log of what boob (L or R), start time and end time
  • Free apps that can track breastfeeding, poops, and sleep
  • A timer that you set for two hours once you start nursing, so you know when to start again
  • A nursing bra reminder clip or wear a bracelet that you switch each time to know what boob to start on each time (you want to alternate).

How to latch a baby and check the latch

Latching baby and getting good at it will be one of the first things you work on. A bad latch will result in a lot of pain (bruised, cracked or bleeding nipple) and can end your breastfeeding journey.

How to get a good latch?

Your first step to getting a latch is to hold baby’s head by the base/neck. They need to be able to tip their head back. Try looking up and you will see your mouth automatically want to open. So use your pointer finger and thumb to cradle the base of their head and your hand to support their neck.

By allowing baby to tip their head back when they latch, they will be able to get more of the breast in their mouth. If they are only on the nipple, then they won’t be able to suck well, get enough milk out and it will leave you with a painful nipple.

The next step to getting a good latch is to line your nipple up with their nose. The reason behind this is again to ensure they get on the boob and not just the nipple. If your nipple is pointing to their nose, then their mouth must open wide to latch.

How to check the latch?

Once baby is one the boob, you need to check if their upper lip is out. A lot of times, it gets rolled in. If you see that, you need to use a finger and pull it out. I would just slide my finger under their lip at the corner and run it along the gum.

You will hear that this is caused by a lip tie. You might need to get it fixed but the lactation consultant I talked to also said that a lot of times, you can fix it by just training the lip (unrolling it each time you latch). You can also massage the upper gums so that the area stretches.

After checking that the top lip is out, you then check that the bottom lip is also out. Lastly be sure to check that baby is not just on the nipple. If you can see the nipple or baby is only on the nipple, then unlatch and try again. If the latch hurts or you see something wrong (lips not out or just on the nipple), then unlatch and try again.

If you try to nurse with an incorrect latch, then you will damage the nipple and trust me nothing hurts as much as that.

Read More By Clicking On The Next Page

Related Posts

Stay Connected


Recent Stories