Life for a new mother and father after the birth of a baby can be incredible hectic, and at Wasatch Midwifery and Wellness, we’re ready to help. Our birth center services begin the moment you decide to grow your family. Our caring midwife and doulas remain available to you well into your first year of childcare.
We commonly counsel new mothers on the importance of breastfeeding and share tips and techniques that will benefit both you and your new baby. Breastfeeding is important for your baby’s health and can be helpful in creating a mother-child bond. The Midwifery team is here to answer a few common concerns for new mothers.
Why It’s Important
Breast milk is ultimately the best source of food for babies. It contains all the right nutrients to encourage growth and protects your child against disease and infection. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), feeding a baby only breast milk for the first six months of their life is optimal for their health. The WHO also suggests continuing breastfeeding- in conjunction with other foods, for the second six months of the baby’s life. The longer a child is breastfed, the lower the rates of common health problems like diabetes, asthma, and obesity. Additionally, breastfeeding benefits the mother by helping the uterus heal more quickly and decreasing the risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer.
Directly after labor, you’ll produce a special type of breast milk called “colostrum”. This thicker-than-normal breastmilk only lasts three to four days, but it is nutrient packed for your baby. After the colostrum, your normal breastmilk should “come in”, leaving you with a fuller feeling in your breasts.
After you begin producing milk, you can deduce whether you’re producing enough by tracking the frequency of your baby’s bowel movements. You should find these little presents at least four times per day, and your baby should consistently be gaining weight. If this is not the case, consult your Midwife.
How Do I Know When My Baby is Hungry?
Over time, you’ll learn the signals that indicate when your baby is hungry. Common signs include:
- Moving hands near mouth
- Clenching fists
- Making sucking motions with the mouth
- Rooting (turning the head and mouth toward something that strokes the face)
In many cases, feeding your baby as soon as they wake up is a good rule of thumb.
If you are having pain or other issues while breastfeeding, you should seek help instead of ignoring the discomfort. Many women assume pain associated with breastfeeding is normal, and while it is common, our breastfeeding coaches and doulas can help you find more comfortable positions that reduce the pain. Remember, breastfeeding should be a bonding experience between you and your baby, so it should be enjoyable. If you continue to have issues, consult your healthcare provider, a lactation specialist or your midwife.
To learn more about breastfeeding or to find out about any of our midwife or doula services, speak to the care givers at Wasatch Midwifery and Wellness today!