Labor to childbirth -What to expect during the hospital stay

Labor to childbirth -What to expect during the hospital stay

Motherhood is a challenging phase of life. before giving birth women are all excited about holding a baby in their arms, looking at the joyful side of a journey. The journey from labor pains to childbirth is a life-changing event.

Counting babies kicks and most of all watching your baby moving in your third-trimester belly is one of the fondest memories of being pregnant. 

Rest assured the joys of holding a baby are beautiful and you are going to have the most cherishable memories of all times. 

Now you are ready to give birth and excited too, I highly recommend you should visit your hospital pre-birth and get yourself registered. This will save you a lot of time when you will be actually in labor and need immediate assistance. 

Moreover, I also recommend you to give your hospital a visit to get yourself aware where is the labor and delivery area plus sign up

For the hospital labor and delivery department a tour to be well aware of the rooms and other formalities, you might have to take care of. 

Hospital bag Essentials for the delivery day that you must pack by 34 weeks.

What to expect when you are in labor 

This is a very common question for first-time moms when you know it’s time to bring baby home. 

Having all those excitement and butterflies in your belly; one fine day your time would come with real pains and probably with a gush of water.  

When you know these are not Braxton hicks (false contractions) and you could actually time your pains at equal intervals. If your contractions are exactly at 20 minutes interval, maybe less or more, you need to pack up your hospital bag. 

Well, as a matter of fact, these contractions interval may take days to shrink down to maybe 5 minutes or 3 minutes. Whenever you are able to time them for like 2 to 3 hours at the same interval, you need to call your doctor, nurse or a midwife at your hospital you are planning on to deliver. 

If your water breaks, you need to call right away, even you do not feel any sort of contraction or pains. 

Once you are at the hospital, you need to check in with all those bands with barcodes. These bands are going to stay on your wrist until you are staying at the hospital. 

What happens in the labor room? 

Nurses would take care of everything when you get there. If you have more frequent contractions, they would find out and provide immediate assistance. Your doctor or midwife is going to find out how much dilated you are by that time. 

If your labor pains are not very frequent and you don’t seem to be dilated more than 2 cm, you might be sent back home. 

If your baby is full-term at 39 weeks, you might want to discuss the option of Pitocin, a medicine to speed up the labor pains. 

You can opt for epidural. Before that, you need to eat or drink whatever you want because once you get epidural you won’t be able to drink water even.

What happens in the surgery room in case you have scheduled a cesarean or emergency C-section? 

If you have a scheduled C-section due to many reasons like baby’s position, multiple fetuses, health concerns, etc., chances are you have to get it in the morning. Thus, you have to make sure you should not have eaten at least 12 hours on the day of C-section. You have to be an empty stomach.

 Eat well the night before and sleep better as you are already signing up for sleep deprivation motherhood brings. 🙂 

Epidural or General Anesthesia 

By any chance you end up having C-section, you most likely be given epidural (spinal) If not general anesthesia. 

Nurses would make sure your area for the incision is shaved. 

After that, they are going to apply medicine and all the surgical procedure you can expect. 

Although doctors, surgeons, anesthesia staff, nurses, every concerned person would be in the surgery room. However, if you want your partner or husband to be in the surgery room, you can surely ask nurses. 

They are going to provide the medicated clothes for him so that he can be with you inside the surgery room and you both could enjoy the birth of your baby. 

What to expect right after Childbirth

You might be an expert by now for what happens in pregnancy and how to deal with those nauseous mornings, but getting to know what happens in the hospital right after birth is not too far now. 

Curious to know or not – here the things you must need to know what happens after birth. 

1. Apgar Evaluation 

This is a necessary evaluation procedure done after birth. The purpose is to see if there are any medical concerns or not. Doctors measure five signs of the baby’s condition 

  • Heart rate 
  • Breathing 
  • Reflexes 
  • Activity and muscles tone 
  • Skin color

Apgar evaluation score varies from 0 to 10. Babies who score 7 or more are considered healthy. Low Apgar score does not mean any necessary medical concerns.

Researchers say that in more than 98% of babies, quite often the Apgar score reaches 7 within 5 minutes of baby’s life as it is checked twice in the first 5 minutes of baby’s life after birth. 

2. Vitamin K injection 

Babies are born with vitamin K deficiency as it does not reach the placenta during pregnancy. Thus, doctors make sure that babies get vitamin K injection right after birth to make sure no bleeding in the brain or intestines could occur. Right after the birth baby is given vitamin K injection to help with blood to clot. 

3. Antibiotic eye ointment

Your baby will be applied Erythromycin an eye antibiotic ointment to her eyes so that it does not cause an infection that could occur during delivery. Infections could occur due to sexually transmitted diseases, gonorrhea,  and chlamydia.

If you are concerned, babies can see through the ointment and it is not irritating for babies.  

4. Oxygen saturation testing 

This procedure is done to check for lower levels of oxygen in the baby’s bloodstream that might identify any significant yet rare heart defects. This is a needleless procedure involves placing a band-aid-like sensor on the baby’s right hand and right foot. 

4. Baby Foot is printed

Your baby’s foot will be printed. 

5. Identification Bands on wrists and legs 

Your baby will also be wearing an identification band on with your name as a mother. 

6. Skin to skin 

Research has shown that an hour after birth is when your baby is very awake and alert and during that time and it is highly recommended when mother and baby has to be more on skin to skin. 

7. Regulating the baby’s body temperature

Baby’s lose body heat fairly quickly, thus it is highly advisable to practice more and more skin to skin to regulate baby’s body temperature after birth. 

8. Latching or Breastfeeding right after birth 

As soon as your baby is done with all those requirements after birth, mothers are advised to start breastfeeding their babies right away, as this will help with the flow of milk supply for moms. 

Breastfeeding has numerous benefits along with it helps the uterus to come back to its original size within 6 weeks. 

9. Bonding with your baby 

Right after birth, It is very normal to feel overjoyed to see your little bundle of happiness. Some mothers cannot feel that way which is normal too. Do not stress about bonding if you are not in that state of mind, because most of the time it is the effect of medicines as well. 

However, dads would be happy to perform skin to skin if mom is having a surgical delivery. 

In my both C section deliveries, at the time my first one was born I was in labor pains for three days, tired and exhausted, yet I just was super excited about bonding with my little guy. On the other hand, while with my second delivery, which was within 19 months, it took a while for me to feel normal again I was having extreme shoulder pain and my blood pressure dropped significantly. I just could not talk. And I could not hold her for a long time. 

It is not advisable to hold your baby when you are not feeling normal about yourself. Bonding can weight but you as a healthy mother is more important. 

Start skin to skin the moment you start feeling better and want to connect. 

Nursing, latching, and feeding after childbirth

If you are a first-time mom, and you THINK that you KNOW how to breastfeed, do not stay in this misconception. 

There is a big difference between knowing something and actually doing it.

Some babies do not know how to latch. They will learn slowly and gradually. 

However, some babies are great at latching. They know suckle very well. 

I would highly recommend first-time moms to consult a lactation specialist. Many hospitals in the US offer lactation classes which are super helpful. 

Doctors would not allow you to go home if your baby is not having enough wet and dirty diapers. This means your baby is not having enough to eat. 

The lactation consultants will visit you every day during your hospital stay and are there to help. Seek help, consult if you are struggling with breastfeeding. 

Some facts about breastfeeding after childbirth

Moms expect delayed milk supply as it takes time to settle in. However, babies are not going to eat too much in the beginning. 

Colostrum is the thick form of milk that comes in before the milk supply.  Colostrum is the most beneficial first baby food and sufficient for the early days of a baby’s life. 

If you are not mentally or physically ready to take care of your baby, talk to your nurse about it. They are there to help. You can ask them to take your baby for the night and have her in the nursery room so you can sleep or rest for that night. 

You can also tell them to bring the baby in for her feed or they could give formula if you have talked to your doctor about it. 

Whatever you decide to feed your baby, remember FED IS THE BEST. 

Read more

44 breastfeeding tips for new moms.

What happens during the hospital stay

While you stay a the hospital nurses give you a chart to record about your baby eats, wee and poo schedule. 

You have to feed every 2 hours or as per demand. The more you nurse the earlier and quick would be the milk supply. 

Care providers want you to time baby’s eating, pee, and poo schedule to ensure baby is performing great after birth

Baby’s First Poop

Baby’s first poo is called Meconium which is made of mucus, amniotic fluid and everything which baby has ingested while in the womb. Meconium is a black almost tar-like consistency. 

Rarely, during normal delivery, babies tend to poo during the delivery process (while passing through the birth canal) which has to be monitored closely. It should not be swallowed as it could pose high risks. 

Some babies poo within the first couple of days after birth. This first poo meconium is a good sign that means your baby’s digestive system is working just fine. 

Colostrum, your first milk, will help meconium to excrete out of the baby’s body. It protects against infections and also acts as a laxative.

Well during your hospital stay doctors and nurses are going to closely monitor your baby’s health after birth. 

Vital Signs test

Vital signs test is a baby’s hearing screening test.  

This test is done before you leave the hospital. During this hearing screening, babies are monitored to respond to any sounds by using tiny earphones. 

Some babies do not pass their test on their first attempt due to fluids in ears. There are very likely to pass the next day or so.  In order to keep baby calm, the examiner might have to give sweet water (don’t worry, it’s just a drop) to have baby calm during the test. 

Hearing problems are not very uncommon. If newborns by any chance do not pass the test, it would be helpful to treat any hearing defects earlier. 

Physical weight check

Baby’s weight is monitored right at birth and then within the first few days after birth. It is very normal for babies to reduce weight during the first few days of their life. 

It is normal for a baby to lose 7 to 10 percent of birth weight in the first couple of days after birth. If your baby keeps losing weight more than 10% of birth weight then you might want to consider supplementing. 

Waiting for breastmilk supply is a great way to ensure healthy nutrition for your baby, BUT, if your baby is losing weight and you are struggling with milk supply, you should discuss your concerns about it with your doctor. 

They measure the baby’s weight, height, and head circumference. 

They are going to check how is your baby breathing.

Number of wet and dirty

To ensure how well your baby is eating, the number of wet diapers could depict. If your baby does not wee or have a wet diaper within 24 hours then your baby needs more nutrition. 

Despite, your baby is losing weight after birth within limits even then the number of wet diapers confirms your baby is eating just fine. 

If there are no wet diapers for more than 24 hours then you should be concerned. 

Shots / vaccinations 

If your baby has got a shot/vaccination, the hospital will provide you with a card and name of the vaccination with dates and everything that you need to know for a record. 

Hep B vaccination

All Babies get the hepatitis B vaccine before leaving the hospital. HBV is a series of three different shots. All three of them will be received over the course of two years i.e. three times in 24 months. 

Newborn Metabolic screening

This test is done by pricking your baby’s heel to take blood samples to rule out any signs of illness or diseases. This is done to make sure the baby does not have any disabilities, organ damage, etc. 

First bath 

The nurse is going to give the baby a bath. Wash baby’s hair and rest she sponge bath baby without having umbilical cord wet.

Additional tests for baby

Measuring bilirubin levels 

Some, but not all, newborns require a bilirubin level check – a substance in the bloodstream responsible for causing jaundice. 

Baby’s blood type test 

Those babies who are born to women having Rh negative or O blood type must be tested. Other babies may get tested depending on the requirements and circumstances. 

Other blood tests 

Other tests are done to check blood sugar, blood counts, and blood cultures as per the circumstances. 

Circumcision

Circumcision is the surgical procedure of removing foreskin on a baby boy’s penis.

Most but not all, boys get their penis circumcised before hospital discharge. Choosing this procedure could be personal or religious preference and could be scheduled even after discharge from the hospital

In case you want to get it done for your baby boy, circumcision is widely practiced all over the world with many health benefits. 

Always discuss its pros and cons with your doctor before you even decide to get it done for your baby boy. 

Given the risks and concerns, this needs a lot of aftercare. Watch any signs of an infection. Keep the area dry and keep it covered with cotton gauze and a substantial amount of petroleum jelly on the wee-wee area. 

This does not mean to get the process done right away. If you want your boy to get this done, you may want to do it in a couple of days after birth. The earlier the better as it heals pretty quickly within just a few days. 

Nurses are going to guide you with care instructions. 

Read more

Mom’s mistakes with newborns.

First-time parent’s mistakes with a baby.

Breastfeeding tips for new moms

Breastfeeding tips for new moms

We all know what breastfeeding is, but knowing and practically doing are two different things. Breastfeeding experience varies from one mom to the other.

You have to know what breastfeeding may seem like in the first couple of weeks, it won’t stay like that. Those who are worrying about the flow should know that there have been millions of moms who were able to breastfeed successfully.

That being said, every mom has struggled with breastfeeding one way or the other.

You must have heard the slogan, “breast is best”, indeed it is due to its natural benefits and nutritional value. Breastfeeding is getting popular as compared to a few decades ago when fewer moms chose to breastfeed.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Tips for breastfeeding moms

Although it takes several weeks for breastfeeding moms to have everything go smooth and you may have to give your baby some time to establish a good latch that will eventually lead to a picture-perfect breastfeeding experience. Remember every mom’s experience is different and so as their body.

For exclusively breastfeeding, new moms have to stay put and see how well you experience yourself as a nursing mom.

For moms who choose a combination feed for their babies does not make them bad in any way. in addition to that, there are a few moms who may not have enough supply even after several weeks of trying. No matter what way you choose to feed your baby, remember, “fed is best”. You should not starve your child just for the sake of giving breast only.

1. Milk Supply takes a couple of days

Before you jump on to supplementing, remember breastmilk and the right flow takes about a couple of weeks. It is a matter of supply on demand. Your baby’s latch is essential to have the flow ready.

Babies take time to latch. Some are quick learners. They have good suckle naturally, while some have to learn and they take their sweet time.

2. Take the right advice

You may have tons and tons of advice or pressure from other moms in the family, friends, nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, listen to what they say. Some of the advice may prove to be helpful. Also, be aware you may end up having unsolicited suggestions, contradictory, confusing or just plain wrong advice.

If you want to breastfeed, someone’s advice may prove to be helpful and make things better for you. But if it is not helpful in any way, follow what you think best for your child.

Caution: this is not a doctor’s advice but a mom’s

During this struggling period, if you think your newborn is losing weight and dehydrated due to no milk supply or less milk supply, you have to discuss it with your doctor. DO NOT STARVE YOUR BABY just out of sheer pressure of breastfeeding.

It is okay to wait for milk supply if you wish but for that, you have to remember, neither every baby is the same nor every mom, choose what is best at the right time for your baby.

3. Search for support groups

Breastfeeding could be daunting and painful in the beginning but it is not going to be the same in the coming week or months. It is going to be a beautiful motherhood experience.

However, if you still feel overwhelmed search up for support.

i). IBCLC

Find an international board-certified lactation consultant IBCLC. These consultants are professionals with knowledge and training in breastfeeding support. Ask your hospital or your baby’s doctor for the name of a local lactation consultant.

Visit www.ilca.org to find an IBCLC near you.

ii). Check out la leche league international

Call the national breastfeeding helpline call la leche league or visit their website www.lalecheleague.org

iii). Get help from the hospital

Hospitals offer breastfeeding classes with lactation specialists. For the first time moms, they may want you to have a lactation class at the hospital if you are struggling with breastfeeding experience. Always ask your hospital or nurses if there is something like that.

I highly recommend first-time moms to take breastfeeding class at the hospital or take advantage of lactation expert visits while you stay at the hospital.

 They are really helpful if you want to LEARN how to breastfeed.

Turn to your pediatrician for further advice or assistance.

Always talk to your baby’s pediatricians about your problems and struggles with breastfeeding and they will help you.

iv). Help from friends and family

Don’t be hesitant to enlist your spouse, partner, or friends.

Join a support group or don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and family about it. Someone’s advice or support may prove to be helpful.

4. Breastfeeding is healthiest of all feeding options

Breastfeeding is healthiest in all aspects. Not only it is nutritionally healthy food for babies, but it also reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), reduces the infections, allergens or concerning health conditions.

Breastfeeding gives moms an altogether different perspective. Your breasts are nurturing a child is an incredibly beautiful experience for moms.

Although mother feed is the healthiest food for baby, however, it should not take a toll on your mental and physical health.

There is always room for formula feeding if you ever want to think about it. Even though a few moms get overwhelmed with the idea of breastfeeding but still most of them choose to breastfeed.

Read more about when to choose a combination feed for your baby.

5. Latch your baby right after delivery

Once you deliver, the first thing you are asked to do at the hospital is to latch your baby to the breast. Some babies learn it fast while some may take time. This totally depends on the hospital staff attitude towards breastfeeding.

It is very obvious for moms to feel emotionally and physically exhausted, which may hinder breastfeeding experience. It does not hurt to take some time in order to feel physically or emotionally ready to breastfeed.

However, the ideal situation would be to start latching or breastfeeding, right after delivery (even in the delivery room or recovery room). The sooner the better.

6. Breastfeed every 2 hours or more frequent

Sometimes nurses may take babies to the nursery room and feed a ready-made bottle so that moms can rest. If you want to breastfeed the right way, you should start while you are in the hospital at least every 2 hours to establish a good milk supply immediately after delivery.

7. Getting Comfortable While Breastfeeding

When you are breastfeeding, you have to make sure you are comfortable. Either you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section delivery, you have to make sure the way you are holding a baby is not putting stress on your shoulders, belly, back, etc. Your posture should be straight and comfortable.

Have a couple of pillows for support. Keeping your essentials in an arm’s reach is helpful, a book, a phone, some snacks to munch on, a water bottle, TV remote control, etc.

While you are nursing, you have to make sure, you are not leaning on the baby rather bring your baby to the level of breasts by using support pillows or nursing pillows.

However, there are different ways you can choose to breastfeed.

i) Cradle hold

This is the most common way to breastfeed. If you had a C-section delivery you need a lot of belly support. Wearing a postpartum belly belt would give you good support. However, it may get a little uncomfortable for too many layers but it is helpful for breastfeeding as well as shrinking your body faster.

Putting pillows in the back would give your back good support to avoid any aches and pains while breastfeeding. Have a specially designed nursing pillow that would help in positioning your baby sideways.

Remember you bring baby closer to you, not lean on to get closer to the baby. Adjust baby’s height with pillows and support the baby’s head with your arm on each side while breastfeeding.

Before you try other breastfeeding positions, you should be aware of your baby has started latching.

ii) Football or clutch hold

You position your baby on one side of your arm just like a football player holding a football under his arm and runs the downfield. Position baby’s head closer to your breasts so you can nurse with convenience.

iii) Side by side are lying down position

Once you get comfortable breastfeeding and get your flow just in time, you can breastfeed in laying down position. You can do this if you feel exhausted or just due to c-section delivery.

8. Make sure there is enough Breathing room for baby

Regardless of what breastfeeding position you choose, you have to make sure you and your baby are comfortable. Your baby needs support under her head. But you still need to make sure there is plenty of room for her to adjust while she is close to your breast.

There should be enough room to breathe at all times. As a general rule, at least one nostril is visible at all times and not completely covered by your breast.

9. Make the best use of Colostrum

It is the first natural food for your baby, thick and yellowish milk your breast starts producing earlier in the second trimester. Colostrum provides them everything they need for the first several days of life including nutrition and infection-fighting antibodies.

By the end of the first week, if not sooner, you most likely be able to produce runny flow milk called transitional milk.

However, if you are already producing colostrum, you are almost halfway there.

10. Ensure a Proper Latch

When your baby latches, you have to make sure, it has the whole areola in her mouth (the darker part) as she sucks.

To nurse effectively, babies tend to use their tongues to essentially lap or massage milk out of the breasts.

However, sucking with no outcome is going to be painful for a while and after that, it is smooth sailing.

Read this on how to fight painful breastfeeding for the first few weeks.

11. Develop baby’s interest in nursing

You have to develop your baby’s interest in breastmilk by gently expressing a few drops to have her coming for the target.

Rooting reflex is a reflex that should have a baby open her mouth in search of mom’s nipple.

Try to lightly stroke her cheeks just to the sides on her mouth to stimulate rooting reflex. You should help her open her mouth wide.

If baby’s suckle is bothering you because of the wrong latch, gently insert your finger in baby mouth and pull a breast out with the help of your finger. Do not just pull off as it is going to hurt more.

Do not hesitate to try again if the baby refused to nurse for the first time.

12. Dealing with tongue-tie

You have to make sure if your breastfeeding experience is not working with all the struggle, there are chances your baby is tongue-tied.

Tongue-tie is caused when a piece of tissue under the tongue limits the ability of the tongue to extend known as ankyloglossia. The vast majority of babies have been able to successfully breastfeed with no issues. However, for some in order for them to breastfeed, they need a minor procedure to help them latching.

15 newborn health conditions new moms should get an immediate evaluation.

13. When breastfeeding becomes painful

Not every breast or nipple is created equal. There are different sizes and shapes. Sometimes nipple size may become a problem for breastfeeding. In order to solve that, moms may use a nipple shield for a better breastfeeding experience.  

Breastfeeding becomes painful with sore nipples, cracked and dry nipples that hurt. Once you have the flow and your baby gets a proper latch then the pain surely fades away.

Mild irritation or discomfort that occurs only at the start of each feeding is generally associated with newness of breastfeeding. Use alternate breasts to get used to the new journey of nursing.

Once mother feed starts coming in, you have to make sure the baby is latching properly and the pain will go away. Using nipple cream after every feed is highly recommended.

Learn how to fight breastfeeding discomforts.

14. Timeline for milk supply you should keep in mind

It takes about 2 to 5 days for milk to settle in from colostrum to transitional milk, and then mature milk.

Although for some moms it is a few hours of colostrum and then good enough milk to have a sufficient flow of transitional milk. Mom and baby both get hang of breastfeeding smoothly.

There could be a number of factors in delayed milk production, most common in C-section moms.

The effect of IVs for C-sections mom.

The effect of a medicine.

15. How much milk supply is enough in the beginning

However, for a few new moms, it is not as easy as it may sound. The noticeable change in milk takes place over the course of a few days. If you are concerned about your milk flow, or if your newborn baby is getting enough, or there are signs when you are not sure what is going on.

For instance, you may notice a perfect latch but no supply or your baby is crying unusually too much possible due to hunger or, not having enough wet diapers, then you should never delay a visit to a pediatrician.

Not every case is the same. You should never delay if you feel your baby is not getting enough.

When milk production progress, you would know when yellowish milk becomes white, appears thinner and clearer.

The baby would be making more obvious and gulping noises, and they may seem more calm and busy

Every mom would have that tingling sensation, although not the same for everyone when milk production increases and breasts become more fuller.

16. Ways you can deal with breast engorgement

When milk production starts, fullness from breastmilk often called engorgement. It means full to the capacity of being painful.

Frequently nursing your baby can help with breast engorgement as fuller breasts can be painful and the letdown tingle can be seriously uncomfortable for new moms.

Using a Breast pump can be helpful if the let-down is pretty quick.

Express some of the milk to relieve the pain. And expression to the extent that your body gets the message of producing more.

Taking a warm shower and using a warm compress on your breast can be a source of relief.

17. Dealing with Mastitis

Mastitis is the breast infection when one of the milk ducts gets infected that stores milk. This will cause swollen, red, painful breasts. In a couple of days, you start feeling sick, feverish, very achy in your breast.

You need to start antibiotics once it is evaluated by the professional health provider.

In the meantime, you can still breastfeed as frequent as every two hours to keep the breasts becoming overly sore

Make sure your baby is latched on well every time you breastfeed and try to change the positions.

  • Apply a warm compress
  • Wear a supportive bra and try to massage breast may speed up the healing process.

18. Dealing with Leaking breasts

Not every mom has the same amount of leaking breast issues.

Leakage will subside with time. You may experience more leakage with your first child doesn’t mean it is going to be the same as the second one too. This process will take its own time of recovery. Do not stress over it.

Another way you can stop leaking is by putting inward pressure on your breasts. Pushing back your breasts with closed arms if you are in public, may work most of the time.

Using breast pads and keep a few in your baby bag if you have leaky breasts most of the time, would help with public exposure of wet shirts.

19. Use nursing bra for the better breastfeeding experience

A good nursing bra, a sports bra is going to be super helpful for your whole breastfeeding experience. It is not only going to protect your breast from sagging but also keep them in a good shape.

  1. You need a good fitting bra, not too tight and try to wear it 24/7.
  2. Prefer a comfort and convenience when choosing a bra that you are going to wear 24 hours a day.
  3. It should be easy to use and has flaps to fasten and unfasten.
  4. There is a room of expansion as when the breasts are fuller, it should not be bulging out.

20. Feeding frequency

The aim is to give 8 to 12 feedings to your newborn baby during 24 hours.

For newborns, you need to feed more frequently every 2 to 3 hours once your milk supply settles in.

During the day, keep it more frequent feedings for a better and faster flow. However, for the night, if your newborn sleeps for at the most 4 hours and eats well during the day then you can stretch your night feedings for upto 4 hours. Set your alarm to feed your baby.

Most likely babies wake up within 3 to 4 hours at night to breastfeed.

If you are struggling with your milk flow and your baby is not eating well during the day or does not have enough wet diapers, then you should wake up every two hours to establish a good flow to breastfeed.

When you are trying to establish a breastfeeding routine for your newborn, you should breast every 2 to 3 hours, keeping one stretch for 4 hours or more preferably at night for a better routine.

21. Breastfeeding on the go

One of the advantages of breastfeeding is you can nurse whenever your baby needs to eat. Either you are traveling by car or in an airplane, visiting a friend or going to the mall, you have all the ease and convenience of feeding your baby without having to worry about bottles.

22. Breastfeeding in public

Many moms, if not all, are comfortable breastfeeding in public and there is nothing wrong about it. It is all about when and what your baby needs and how comfortable you are to breastfeed in public.

Using a nursing cover while in public is the best you can do for having some privacy.

23. Breastfeeding by number

Breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours means, if you are feeding at 8 AM in the morning, that may last till 8:30 with a consequent diaper change, then the next feed is going to be at 10:30.

If the nursing session lasts from 8 AM till 9 am on each breast, then the next feeding will be at 11 am.

24. How frequent mom should nurse

Moms need to feed 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours a day to make sure your newborn is not dehydrated and gaining weight.

25. Consider Signs of inadequate Milk supply

Newborns who are still waiting for mother’s milk to come in or those who are slow to latch on, or nurse even when there is abundant milk supply would end up having less energy and tend to sleep more.

When newborns seem less interested in feeding become lethargic, sleepy, dehydrated and more fatigued.

In the beginning, new moms have to work hard to have them eat every 2 to 3 hours during the day to establish routine and healthy weight gain.

Read about

How you can improve milk supply with a healthy diet.

New mom’s mistakes with newborns.

26. When your baby is on Breastfeeding strikes

If your newborn does not seem interested in eating or skipping meals, or difficulty feeding then you should not delay your doctor’s visit.

15 health conditions that need immediate medical evaluation.

27. Things you should know about Baby’s weight

This is a really important measure after birth. Although all newborns are expected to lose weight after birth but not more than 7 to 10% of their birth weight. Your pediatrician in 3 to 5 days appointment can tell you if your baby is losing more weight. On your baby’s 2 weeks checkup, if she is gaining back her birth weight then it is a sign the breastfeeding experience is going great.

However, if your baby is losing weight then it is a matter of concern and you should not delay a visit or call doctor’s office without waiting for a 2-week checkup.

28. Alternate breasts to nurse

Nursing on both sides every time is going to be helpful for good flow on both sides as well as avoid engorgement on one breast.

Ideally, 15-minutes of breastfeeding on each side is going to prevent any lopsidedness in your breasts.

29. Hindmilk – benefit of emptying breasts

Some experts believed that fully nursing on one side would give babies a dessert equivalent of hindmilk that is richer in fats and more creamy than foremilk that babies need to grow and develop.

If you notice, your baby has green frothy poops, this could be a sign your baby is not getting enough hindmilk.

Emptying one breast in each feeding would help your baby benefit from hindmilk.

Keep track of what side you have nursed previously and then start off with the other side if you are choosing one side for each feeding.

Use breastfeeding reminder bands so that you do not forget which side you nursed last.

30. Do not worry about newborns bad habits

There is no such thing as spoiling your newborn babies for the first several weeks. If your baby demands feed or seem hungry, nurse if needed. You should always be available to your newborn needs in order to make sure they are well fed.

31. Avoid Using Pacifier for the first few weeks

Newborns tend to suck on as their natural instinct. For some babies, sucking is not just about getting fed. This interest is known as non-nutritive sucking and this is the reason why pacifiers come in handy to console the fussy baby.

Using a pacifier may calm babies when they just want to suck on fingers or breasts with no urge to eat.

You can use a pacifier to help baby sleep at night.

32. When you should start using a bottle to feed

If you want to introduce a bottle whether formula or breastmilk in a bottle you should wait at least 4 to 6 weeks until you have a good milk supply to pump. Babies find artificial nipples more convenient and effortless than to lap out milk out of breasts.

So if you want to introduce a bottle, wait for a few weeks. Let your baby get regular on latching, nursing, peeing, pooping and gaining weight then you can start on pacifier or bottle feeding.

Anxious to breastfeed? when to choose a combination feed for your baby.

33. Facts about pumping breastmilk

For irregular pumping, you can use a manual pump. Whereas for a routine and scheduled pumping, using an electric pump is a great option.

Besides, what type of pump you end up getting, Haakaa manual pump is something you need anyway. This will help moms save gold milk during sudden leaks and preserve it with a lid. Also, it can significantly help with breast engorgement which is painful.

Most likely if you have insurance, you may get on free from your insurance depending on the perks you have.

If you are pumping then there are chances your body is producing more milk. You can pump and store in the freezer in milk storing bags.

34. Keeping milk outside or frozen

Breastmilk is good for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature if it is very clean but no more than 3 to 4 hours is the best.

Refrigerated breastmilk is good if used within 3 days. It is still okay if used within 3 to 5 days.

Breastmilk can be frozen and used for up to 12 months on 0-degree Fahrenheit or colder. Otherwise 6 months on 24 degrees Fahrenheit or less.

 Once you thaw frozen breastmilk you should never freeze again.

Writing dates on the milk storing bags is a great way to avoid any expired milk consumption. However, as a general rule of thumb if breastmilk smells bad it is better to dispose of.

35. Breastfeeding moms eating habits

Breastfeeding doesn’t take more than 500 calories a day. Moms do not have to go wild over their cravings. However, you still have the right to eat for two. Drink plenty of water and avoid extra sugars to stay in shape and lose weight while you are breastfeeding.

Babies can handle pretty much everything you eat, however, you still want to avoid some gassy foods for several weeks when your baby’s digestive system is developing. Although this is not supported by research, yet a lot of moms swear by some foods that they ate made their babies gassy.

Whenever you breastfeed keep a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. You can have flavored water or just plain water as per your taste. Staying hydrated can definitely help things get flowing.

Read more

Postpartum diet for new moms.

Food that helps moms improve milk supply for breastfeeding moms.

36. Medication for Breastfeeding moms

Whether you are taking supplements, herbal medication, prescription or pain medication, you should always talk to your doctor about it, regardless. Medications may have a negative effect on the milk supply.

Some medication is safe to use in breastfeeding as it does not have any effect on breastfeeding babies.

Studies reveal that intake of Caffeine – i.e. 2 to 3 cups of coffee (200 to 300 mg of caffeine) per day poses no inherent harm to nursing mothers and babies.

That being said, if you still notice your baby is irritable or fussy, you might want to try decreasing or gradually eliminating your caffeine intake.

37. Impact of Smoking and alcohol on breastmilk

Smoking cigarettes pose some health issues for your newborn. It may increase the risk of asthma, and SIDS.

Those moms, who still smoke, the AAP recommends only doing so right after nursing, smoking no more than a few cigarettes, and never smoking around your baby in your house or car.

Consumption of alcohol may significantly impair mothers’ ability to care for their newborns. However, knowing all those side effects of alcohol, AAP recommends having an occasional drink of alcohol right after nursing. Wait for 2 hours for the alcohol content to drop in breastmilk before starting the next feed.

Marijuana has the ability to reach fetuses during pregnancy and as well as potentially affect breastfed infants.

38. Bottles and nipples care for pumping

For newborns, the 4-ounce bottle is a perfect choice. When baby gets bigger you can start using 6 to 8 ounces bottles.

When you choose a bigger bottle make sure you also buy nipples for 3 months and 6 months as required to have better flow and better feeding experience.

Angled bottles and those with disposable bags, built-in vents or flow, may help in swallowing less air while feeding. An added benefit of milk storing bags is, you need to wash only nipples in the end.

39. Safety measure on Heating Breastmilk

Do not use the microwave for heating breastmilk, However, bottle warmers are the best option to warm breastmilk.

40. How to clean up bottles

Although all ready to feed bottles come with packages nipples that are safe to use, however it is still recommended to sterilize all feeding supplies and pacifiers before using.

You can buy a sterilizer available in the market or else you can sterilize your supplies by putting them in boiling water for about 5 minutes.

Washing bottles after every feeding is also practiced by many parents and that also kills most of the germs.

Invest in bottle and nipple brushes that are inexpensive and invaluable for cleaning hard to reach places.

You can buy a dishwasher safe basket to hold all your small feeding supplies to wash in a dishwasher.

41. Take Growth spurts into consideration

When babies grow their needs, and eating requirements grow too. That means increased hunger as your baby keeps growing. So moms need to incorporate variability in baby’s everyday routine.

42. Feed on demand or Cluster feeding

When you choose to feed on demand is called cluster feeding. If a baby decided to eat several times of the day when you are not following a 2 to 3 hours timeline.

Remember, babies who eat well during the day may end up sleeping at stretch at night.

Read more

13 Baby’s sleep mistakes you should not make from the very beginning.

43. Use vitamin D drops while breastfeeding

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps prevent rickets and strengthens the immune system and reduce the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Chances are your pediatrician is going to provide you with vitamin D drops on your baby’s first checkup. You may have to apply a few drops on your nipple so the baby can easily suck on while feeding.

Breastfed babies need vitamin D drops whereas among formula-fed babies require only those who do not drink at least 32 ounces of formula every day.

44. Choosing pacifier

You can choose to use a pacifier for your baby if she is super fussy and sucking on fingers even after getting a good number of feedings.

Be sure not to offer pacifier when your baby needs to be fed and hungry.

Babies seem disinterested in pacifiers when they do not see anything coming out of it. Keep trying if you feel your baby is still in search of breast just for comforts not because of hunger.

45. when babies get gas due to mother feed

Breastfed babies tend to get gassy due to specific types of food moms eat. Although this argument is not supported by science still many moms notice babies being fussier when they eat certain types of food. Not every mom face this, like I said, every mom and baby is different.

What food new moms should eat during postpartum.

This does not mean you should avoid eating gassy foods altogether, however, the best approach is to avoid gassy foods for about 4 to 6 weeks after delivery until the baby’s digestive system gets mature enough to handle gas.

Read more

How to relieve gas issues in babies.

How to soothe colic or a fussy baby.

These are the breastfeeding suggestions for new moms. Let me know in the comments if you have something to share.

Struggles of breastfeeding – How to survive the discomforts during the first few weeks

Struggles of breastfeeding – How to survive the discomforts during the first few weeks

Although it may take several weeks for breastfeeding moms to have everything go smooth and you may have to give your baby some time to establish a good latch that will eventually lead to a picture-perfect breastfeeding experience. Remember every mom’s experience is different and so as their body.

For exclusively breastfeeding, new moms have to stay put and see how well you experience yourself as a nursing mom.

For moms who choose a combination feed of their babies does not make them bad in any way. in addition to that, there are a few moms who may not have enough supply even after several weeks of trying. No matter what way you choose to feed your baby, remember, “fed is best”. You should not starve your child just for the sake of giving breast only.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Struggles for breastmilk supply

The irony is what’s natural doesn’t always come naturally. Breastmilk is natural but it takes time to have enough supply. Unfortunately, this becomes a struggle for new moms to have that idealistic picture of breastfeeding.

Babies take time to latch. Some are quick learners. They have good suckle naturally, while some have to learn and they take their sweet time.

You may have tons and tons of advice or pressure from other moms in the family, friends, nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, listen to what they say. Some of the advice may prove to be helpful.

Also, be aware you may end up having unsolicited suggestions, contradictory, confusing or just plain wrong advice.

If you are new to breastfeeding, here is what you need to know. 40+ breastfeeding tips for new moms to have a smooth breastfeeding journey.

When breastfeeding becomes painful and how to deal with breast irritations

For good nursing experience, you have to make sure your baby is latching on properly called an asymmetrical latch.

1. Use Nipple Shield

Not every breast or nipple is created equal. There are different sizes and shapes. Sometimes nipple size may become a problem for breastfeeding. In order to solve that, moms may use a nipple shield for a better breastfeeding experience.  

Breastfeeding becomes painful with sore nipples, cracked and dry nipples that hurt. Once you have the flow and your baby gets a proper latch then the pain surely fades away. Mild irritation or discomfort that occurs only at the start of each feeding is generally associated with newness of breastfeeding.

You have to make sure, the pain will go away in a couple of weeks after you establish a good milk supply.

2. Use Nipple Cream

Use a lanolin cream to help with sore nipples. Apply generously before and after the feed and let it air dry. Or using your own breastmilk on the breast is an effective remedy to help cracked nipples.

If one breast is hurting, choose the other one. 

However, if the pain does not go away for a few weeks, seek professional help.

Sometimes it is about yeast infection that is not letting the discomfort go away. For any breast-related issue that is making you uncomfortable and it is not getting better, do not hesitate to seek doctor’s advice.

Cramping in your abdomen

When you have milk flow coming in, you may notice cramping in your uterus. This is the reason if you breastfeed, your uterus shrinks back to its original size in a few weeks. These contractions are considered responsible for triggering the milk let-down reflex.

When will milk come

As we have discussed it takes about 2 to 5 days for milk to settle in from colostrum to transitional milk, and then mature milk.

Although for some moms it is a few hours of colostrum and then good enough milk to have a sufficient flow of transitional milk. Mom and baby both get hang of breastfeeding smoothly.

However, for a few new moms, it is not as easy as it may sound. The noticeable change in milk takes place over the course of a few days. If you are concerned about your milk flow, or if your newborn baby is getting enough, or there are signs when you are not sure what is going on, for instance, you may notice a perfect latch but no supply or your baby is crying unusually too much possible due to hunger or, not having enough wet diapers, then you should never delay a visit to a pediatrician.

Not every case is the same. You should never delay if you feel your baby is not getting enough.

Why there is a delay in milk supply

There could be a number of factors in delayed milk production, however, the most common in C-section moms are due to;

The effect of IVs for C-sections mom.

The side effect of a medicine.

Going with a flow

Once your baby gets hold of a good latch, the next thing that comes to mind, is your baby getting enough milk?

Newborns get colostrum in the first few days of life, rich in what they need in the first few days of life. Colostrum is rich in proteins, but it lacks fats and sugars. It is the perfect food that your newborn needs.

When you see colostrum a yellowish thick milky secretion from your breasts, that’s a sign you are going to have transitional milk, white thin milk.

Mother’s milk takes about 2 to 5 days to settle in. the latter case is for C-section moms.

Breastfeeding is about Demand and supply

Colostrum is a complete food your newborn baby needs at this time, that would make them hungry and wants them to feed more. This process of demand and supply would help milk supply settle in about a week to meet your baby’s nutritional demands. Once the follow settles in your supply keeps on increasing with your baby’s demand. The more your baby breastfeeds, the more your body will sense his increased demand and respond by stepping up milk production accordingly.

Breast size would increase while you are pregnant and when your milk flow settles in, that is going to make a massive difference.

The letdown tingle during production progress

When milk production progress, you would know when yellowish milk becomes white, appears thinner and clearer.

The baby would be making more obvious and gulping noises, and they may seem more calm and busy.

Every mom would have that tingling sensation, although not the same for everyone when milk production increases and breasts become more fuller.

Alleviating the discomfort of engorgement

When milk production starts, fullness from breastmilk often called engorgement. It means full to the capacity of being painful.

The discomfort is something new for first-time breastfeeding moms. As the days progress, things will get better.

Ways you can deal with breast engorgement

Frequently nursing your baby may help with breast engorgement.

1. Manual Pumping or electric pumping

Pumping is the best solution if the let-down is pretty quick. Some women happen to overproduce breastmilk. If the letdown is too quick you may notice baby’s gagging a lot.

Using Haaka manual pump with lid is awesome and a quick-relief if the engorgement is painful.

Wearing a sports bra (a tighter one) to decrease production so it is not to the extent of being painful.

Express some of the milk to relieve the pain. And expression to the extent that your body gets the message of producing more.

2. Warm shower

Taking a warm shower help significantly with engorgement.

Using warm or cold compress pads on your breast may be helpful.

If you are pumping then there are chances your body is producing more milk. You can pump and store in the freezer in milk storing bags.

3. Breast Massager

Using this breast massager has helped moms significantly. This product is amazing in soothing the clogged milk ducts, improving flow before pumping.

Either you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, using this breast massager before pumping significantly improves milk flow.

What is Mastitis

It is the breast infection when one of the milk ducts get infected that stores milk. This will cause swollen, red, painful breasts. In a couple of days, you start feeling sick, feverish, very achy in your breast.

You need to start antibiotics once it is evaluated by the professional health provider.

In the meantime, you can still breastfeed as frequent as every two hours to keep the breasts becoming overly sore.

Make sure your baby is latched on well every time you breastfeed and try to change the positions.

Wearing a well-supportive bra and massaging a breast may help speed up the healing process.

What is Leaking breasts

Every breastfeeding mom must have experienced leaking breasts and for that, you should know: leakage will subside with time. You may experience more leakage with your first child doesn’t mean it is going to be the same as the second one too. This process will take its own time of recovery. Do not stress over it.

Another way you can stop leaking is by putting inward pressure on your breasts by a finger poke. It works like a charm.

Also, pushing back your breasts with closed arms if you are in public, may work most of the time.

Choosing Breast pads

Using breast pads and keep a few in your baby bag if you have leaky breasts most of the time, would help with public exposure of wet shirts.

You can either use washable breast pads or disposable ones.

Selecting bra

A good supportive bra, the sports bra is going to be super helpful for your whole breastfeeding experience. It is not only going to protect your breast from sagging but also keep them in a good shape.

  1. You need a good fitting bra, not too tight and try to wear it 24/7.
  2. Prefer a comfort and convenience when choosing a bra that you are going to wear 24 hours a day.
  3. It should be easy to use and has flaps to fasten and unfasten.
  4. There is a room of expansion as when the breasts are fuller, it should not be bulging out.
  5. invest in a good nursing bra for a better experience.

Using Haaka – a manual pump

Haakaa is a silicon manual pump, a game-changer for leaking breasts. While nursing from one side, you may notice full milk let down on the other side that is being wasted, and ironically, you cannot nurse baby from both sides at the same time. Therefore, it is very essential to have Haaka manual pump to save your “gold milk” for the next feeding. You can use the one with a lid.

You can save breastmilk for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature and 24 to 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Breastfeeding in public

In the US, moms have all the legal rights to breastfeed in public. You may want to use a nursing cover to be more comfortable while breastfeeding in public.

Breastfeeding problems and solutions in a nutshell.

If the breastfeeding battle goes on you may try these solutions.

  1. Breastmilk supply supplements will help improve milk supply for a breastfeeding mom. Healthy food also plays a vital role in improving milk supply.

2. Nipple shield will help in lessening the pain due to cracked and sore nipples in the early stage of breastfeeding.

3. Pumping by using electric or manual breast pumps.

4. Breast shells for sore and cracked nipples. This will help saving milk from leaking breasts.

5. Tongue-tie is a condition in babies when they are unable to develop a perfect latch because when the tissue under the tongue does not allow the baby’s tongue to form a latch. This may need a doctor’s evaluation so that a minor procedure can be done to solve the issue.

Breastfeeding Position and posture

Once you choose to breastfeed, you should know that a perfect posture plays a vital role in your overall breastfeeding experience, regardless of your birth procedure (vaginal or cesarean).

Elevate baby to your breasts rather than leaning on to your baby. Use pillows for the right amount of support to elevate the baby closer to you. This will help your back and your shoulders stay more relaxed and you would not get tired immediately.

I highly recommend a good quality nursing pillow.

Although these breastfeeding struggles worth so much, still that does not mean you cannot supplement because you will be judged as a bad mom. No, if breastfeeding is taking a toll over your mental health, and giving you more anxiety and stressing you out, you should talk to your doctor about other options like formula or donated breastmilk.

Breastmilk or formula, when you know it is okay to use a combination feed.

How to survive painful breastfeeding
Breastmilk or Formula feed – When to choose a combination feed for your baby

Breastmilk or Formula feed – When to choose a combination feed for your baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful bonding experience for moms and also breast milk is highly recommended for your newborn baby due to its tremendously beneficial qualities. Breast milk gives the best nutrition to your baby and there is absolutely no doubt about this.

However, breastfeeding is not easy on every mom, it has its own set of challenges which might give moms a second thought of starting formula. Whereas for some moms it is the most motherly and bonding experience that every mom should have.

Not everyone is the same, there are exceptions to everything, and everyone. Every woman is different from another one and every baby is different from another baby, so and so forth. 

However, with all those exceptions, there are women who have to struggle a lot with producing enough milk for their babies, or there may be some babies who just don’t want to latch regardless, no matter how hard mom is going to try.

Although breastfeeding in public gets uncomfortable for some moms, similarly, people get pretty judgmental when they see moms breastfeeding in public. Even if you feed formula or breastmilk in a bottle, you will be bombarded with questions and judged on baby’s nutrition. This will certainly increase mom guilt and stress that could have a negative impact on this hormonal stage of motherhood.

No matter what method you choose if your baby is well fed, active, healthy and happy, that is all that matters.

Right after delivery many moms struggle with milk supply and their babies start losing more weight than considered normal, at that time they are supplemented to meet baby’s nutritional needs and moms continue to nurse in order to have a supply.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Breastfeeding Vs Formula feeding

Breastfeeding seems tough to new moms whereas formula is supposed to be more convenient. Although breastfeeding is considered more healthy and nutritious, still there are parents who want to formula feed due to reasonable reasons and it is challenging for them too.

If you are a new mom and struggling with breastfeeding, read these 40+ breastfeeding tips to get a hang of it.

Reasons why Babies do not want to latch

There could be plenty of reasons babies don’t want to latch

  • Due to small nipple size, or nipple confusion. Using the Nipple shield has helped many moms with this issue.

Always make sure you are in the right posture, keep your baby close instead you being close to baby.

  • Due to some physical issues, like something could be stuck in her mouth which could be a hindrance in latching. It is always a good practice to monitor closely inside the baby’s mouth if your baby is not latching.
  • One of the reasons is she might not know how to latch. Not every baby knows that. Some babies have great suckle reflux since birth whereas others learn with time.

Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. The more you nurse, the more supply you are going to have. 

Read more

Reasons why your baby is refusing a bottle or not nursing.

Breastfeeding could make moms anxious

Besides all those benefits breastfeeding has, some women are not comfortable even with the idea of breastfeeding. They seem to have anxiety and stress as they start thinking about breastfeeding. 

Let me tell you honestly. Breastfeeding is the toughest part of motherhood, in my opinion, it is beautiful, it gives you happiness within that you are feeding your child with best as long as you feel happy about doing it. 

However, If you don’t want to do it then it is not more than an add-on to your stressors of motherhood. 

You are scared you will be judged for not giving your child the best and it makes you feel like a failure. It is very sad that women really have to be strong for not choosing to breastfeed. 

The purpose of this post is not to suggest any new mom for not breastfeeding as this is the best your baby could have at this point in life. 

Moreover, this post is for those moms who are stressed out with the idea of breastfeeding and they want to formula feed their babies but they are scared of being judged. 

Read more

Struggles of breastfeeding for new moms – how to help reduce discomforts when nursing gets painful during the first few weeks.

I am not a medical professional, please do not seek any medical advice from me. I am just a mom with two little ones, fed both of them with a combo feed as advised by their pediatrician. 

Read more

Travel hacks for moms who are traveling with a toddler and a lap child.

Breastmilk and Formula feeding Combination

Let’s do some pros and cons for Breastmilk and formula feed

Breastmilk is easy on Digestion whereas formula takes time

Breastmilk is very light and easy to digest and your baby gets hungry too often in about 1.5 to 2 hours whereas formula feed can go unto 3 to 4 hours as it is heavy and takes time to digest. These numbers highly dependent on the age of your baby, body type, weight, etc. 

Some babies tend to eat more and get hungry too soon. Some babies even have trouble adjusting to one particular formula, as some babies get too much gassy, some have more reflux because of the esophagus (food pipe) is not fully developed.

Breast milk is Free and Formula is not free at all

Breastmilk is free, natural and the healthiest, if only you have it. Formula milk is expensive almost $30 every big container which is good for only 30 days after opening.

Ready to feed bottles are good for one hour after opening.

So it’s going to add up.

Breastfeeding is tough in the beginning and formula is no physical pain

Breastfeeding is painful, rough and gets very tough at some points, whereas formula is no pain, except having bottles, milk, warmer, warm water everything ready. 

Painful nipples are a temporary stage, after a couple of weeks you would not even believe, you never had pain (except some women, they might have it whenever they nurse). Mom can use Lanolin cream to soothe cracked nipples.

Breastfeeding is a frequent wake-up for moms and babies and the stress continues for the whole time, although things do get better with time.

Read more

40+ Breastfeeding tips for new moms to have a successful breastfeeding experience.

How to reduce breastfeeding pain for the first few weeks and what are the other concerns that you should know about.

Breastfeeding on the go and formula feeding is tough on the go

When you are breastfeeding it is good on the go, while you are in the car, at a restaurant, you don’t have to prepare the bottle, or if you have pumped milk bottles ready, you are good to go. For me having warm water ready all the time was a task. 

Sometimes you even have to pay for warm water too.

Pumping breastmilk or feeding on demand

Well, I have never been into pumping, the thought of leaky breasts with a need of pumping was a nightmare for me. Whereas some moms do it perfectly, they stash so much in their freezer and they don’t have to worry about it. 

I always fed my babies on-demand with a combination of formula feed, my top preference had been feeding them what is best, and even if I couldn’t due to low supply or some other reasons I would formula feed, as it was recommended by the doctor.

What you can do if you want to breastfeed and you are scared

We face anxiety sometimes when we fear to do something, or we are scared of facing the situation. It could have many other reasons, but ideally, you have to try to get over with stressed-out feelings.

Let me tell you, stress is the number one killer of milk supply, the more stressed out you are the lesser will be the supply. 

Every Mom should try to nurse her baby so she would not have any regret of not trying. 

There are chances that you might like the natural way of feeding your baby, and after that, if you are not comfortable and feel more stressed and upset due to all that hardwood, pain, middle of the night frequent waking, so and so forth, you can switch to formula. 

Well, there are chances your baby might not like the bottle even.

Reasons why you should consider supplementing with formula

1. When the formula feed is the only option as you do not have enough supply yet

Babies tend to lose birth weight as it takes about 3 to 5 days for moms to have a healthy supply for newborns. Until then moms have a natural pre-milk Colostrum that has potential health benefits for babies that could last for a lifetime. 

During this struggle, some babies lose weight more than the normal range, so they need to be fed on formula as they should not get to the starvation level. Try not to be too rigid on exclusively breastfeeding that it could cost you your baby’s health.

If you need to supplement even for the time being do not show rigidness in consulting with your pediatrician. It is certainly understandable that as a mom you want the best nutrition for your baby and nothing beats mom’s milk. Right now just think “fed is the best”.

Read this post on moms regrets on their motherhood journey. In this post, a mom advised new moms not to be too rigid about exclusively breastfeeding when there is not enough supply and your baby is losing more of her birth weight.

Always seek professional advice if you want to consider supplementing.

Read more about mommy mistakes with newborn babies.

2. When your baby is always hungry and crying

While there are other reasons why your baby might be crying, hunger is the top of the list. Crying babies could be stressful for both parents and caretakers, it makes them frustrated and exhausted. Somehow even if you are nursing every 2 hours or on demand and your baby seems to be always hungry then it could be a sign that you NEED to supplement as you are not producing enough.

Talk to your pediatrician about it and make sure your baby is having enough wet and dirty diapers a day.

Read more

How to soothe a fussy or colic baby – A perfect guide to help your crying baby.

Reason why your baby might be crying.

Read more about what are newborn essentials for sick and uncomfortable days.

42 newborn care hack for new moms.

3. When breastfeeding makes you more stressed out or anxious than normal

If you are overthinking about breastfeeding and it gives you more stress and you feel you can’t do that for a long time, try at least for 6 months. The only thing that haunted me with my second pregnancy was breastfeeding. Despite all those painful beginnings, I chose to nurse for about one a half year with just a little bit of supplementing. You can read about my biggest regret for not supplementing when I was not having enough milk supply.

4. When you feel you are not emotionally, physically or mentally ready

Everyone at the hospital wants to impose their decision on you, as they want the best feed for the newborn and encourage moms to nurse more and more and to have skin to skin which would help with milk supply. The earlier you start nursing the quicker will be the supply.

Unfortunately, for some moms, it takes a lot to start over something for which they don’t seem to be ready and adding on the social pressure would make it worse.

Its the mom who has to take care of the baby and if she is not mentally ready for something, she shouldn’t be forced to do that. Although breastfeeding is known to have reduced the risk of postpartum depression as it would help moms to have a bonding with their baby.

However, if at any point you seem not ready or it is costing you your health, you should talk to your pediatrician about supplementing.

5. When you just do not want to do that with your 100% consent

There are moms who just do not want to nurse due to their very own reasons and they have a complete right to decide for their baby. So if you do not want to do it, just do your research and have a talk with your doctor about the pros and cons regarding this issue.

Seek help or advice from a Lactation Consultant

Hospitals offer lactation consulting to help new moms to learn the process of breastfeeding. It may seem easy and learn by doing the process, however, you are underestimating the power of lactation consultants. They are professional and they do offer help for new moms to make it easy on your self and babies. I had to take a lactation class at the hospital as it was not as easy as it seemed. She actually knew how to help in a positive way. 

Unfortunately, due to all those hormonal changes post-delivery, makes it even harder for moms. Some moms do not have a good experience as they are stressed out and they have to get a job done too. Thus making it hard and stressful for new moms. 

While discharging at the hospital nurses are going to guide you with lactation consulting services if you need any in the future

Other Issues you might have to face

If you have pain latching, you can try electric pumps. 

If you are a working mom, you can either pump or also use a combo feed.

Those who are having less milk supply and want to breastfeed, they can increase milk supply with these supplements. They are made up of fenugreek which is a very helpful ingredient for boosting milk supply.

Read more about How to increase breast milk supply with food.

How to fight gas issues in babies.

My pediatrician even advised me to even mix breastmilk and top feed in a feeding bottle.

Despite whatever you choose, breastfeeding is a natural and healthy option for moms too. It will help them shed baby weight in a few months postpartum, also helps uterus shrink within a few weeks.

You are a mom and you know what is best for your child. If you want to choose formula over breastmilk, it would not make you any less of a mom. If your mental and physical health is taking a toll over breastfeeding, you could seriously consider quitting breastfeeding. A healthy mom can take care of a baby in the best possible way and your baby needs a strong and healthy mama. 

Read more

Why is your baby spitting up? How much of spit-up is considered normal?

Breastmilk or Formula feed Is it okay to choose breastmilk and formula combination for your baby

Food that helps increase milk supply for breastfeeding moms

Food that helps increase milk supply for breastfeeding moms

Breastfeeding is a fairly sensitive subject for new moms. Soon after giving birth the struggle of breastfeeding begins. Many women get lucky to nourish and feed their babies right away, whereas some might have to strive for more days to actually get the right amount of flow.

Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. More latching leads to more milk supply. A lot of moms feel so much stressed about having less feed which makes it even worse. Stress about anything would actually lessen the supply. Every woman’s body is different, hence, the response is not the same in every case.

No matter what delivery you have, on average it takes about 3 to 5 days for milk supply to settle in. However, some might have enough milk supply the very next day after delivery while some have to struggle for about 4 to 5 days.

Babies’ first food is called Colostrum. It is the first form of milk babies get and it has way beyond health benefits. Colostrum is sufficient to fill a newborn baby’s tummy in the first couple of days of his life. Ideally, with every latch, your milk supply has to increase and your baby should feel full.

However, sometimes this does not happen and moms might have to consider supplementing to meet babies’ nutritional requirements. Once the supply settles in you can exclusively breastfeed your baby.

Breastmilk is by far the best you can give to your baby. There are options that might help to increase milk supply to fill those tiny tummies with lots of nutritional value food.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.

Foods that increase breast milk supply for breastfeeding moms

Let’s find out what are those food items that could help stressed out moms who are struggling with breastfeeding.

1. Oatmeal improves milk supply

Oatmeal is a fiber-rich food for breastfeeding moms. It is a high source of proteins and antioxidants. Amazing source of iron as if you are low on iron you might have to struggle with milk supply.

A bowl of oatmeal in the morning works great for milk supply. It may help you reduce weight and lower cholesterol levels.

As a new mom, you might not be having time to wait for oatmeal to be ready. Right after having a baby – it’s all about quick meals.

Boil oatmeal in water and add a little bit of salt and pepper. You can add milk if you want along with honey or brown sugar, whatever you may find healthy.

You can add any type of fruit or nuts you want: Berries, apples, bananas, raisins, almond, walnuts.

Once things settle down in a couple of weeks or months, you might consider using Steel-cut oats. It takes a long time to cook yet worth every bit of it. It’s healthier and tastier.

However, you can also take oatmeal in the form of Oatmeal Lactation cookies. You can bake your own lactation cookies at home with a ready to use cookie mix.

Moreover, oatmeal will help moms with post-delivery chronic constipation as well.

2. Boiled eggs


Eggs have allergens for some people. If you are not allergic to eggs and your baby has not shown any signs of allergies then you should take eggs in any form you like.

Boiled eggs are a more healthy option than any other form. You can boil them fresh every day while your coffee or tea is getting ready or you can boil them in advance and enjoy it with whole wheat bread or anything you want.

They have all the right nutrients for moms and babies.

3. Bone broth

Bone broth is a highly nutritious food for breastfeeding moms. You can make any form of bone broth in a slow cooker. Bone Broth is a popular food to promote milk production for breastfeeding moms and it is highly consumed by Indian women during postpartum.

How to make Bone Broth for nursing moms to increase milk supply.

You need to use bone-in meat of your choice – beef, lamb, mutton or chicken (organic chicken is a much better and healthier option).

Add a couple of garlic cloves, few slices of onions, salt, black pepper, and cumin seeds. Add water in an instant pot or slow cooker depending on how much meat you have. Meat should be dipped in water and other ingredients and leave it in a slow cooker for a few hours.

Now, the bone broth is ready, meat is deliciously tender and it is a high source of protein. Add salt and black pepper as per your taste.

Bone Broth is a super hydrating and nutritious meal. It is an awesome meal for c section moms too for better and quick internal and external healing of C-section wound.

You can make it in advance and freeze it before your due date. Even you or your partner would have no problem warming it up for you.

You might want to know about the postpartum diet for C-section moms.

4. Milk

Milk is a rich source of calcium and vitamin D. Your baby has extracted a lot from your body while you were pregnant. Now she is going to suck that out while breastfeeding so you need to work on your share of calcium and vitamin D other than enjoying the sun outside. However, drinking milk at night certainly works best for milk supply.

5. Water


Hydration is the key. You need plenty of water in any form. Be it juice or flavored water or Gatorade, plain water works the best and you and your baby need it. Moreover, it will immensely help you with milk supply.

Ideally, you should drink two glasses of milk (2% or whole milk, as per your choice) every day until you are breastfeeding.

Read more about postpartum essentials for moms.

Read more about newborn care on how you can help your baby to sleep through the night.


6. Dates

Dates are natural energy boosters. A high source of natural sugar gives you energy right away. Eating dates every day with a glass of milk is a good fulfilling meal.

Replace your Oreo cookies with dates and milk would be a healthy alternative although oreo cookies with milk seem more fun. Tastes great!

Dates significantly promote milk supply for breastfeeding moms.

7. Banana with milk at night

This trick worked for me so much for night feedings. Unfortunately, I have found out that this was helping me with the flow when I was about to wean off.

A glass of cold milk with one banana at night would work amazingly with the best milk flow. Banana is a great source of potassium and it helps so much with night-time leg cramping.

8. Prenatal vitamins

You should never skip your prenatal vitamins while you are breastfeeding. You need them every day just like you were taking while you were pregnant. Skipping them will make you cranky, stressed, depressed, sad and you would not realize that it is because of nutritional deficiencies.

Supplements to increase milk supply

Moreover, there are organic supplements for breastfeeding moms that nursing moms should consider having if they are struggling with lower milk supply.

Read more about how you can improve postpartum health with the right nutrition.

9. Milk tea

If you are really struggling with milk supply and nothing seems to be working with natural ingredients then you should consider taking milk tea. They are made with herbs that are helpful in increasing milk supply.

10. Green leafy veggie

Spinach is an amazing source of iron especially if you are anemic and had a c-section delivery. You can take spinach in the form of juice or salad.

If your doctor tells you are anemic then you need to have iron tablets every single day.

11. Cumin seeds

Most of the Indian women choose to eat cumin seeds for an immediate increase in milk supply. It is a highly recommended and super effective natural source to promote milk supply for breastfeeding moms.

You can chew on a Tsp of cumin seed every day for good milk supply.
It is highly recommended by breastfeeding moms in eastern countries.

You can either sprinkle a teaspoon of cumin seeds on your salad bowl. These seeds are very aromatic and chances are you are going to love it.

12. Fenugreek seeds

You can eat fenugreek seeds with water or you can take fenugreek tablets for milk supply. These are highly recommended and works great for breastfeeding moms.

13. Poppy seeds

White poppy seeds are also known to increase milk supply as well as it has a tiny bit of sedation properties, that may help mom and baby staying relatively calm.

14. Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds are great for digestion, and also known to increase milk supply as well as help moms and babies with gas or colic issues.

You can drink fennel seeds water after delivery. It will immensely help with bloating and weight loss. all you have to do – boil water with a tsp of fennel seeds

15. Semolina


Semolina is also a milk supply booster. It is consumed in the form of dessert.
Sauté a few tbsp of semolina in organic ghee. As soon as it starts changing color add water and let it cook for some time. You can add almonds, cashews, raisins any sort of dry fruit of your choice. Add sugar as per your taste.
This will amazingly increase your milk supply and keeps moms energized.

16. Brewers yeast Powder

A lot of moms find brewers yeast powder as an effective ingredient to increase milk supply. You may use these in cookies, shakes or anything you can make at home in order to improve milk supply.

There are vegan and non-vegan options available, so you can choose any you prefer.

17. Lactation Cookies

Breastfeeding moms may want to produce more milk since they are exclusively breastfeeding or pumping for freezer stash. Lactation cookies mix may significantly improve milk supply. You can either prepare from scratch but as a new mom, you are just too busy to do that. A ready-made lactation cookie mix is a win-win.

Other foods that are also known to help increase milk supply for nursing moms

Quinoa is another gluten-free, a very healthy option if you like it already then it’s a win-win.


Avocado is considered a very healthy food for pregnant women as well. You can try this recipe of guacamole as a healthy snack when hunger pangs hit.

Flax seeds have omega 3 fatty acids, good fats that you need in the right amount. Sprinkle some on your salad bowl or chew on a few roasted would also improve milk supply as well as the quality of milk. Flax seeds are what fed to chickens to produce eggs with higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids.

Garlic: Some researches conclude that using garlic in your diet would help increase milk supply.

What might negatively affect your milk supply

  • Excessive consumption of Green tea or weight loss products might affect your milk supply.
  • Stress whether it’s emotional, physical or mental, going to affect milk supply.
  • A lot of IVs and medications before delivery, especially before C-section, might be a cause of delay in milk let down.
  • Smoking would also have a negative impact on milk supply.
  • Parsley, peppermint, sage, oregano cabbage if consumed in excessive amounts would adversely affect milk supply.
  • Do not give too much long gaps in between feedings. The more frequently you going to feed your baby the better will be the flow.

If you are taking extra supplements or medications while breastfeeding, it never hurts to discuss it with your doctor.

However, if you think you are not meeting the nutritional requirement of your baby, and your baby seems hungry all the time, you definitely want to consider supplementing with formula after having a consultation with your pediatrician.

Moreover, there are health concerns when moms cannot feed their babies, they can supplement formula or breastmilk from milk banks. You should never hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Read more about when you should consider supplementing or using a combination feed for your baby.

Eating a healthy diet and plenty of fluids would definitely help with the increase in milk supply for breastfeeding moms. Breastfeeding is known to reduce postpartum depression, however, if you still feel that you are not emotionally and mentally connected to your baby, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

Read more

44 Breastfeeding tips for new moms for the better nursing experience.

food that helps increase milk supply for breastfeeding moms
Postpartum Health issues of moms that should never be ignored

Postpartum Health issues of moms that should never be ignored

The day you give birth to your baby(s) your struggle as a mom has started, Now, it is not about self-care only, It’s about the whole family. During this postpartum period, moms’ focus tends to change as it is hard to get pro in everything they do. They have to juggle with so much stuff at the same time which results in neglecting themselves.

That being said, postpartum care needs a lot of work on yourself and your baby. If you choose to breastfeed or not, you should know what health conditions you might develop during postpartum (some last for the time being) and if that happens what you should do. This post is about what is a good practice to follow while you are in your postpartum as far as your health is concerned.

1. Healthy Diet

The #1 priority of a breastfeeding mom is to eat healthy and wealthy. This is the only time after pregnancy when you have an excuse to eat more when you don’t have to worry about putting too many pounds on. Most of the women lose weight while breastfeeding. It helps your uterus to come to its original size more quickly. Whereas, some women gain weight because they need more energy and food. Somehow their bodies tend to put on weight in order for them to stay on the milk supply level. Once they quit breastfeeding they lose weight.

For moms who choose not to breastfeed need energy to keep up with the newborn, family, chores, work, and so much more. You have to be on top of your diet.

Eat healthy as much as you can, mil, banana, dates, almonds, organic ghee, Cheese, oatmeal, semolina etc. To know what you should and should not eat Read Postpartum diet for moms.

2. Regularly taking prenatal vitamins

Your prenatal vitamins are as essential as your meals throughout your day. You have to take your vitamins religiously while you are breastfeeding the way you have been taking during your pregnancy.

 3. Drink Plenty of water

Water is as essential as air at this time. Constipation is a severe consequence after delivery. It gets painful for moms no matter what delivery process moms have gone through. You have to stay hydrated so that your bowel movements will get back to normal soon. For breastfeeding, you need way too much water.  Take as many liquids as you can.

4. Sleep whenever you CAN

Once you give birth, your sleepless nights start. In the beginning, it’s all the excitement for a new being at home and you don’t feel about sleep deprivations. Once you get into a routine, your baby starts staying awake and alert throughout the day and your sleep and rest graph starts falling down. Sleep deprivation is not going to be healthy at all. You have to catch up on your sleep debts while everything else has to weight. Learn how you can cope up with sleep deprivation being a mom.

Try to sleep better or nap throughout the day

5. Take plenty of rest if you feel tired and exhausted

Breastfeeding is a tiring process. You feel so much low on energy. Night feedings, holding a baby burping, swaddling, rocking, moving around, dealing with a colic baby, everything is so exhausting for a mom.  Stay active and rest whenever you can. Do not drag yourself to do something if your body does not feel ready for.


Postpartum Health Issues and Discomforts for Moms

These are some Health Concerns you might get while breastfeeding. I myself have experienced a few. They are not to be neglected or delayed at any stage.

1. Cracked Nipples and clogged ducts

Cracked nipples or clogged duct on your breast are super painful.  Although, breastfeeding is not an easy process, yet it is certainly the most beautiful experience of motherhood. It gives you cracked, bleeding nipples which are so painful for a couple of weeks.

Get a good nipple cream which is safe to swallow for the baby. Apply this nipple cream, before and after feedings for a couple of weeks. Lanolin is the one I recommend.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that is caused by clogged duct, infection or allergy. One of the symptoms is fever due to infection. Clogged duct or engorgement can also be caused by stress, anemia or weak immune system. Immediately talk to your doctor, you might have to take antibiotics to treat an infection.

Keep a close eye on your health while breastfeeding.

2. Postpartum Hair Loss

Postpartum hair loss is totally normal. It happens because the hormones are now coming down after childbirth. If your 3 or 4 months mark postpartum hair loss is not going away for a long time that means your body needs more nutrition.

The hair loss is going to happen when your little one is around 3 to 4 months. For some women, it starts a little late. What I have figured out the reason for the hair loss is, your body needs more iron, zinc, vitamin D.

You need to check your stress level, exhaustion, sleep deprivation if your hair loss is not going away, technically, everything adds up.

3. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

This is one of the most common emotional and physical health concerns happening to moms. New moms tend to feel lonely and they need some adult talk. Its hours and hours of struggle with the baby. Sleepless nights adjusting with newborn sleep,  household chores and responsibility of feeding other members of the family are considerable reasons for someone to feel depressed.

The best way to deal with this is to keep yourself busy, surround yourself with positive people, and stay connected with people around you. Read, write whatever that keeps your mind distracted and you feel productive at the same time.

You can read about how you can improve your emotional health with the right nutrition. Nutrition plays a significant role in your emotional, physical and mental health.

Talk to your doctor if you have serious thoughts of harming yourself or the baby.

4. Thyroid Disorder

Keep an eye on your postpartum symptoms. Too much hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, or weight loss,  swelling, feeling cold more than usual, depression and anxiety, are some of the common thyroid symptoms. If you feel something is not fine, it doesn’t hurt to get your thyroid levels checked.

During breastfeeding it is very common to lose weight, some women don’t. If you think you are not losing weight while you are not eating that much, and if you think you feel dryness in your hair, skin. Nails, continuous cycles of hair loss,  there are high chances that you might be having thyroid issues.

Postpartum thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease which can occur during the first year a woman has gone through childbirth.

I was having the symptoms by my 6-month postpartum appointment and I found out thyroid as a culprit.

5.   Dizziness and lack of energy

If you feel dizzy or you may feel low on energy which your little one is getting from you. Take iron, calcium-rich food. Take supplements for calcium or magnesium if you have too much leg cramping or dizziness. Because it happens. If you are not eating the way you should eat and the way your body needs according to your lifestyle, you need to take extra supplements in order to function better.

When my daughter was about 4 months, I was having serious dizziness, fatigue, exhaustion, foggy brain, poor concentration. I was struggling with two little ones and honestly, I used to forget that I had to eat. I was literally juggling between so much.

Then, my kids’ pediatrician suggested that it was time to start solid whereas I was planning to start around 6 months mark. But it was much needed to be started right away. She needed more nutrition. As soon as she started solids, I was feeling way better.

6. Torn Abdominal muscles: Walk, exercise or yoga with Caution

If you had a normal delivery, then as per your doctor’s suggestion you can start exercising whenever you feel comfortable. You should feel energetic and your body shouldn’t ache. Although, the walking is highly recommended right from the next day you would deliver.

You might have heard of the term diastasis recti. It is actually tearing of the abdominal muscles. It happens during pregnancy, not to everyone though because of muscles stretching. You need to be extra cautious if you experience diastasis recti.

When my daughter was born. I went for my 6 weeks postpartum appointment. The midwife advised me not to do any abdominal exercise at this point because my muscles haven’t come back to their original position. Exercise would do more harm than good.

Yoga is good for this condition. But you can do yoga only if you have time, quiet and patience for yoga.

7. Chances of Developing Ovarian Cyst while breastfeeding

Another thing for breastfeeding moms is that they might get an ovarian cyst. Normally, it is a follicular cyst which develops because the eggs travel down the tube in search of a sperm the fertilization doesn’t rupture or release. This eventually forms a cyst.

These cysts can cause abdominal discomfort depending on what side of ovary they are. Within a few days, it gets ruptures which results in internal bleeding and severe pain.

It happened to me around 9 months postpartum. I went to ER, they found out the cyst but they couldn’t do anything about it. I came back home and after a couple of days of pain finally, the cyst ruptured and it was an EXTREMELY PAINFUL experience. I had to take pain medication 800 mg of Ibuprofen prescribed by the doctor at ER and I was feeling much better.

If something similar happens to you, unfortunately, you cannot do anything about it. Just Take Ibuprofen 800 mg and you are good to go. ( only if you don’t have any allergies).

These are some of the health concerns for breastfeeding moms that need not be ignored. Do you think is there anything else which a mom needs to be aware of for her postpartum?

Postpartum Health