Your baby’s now a couple of days old, and unless they are premature or unwell you’re likely to be heading home.
Its normal to be feeling emotional, scared, tired, overwhelmed but very much in love.
It can be hard as a new mum as you are offered lots of different advice. Listen and nod and take in what you want and ignore the rest. Your mummy intuition has already started and you already know so much more than your think.
The first 6 weeks are definitely going to be the hardest; our survey revealed that only 9% of women found breastfeeding easy from the start, so be patient, it takes time.
Once your milk has come in many women experience the let down and“leaky boobs”. However some women never feel their let down and their breasts don’t leak. Remember everyone is different. Some babies also struggle if you have a fast let down which is normally linked to over supply, and may choke and gulp. Head here for more info. Remember to grab yourself some breast pads to prevent the leaks and any embarrassing situations!!
Most babies will start cluster feeding around 3-6 weeks, and will normally outgrow it by 3 – 4 months. It’s an important phase as it helps strengthen your milk supply for the months ahead. Get comfy on the couch with a remote, food and drink and ride it out. Head here for more info on cluster feeding and growth spurts.
Having sore nipples in the first couple of weeks is quite normal, and can get in the way of enjoying breastfeeding. If they are not getting any better or are getting worse get some help, most sore nipples can be fixed. Head here for more info.
Sore breasts, blocked ducts and mastitis can also be a real pain. For most women their sore breasts settle down after a couple of weeks, but others have full leaking breast for months. It’s also really important to be watching out for blocked ducts and especially mastitis, as it can get bad very quickly. If you think you have a blocked duct or mastitis it’s important to keep emptying the breasts whether it is by breastfeeding or pumping. Head here for more info. If you think you have mastitis seek medical help.
Weight gains! There is so much variation from baby to baby. The aim is for 20 – 30 g per day however some babies can put on in excess of 500 g per week. Remember every baby is different. Low weight gains can be stressful. Head here to read more about weight gains.
An increasing number of tongue-ties are seen nowadays with some, not all, causing feeding difficulties. They often run in families and mean some babies are unable to latch properly or get enough milk, which can lead to low milk supply. If you’re having difficulties and suspect a lip and or tongue-tie make sure someone flips the lip. Head here for more info.
You may need to give your baby a bottle or formula at some stage for whatever reason. Head here to read more about bottle feeding and to read a fantastic guide to help buy formula . Remember! The way you feed your baby doesn’t define you as a mother.