Apart form sore nipples weeks down the track that are usually easily turned into normal nipples with a simple adjustment here and there, the other common reason holding mums back from finding peace within their breastfeeding experience is the doubt that their baby is getting enough because of how frequently baby feeds. Once it is clear to mum the reason baby feeds so often and mum embraces the frequent feedings mum can then embrace breastfeeding with peace.
Why do babies feed often?
In the early days (days 0-3) they are getting hungry. Baby is waiting for mums milk to come in. Baby isn’t trying to bring mums milk in, baby doesn’t know its not there yet, all baby knows is that the breast is the source of food and after 48hours or so some babies are getting quite the appetite and the small volumes of colostrum aren’t quite cutting it any more. This is normal, baby does not need any formula to top her up, she simply needs access to the breast, the milk will come in and baby will soon be sated. It really is patience on mums behalf and an understanding that baby isn’t starving; the colostrum she’s getting is nourishing her plenty even if she’s adamant she wants more.
Breastmilk is a complete food, baby uses up every last bit of milk, and there is very little waste product. Breastmilk is largely water and is digested very readily.
Babies regulate their own intake. Unlike bottle feeding where for example 150ml is taken in on time, every time. A baby feeding at the breast will take in a different amount every time. What she takes in is dependent on her appetite, when she last fed, how sleepy, how warm or cold she is, among many other factors. How much she takes will then directly affect when she feeds next. Little feed, little sleep. Big feed, big sleep. In theory J
Breastfeeding is so much more than just food. Do you only eat breakfast, lunch and dinner? All your baby needs is access to the breast and she will tell you how much and how often she wants it. It might feel like a lot. Its not a lot though, when you consider that’s what your baby needs to grow and thrive and be content because she’s not just hungry, she’s thirsty, she’s cold, she's tired, she’s lonely.... she’s smart.