Ready!Set!Go! is a system
that once helped me to prepare for breastfeeding and have everything
handy at the right moment.
Previous sections helped you prepare emotionally, physically and also gave you a checklist of all the things you need.
Now let's get
to the Go! part...
Right after the delivery breastfeeding process that you so clearly envisioned
before becomes the source of confusion, frustration and even depression. Do your best to keep your head clear.
It is a new stage in your life. It is overwhelming, but by this point you know everything about breastfeeding you need to know.
Besides, women are born to feel and understand things about motherhood
that nobody else does. Pregnancy and delivery get you and your body even
You are totally capable of breastfeeding, taking care of your baby, and becoming a great parent. Keep things in this
perspective, and you'll do great!
how to get there...
When I was pregnant I was always getting extremely overwhelmed every time I heard something I didn't know about how to breastfeed a baby. I felt like I needed to learn everything there is to learn.
Well, turns out not everything there is to learn is equally important.
Below is a list of things that deserve your attention. I put them in the order they are likely to appear after the delivery. I also included references to other articles.
After the delivery:
Nurse your baby as soon as you can, preferably during the
first hour after the delivery. This is when your baby is the most alert before
he/she sinks into a deep sleep. C-section deliveries are different. Read more here.
To help your baby latch, gently strike his/her lower lip with your nipple. Most babies will open
their mouths and latch on in response to that. Read about latching on and
positioning. Follow guidelines.
Consider Biological Nurturing (laid-back nursing position) -
letting your baby lead the nursing process. This is a truly intuitive approach
that allows you to follow your baby’s instincts and reflexes. More about
Biological Nurturing here.
Once positioned and latched on correctly, let your baby nurse for as long as he/she wants. Sucking stimulates faster colostrum
If you are not sure whether your milk is released, watch and listen
to your baby. Is there a swallow after every suck or two?
If the hospital lactation specialist doesn’t come to visit you and your baby
the day after the delivery, ask your nurse to arrange it.
When the lactation specialist does visit you, don’t be shy to ask for step-by-step instructions. They are trained in walking you through the entire process. Try
various positions. Discuss concerns. Be open.
Your nurse may recommend taking your baby to the nursery for the night, so
that you could get some sleep. Decision is yours, but keep in mind: if not
directed otherwise, your baby will be given a bottle and a
pacifier at night. Beware of nipple confusion. Also, you need to get your
breasts stimulated for faster milk production, so nursing at night is important.
When you come home with the baby, breastfeed on demand – as often as your
baby needs for as long as she/he needs. Look for baby's signs of fullness
and satisfaction – loss of interest in the breast, falling
asleep, getting distracted.
the schedule. Your baby will naturally work out a schedule by the end of the
first month or so. For now he/she needs to get as much nutrition as possible and
you need every extra stimulation you can get to establish your milk supply. Typically
infants nurse every 2-3 hours. Gradually, the intervals between feedings will get longer at night.
During growth spurts your baby will want to nurse more often and stay longer
at the breast. This is normal. It is a natural way of letting your
body know that more milk is needed and this prolonged sucking
boosts milk production.
Always start nursing with the breast that you finished with the previous
session and that hasn’t been emptied completely.
Perform breast self-exam if you feel soreness or discomfort. During the first
week or two after delivery, your milk supply is just getting established and your
baby is just learning to nurse.
At times you may seem to have more milk in the
breasts than your baby can consume. If you feel a lump or a hard spot, massage your
During the first week of nursing, my breasts were getting unevenly hard - engorged -
When mature milk comes in, it takes a couple of
days for the milk production and your baby’s appetite to “agree” on the
of milk needed. This initial engorgement is normal.
I massaged my
breasts a lot
and especially massaged the spots that were hard. The task is to push
the milk out of these spots and towards the nipples. This should be the
direction of massage movements.
Performing the massage while taking warm shower
Warmth softened tissues and milk was coming out faster. I
had to do this procedure for about 4 days. As one lump was drained,
formed. It was particularly bad in the morning, since a lot of milk was produced at night.
By day 5 my supply adjusted and my breasts started getting evenly filled with
milk. Why it was so important not to ignore the engorgement? - To
clogging and mastitis.