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Understanding the mechanics of breastfeeding allows you and your family to prepare for what's ahead. 

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One Month

Your baby should feed 8-12 times a day, but there will be days when your baby will feed more frequently. When the frequency of feedings increases, this means that your baby is going through a growth spurt. Growth spurts can occur 2-3 times in the first 6 weeks of life and then again around the 3rd and 5th months. A growth spurt means that your baby is rapidly growing in height and weight, and frequent feedings are necessary to meet those demands. 

Proper Latching

  • Breasts continuously produce milk

  • Satisfied baby

  • Less nipple soreness

  • Baby's weight increases

  • Good soiled diapers
     

Achieving a deep latch allows the baby to apply adequate pressure to the breasts and causes the breasts to produce continuously. Cluster feedings and nipple soreness in the early days after birth are common; however, both are often resolved when the baby latches deeply.  

Since babies' feeding patterns differ, physical cues of adequate transfer rest on the baby soiling more than six wet diapers after 4 days of birth and gaining weight. 

Breastfeeding Milestone: One Month Old

  • At Birth: Feedings may be short and frequent. 

  • Day 1: Babies will need uninterrupted feedings. The breast should be offered 8-12 times a day. 

  • Day 2-5: Colostrum changes to matured milk.  

  • Day 6-30: Feedings remain 8-12 times a day. The frequency of feedings may increase with a growth spurt. 

 

Sleep Schedule

  • Birth: Alert at birth unless medicated with labor meds. Most newborns have a 90-minute sleep cycle. 

  • Day 1: Babies may sleep all day and be awake at night. Some may be too sleepy and need to be awakened for feedings. 

  • Day 2-5: The baby may wake up several times at night. Sleeping in the same room with your infant is encouraged to allow the detection of early feeding cues. 

  • Day 6-30: By the end of the first month, most babies have sorted out their days and nights. Feedings at night may still occur. 

Soiled Diapers

  • Day 1-2: one- two wet diapers/one-two dirty diapers may be black like tar. 

  • Day 3-4: three or more wet diapers/ three or more dirty diapers may be brown/green/yellow

  • Day 5-6: five or more wet diapers/ at least two yellow dirty diapers

  • Day 7-30: six or more wet diapers/ at least two yellow seedy appearance diapers. 

When to worry:

After day four, dirty diapers will vary in breastfed babies; however, wet diapers are a physical cue that your baby is getting enough milk. Consult with a Lactation Consultant if wet diapers decrease. 

Breast Care

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Breastfeeding Pain 

You may experience nipple pain in the early days of breastfeeding.  It is a very common temporary condition, usually going away after a few days. Most mothers find nipple soreness peaks on the fifth day of breastfeeding and then resolves. However, if it prolongs or there is an open wound, consult with a Lactation Consultant for support. 

Should I Continue Breastfeeding?

It is very important to continue breastfeeding if you are experiencing nipple pain. Try to nurse your baby on the least painful nipple first. If putting your baby on your breast hurts too much, use a breast pump or hand-express to keep your milk supply flowing. Consider using a nipple shield as a barrier. 

Your breast milk can also help your nipples heal with antibacterial protection. If you have a crack in your nipple, squeeze out a few drops and gently rub over your nipple. Let your nipples air dry before covering them with your bra or nursing pad.

What Causes Nipple Pain During Breastfeeding?

There may be quite a few causes of sore nipples, including:

  • Improper or incomplete latch

  • Baby is tongue-tied (restricted or shortened frenulum)

  • Having inverted or flat nipples

  • Feeding too late (early vs. late feeding cues)

    • Body positioning during breastfeeding

    • Stopping a breastfeeding session without first breaking the suction

Creams/Products

​While most creams and ointments don’t make your nipples heal faster, they do create a soothing barrier for your tender nipples. 

 

Emotional Health 

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"Everyone wants to hold the baby, who will hold the mother?"

                                                                   - Jabina Coleman

You may have heard these statements before:

  • If you want a healthy baby, you should breastfeed.

  • Breastfeeding comes naturally. 

  • You shouldn't pump during the first week. 

  • Make sure you nurse the baby and put them down, so the baby doesn't get spoiled. 

Loved ones hold the best intentions and mean well when sharing statements like these. However, having a newborn can sometimes be overwhelming. Babies need attention and care 24 hours a day. Understanding some of the challenges, you will experience can help normalize your feelings and help you recognize how great of a parent you are. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months without the introduction of formula supplementation. However, situations at delivery may cause separation between the parents and the baby, causing an interruption in breastfeeding. Such situations can cause a delay in your body producing colostrum. In these instances, formula supplementation will serve as medication until the parent and baby reunite and the parent works on protecting the milk supply by pumping. Pumping is critical when the parent and child are separated or breastfeeding complications. The pump will serve as your baby, stimulating the breast to produce. In the meantime, the parent is recommended to nurse as much as possible and hold the baby skin to skin. Skin-to-skin helps the parent follow early feeding cues and maintains the baby's blood sugar. 

 

 

What is baby blues, and what can I do?

  • Baby blues are feelings of sadness that you may have in the first few days after having a baby. 

  • Most people experience baby blues 2 to 3 days after the baby is born. They can last up to 2 weeks and go away on their own.

  • Feeling emotional is another possible cause of the baby blues. You may be nervous about taking care of your new baby or be worried about how your life has changed since the baby was born. These thoughts can make you feel sad or depressed.

The baby blues usually go away on their own without treatment. Here are some things you can do to feel betterr:

  • Sleep as much as you can. 

  • Ask your support person for help. 

  • Don't worry much about daily house chores. You have a new baby; it's ok not to have the house tidy. 

  • Make sure you eat well, adding protein and carbohydrates to your diet. 

  • Connect with parenting/breastfeeding support groups. It helps to hear from other parents that are experiencing the same feelings. 

  • Consult with a lactation consultant or lactation counselor to learn more about breastfeeding. A lactation professional will coach you every step of the way and help normalize your feelings. 

When should you call your healthcare provider?

Call your provider if your symptoms:

  • Include thoughts of harming yourself or your baby

  • Don't get better after two weeks

  • Get worse

  • Make it hard for you to take care of your baby

 

Breastfeeding looks different for every family. You can make breastfeeding be what works best for you and your family. 

 

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