Breast-Feeding Basics. Part 2

Call your baby’s doctor and a Lactation Consultant if these are not observed. Weight checks at the doctor’s office will verify weight gain. Babies normally lose some weight before gaining. Birth weight should be attained by 2 – 3 weeks of age.
Growth Spurts:
At 10 – 14 days of age, your baby may seem to want to eat “all the time.” This is a natural way of increasing his food supply. During this 24 – 48 hours, allow your baby to nurse as often as he likes. Take it easy and make sure you are eating well and drinking enough fluids. If your breasts seems softer and more normal in size, that’s because any tissue swelling that occurred when your milk came in has gone down.
Nipple Care:
It is normal for your nipples to be tender with latch on, however, they should not hurt for more than the first minute after latch on. You should feel pulling and tugging of the nipple but no pinching or biting after the baby is latched on. After each feeding, allow your nipples to air dry. Expressing a drop of colostrum/milk and spreading it on your nipples before drying can help skin cells remain healthy or to heal. Lansinoh is a medical grade lanolin that helps skin to heal and helps decrease sensitivity. You do not need to wash it off before a feeding. Soreness is usually a result of improper positioning. Painful, cracking, or bleeding nipples are not normal.
What About Bottles?
Avoid bottles especially during the first 2 – 4 weeks. Some babies get confused between mother’s nipples and bottle nipples.
Breast-feeding gets easier with time. Surround yourself with supportive people and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes the answer to a little question can avoid a big problem. Mothers’ groups allow sharing of feelings and helpful information. Other parents have experienced the same worries and feelings you now may have. Many mothers express a feeling of accomplishment in breast-feeding their baby.
Help Is Easy To Get:
Call your local hospital OB Department and ask to speak to the Lactation Consultant.
*NOTE: This information is intended to help parents of healthy babies, and not all babies and situations are the same. If you or your baby have special needs, please consult the appropriate professional.

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