Tips for Establishing a Breastfeeding Relationship

If you are choosing to breastfeed, the first week is vital to establishing a nursing relationship, but there are some major hurdles to overcome in the beginning. 

If at all possible, make sure all the hospital staff knows that you are breastfeeding and don’t want any bottles or formula given to the baby.  

Have nursing pads handy for when your milk comes in and your breasts begin to leak. 

For the first few days you will be producing colostrum, which is all your baby needs.  It is not at all uncommon for breastfed babies to lose up to 10 % of their body weight, once your milk comes in they should put the weight right back on. Doctors will closely monitor your baby’s weight to make sure they are gaining on track, but don’t be surprised by the initial weight drop. 

The saying, “If it hurts you’re doing it wrong.” is completely inaccurate for the first week or two. Sore or cracked nipples commonly occur as your body gets used to feeding your little one. Keep lanolin and soothing gel pads handy to help with sore nipples. A shallow or incorrect latch could, however, contribute to the pain. Make use of your hospital's lactation consultant, or seek the help of one to assist you with different positions and to get a proper latch. 

Try to watch for your baby’s hunger cues and offer the breast as soon as you notice them. These hunger cues could include smacking or licking lips, sucking on fingers, or rooting.  If you are able to feed them before they become upset, it will be much less stressful for both you and your baby. Crying and frantically moving their head from side to side are the last line of hunger cues, but often by then the baby is so upset that it can be difficult to get them to latch onto the breast. Your newborn should want to eat around once every two hours during the day and maybe every 3-4 hours at night.

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About Coffee and Wine Mom

Maddi Casey is a muscle car driving, hard working mama who is obsessed with football and good beer. She has two beautiful baby girls and loving husband. Writing is a passion, hobby and sometimes career of hers at She is also passionate about animals, nature and entrepreneurship.
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