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BCB is here for you always. From pregnancy to parenthood, and everything in between we support you in the decisions that you make for your family. BCB’s longtime Resident Experts, Lactation Partners, just shared an amazing webinar with our audience. (If you missed it, you can watch the replay here!) In conjunction with the information and knowledge shared during the webinar, Lactation Partners have compiled some addition information and resources to share.
By Judy Teibloom-Mishkin, RN, IBCLC, Lactation Partners
The first 24-48 hours involve learning to latch & suck well at the breast. It’s a time to practice when baby doesn’t require a lot of volume. In fact, the baby isn’t ready to digest large volumes based on stomach capacity and more.
To facilitate latch, mom holds baby firmly with the heel of their hand on the baby’s upper back. Use thumb and fingers cupping the base of the baby’s head beneath each ear-this allows you to hold the baby close enough to sense the nipple, open his/her mouth to root, and then quickly move the baby closer to latch to the areola.
To facilitate both latch and the baby’s suck, mom uses their second hand to support their breast at the chest wall (where your bra would hit). This allows moms to point the nipple to help baby latch and to then compress or squeeze the breast gently to help the colostrum or milk flow. Moms respond to baby’s sucking in this way; when the baby pauses, after 3-5 seconds, relax and recompress the breast to provide more flow. Baby then respond by sucking, repeat
The average newborn requires 15-20 minutes per breast to empty the small volumes they eat; longer than it takes them later to eat larger volumes when both breast and baby are more efficient. This time spent touching them helps their brains grow, helps them regulate their heart rate, respiratory rate, and glucose levels. It also helps you make more milk and provides you with a sense of calm and wellbeing. (And forces you to rest which you need)
The average newborn eats every 1 to 3 hours initially (every 1 hour when bringing in your milk, clustering which occurs once or twice per day, or during a growth spurt). We know objectively that they need to eat 8 times per day (why the 3 hour guideline) in order to gain-just as your newly full breast needs emptying at least every 3 hours to be comfortable and not get engorged.
It is a perfect design. (Well almost, the only glitch is that our nipples are tender while adjusting to breastfeeding.) A deep latch will protect you from wounding. Applying colostrum or breastmilk, as well as other product to moisturize and protect the nipples will help.
It takes 2-4 weeks for your nipples to toughen, your supply to flow optimally, and be fully established. It also takes this long for you to figure out how to ‘customize’ the average guidelines, adapt them to who you are as a breastfeeding mom and who your baby is as a breastfeeding newborn.
Lactation Partners can be found here on Instagram and here for more information. Please note, they provide telehealth, therefore anyone, anywhere can utilize their expertise when it comes to getting started and succeeding with their breastfeeding journey. For more pregnancy features click here. For a full list of BCB’s pregnancy resources and virtual events from Bump Club and Beyond, click here.