Breastfeeding guide for newborns

Breastfeeding for the first time? It is natural to feel anxious. But learning how to breastfeed your little one will take its own course and you will discover different things that work perfectly for you. Here is a simple guide to let you know that you are on the right track. How often should you nurse the baby? Nursing the baby often not only keeps him full but also ensures better milk supply. The frequency of nursing depends on the age of the baby:
    • 1st week: 10 to 12 times each day
    • 2nd week: 8-12 times each day
  • When to nurse?
    • Nurse the baby when you see the first signs of hunger and do not wait until he or she begins to cry. These signs include:
    • Keeping fingers in the mouth
    • Rooting
    • Stirring
    • Some babies tend to sleep more than others. You must wake the baby up for a feed only when the gap between two nursing sessions is over 2 hours.
  • How do you know if the baby is feeding enough?
    • Weight gain is the first sign of good feeding. The baby will lose a little weight the first few days. At the end of the first week, when the mother begins to produce mature breast milk, the baby will gain about 170 grams every week.
    • Dirty diapers are another sign. For the first few days, you may have to change the diaper just once a day. However, around the 4th day, this will increase to 3-4 a day.
    • Wet diapers are the final sign of good feeding. At the end of the first week the baby will have 5-6 wet diapers every day.
  • Things to know about breast feeding:
    • Mature breast milk is produced after 3-4 days of birth. Until then, your baby will be feeding on the colostrum.
    • Let your baby empty one breast completely and then switch to the next one.
    • If your nipples begin to harden due to engorgement, you can use a cold compress to relieve it.
    • If the baby is unable to latch on correctly or is finding it hard to do so because of engorgement, pump the milk out and feed it to the baby. Do this till the nipples become soft.
  • Signs of concern
  • Here are some signs that tell you that it is time to see your doctor:
  • You have a fever or sore nipples, which is a sign of mastitis.
  • The urine and stool of the baby are dark colored even after day 4.
  • The baby has no soiled diapers.
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