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You have just recently given birth to your baby after all that anticipation for 9 months, and are a breastfeeding new mom. Here’s all you need to know.
Until one week back, you were the center of attention at home and at work, with your pregnant glow and belly. Now all of a sudden, your baby is out, you have been discharged from the safe confines of the hospital, and you are responsible for that little human beside you.
This time can be overwhelming. Do not worry. Parenting this baby and caring for him or her is something the baby and you will learn with time. Not knowing what to do does not make you a bad mother.
Everybody around you might turn out to be more experienced. Even the ones without one bit of an experience will have an opinion.
Their major concern – do you have enough milk? You answer in the affirmative, a brief moment flashing before your eyes of somebody squeezing your breast to check for milk at the hospital. (Goodbye, privacy!) While in all honestly, you have no idea if you are producing enough milk.
Fortunately, there are signs that your baby will show if the breast milk intake is insufficient.
Ideally, your child should be sleeping for a maximum of two to three hours before demanding feeds (yes, I mean crying ). The rule of the thumb is to feed every two hours or on demand. If your child sleeps for more than two to three hours, it could indicate inadequate intake.
Your child should pass stool 4 times a day. It is normal for the colour of the stool to change from black-green in the first few days to yellow by the end of the first week. Normally, this stool is not foul smelling. If your baby does not pass stool 4 times a day, you might want to consult a pediatrician of your choice
Your baby should pass urine 5-7 times a day. If he does this, you are good to go!
You can check your baby’s weight by using the weighing machine you have at home (preferably digital). Hold your baby and take your combined weight and then take your weight. Substract the two values – and you have your baby’s weight!
If your baby never stops feeding and cries when his mouth is removed from your nipple- you might have a baby who isn’t getting enough milk.
If you see any of these signs, please go to a paediatrician. They are there to help. Do not start formula feeds unless advised by a doctor.
If you need to express the breast milk and feed your baby with it because you need to return to work, here are a few things you need to know.
Your child could swallow air while crying or feeding. The result- a very gassy, uncomfortable baby. Your child’s digestive system is still developing. It is incapable of expelling gas on its own- which is why you need to practice the art of burping your child. There are two easy positions to do this in.
One– sit the baby on your lap,support your baby in such a way that he leans slightly forwards. Pat your baby’s back from below upwards.
Two– by holding your baby over your shoulder and patting his back in the above mentioned method.
This may sound confusing in theory. You may have to take help from the nursing staff of the hospital you were admitted in. (Or your mother or any women who have raised a child) They are pros at this! They will train you to burp your baby and they will be ready to answer any question.
You could take help from other family members to burp your child also. Training your husband – what an idea, sirji!
You will need to burp your child before switching breasts. You can keep doing this for upto 20 minutes. There is nothing as satisfying as a loud ‘BUUUUURP!’ from your little one! It is normal for a little milk to come out when he burps. If this happens while the child is lying on his back, do not panic. Simply roll your baby to one side so that the milk doesn’t get into his airways.
The first few months can be confusing. Ask for help when ever you need it. Be nice to the ones who help. Do not hesitate to go to the doctor when you feel like your baby is not doing well. They are there to help.
Keep calm and adapt with grace!
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