Did you weigh the disadvantages and benefits of bottle feeding and breastfeeding during your pregnancy and did you choose to breastfeed? Your midwife and GP will be proud of you. They always recommend to breastfeed. But then the moment will soon come when you actually have to do it. And how does it work exactly? When does your milk production start and does your baby get enough? Read here information about the preparation for breastfeeding give step by step.
How can you prepare yourself well for breastfeeding?
If you really want to prepare yourself for breastfeeding, you can follow a breastfeeding course. Here you will be explained everything such as laying, flicking and recognizing the hunger signals of your baby. Buy at least a nursing bra. That saves you a lot of dress and undress.
When does the milk production of breast milk start?
Your body is already preparing for breastfeeding in the first weeks of your pregnancy. This is done by your body by making extra gland tissue. This production is made possible by the pregnancy hormones. Consequence: sensitive and swollen breasts. When you are 16 weeks pregnant, your glands are able to make mother's milk. By the time your baby is almost born, you already have enough food in stock.
The preparation for breastfeeding starts with the creation of extra glandular tissue during the beginning of the pregnancy.
The first milk after birth
The first milk that comes out of your breast after delivery is called colostrum. This is a bit yellowish in color, is full of antibodies and is also easily digestible. Perfect milk for your newborn child. You can lay your baby right after birth. Even if you have opted for formula, this does not hurt. The real breastfeeding starts after a few days.
How does milk production get going?
Your breastfeeding is largely started by your own little baby. When your baby sucks at your nipple, you make two hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin ensures that breast milk is produced. Oxytocin allows milk to flow from the glands towards your nipple. The latter is also referred to as the 'let's reflex'. In principle, it is therefore quite natural when your baby is willing to drink.
But it can happen that your milk production gets a bit more difficult. For example if you have had complications during delivery or if you are ill. Then ask your midwife or doctor what you can do.
Breastfeeding for the first time
Your baby will be placed on your stomach right after birth. It is good to breastfeed immediately for the first time. The midwife or nurse will immediately explain how you can apply. After your birth (if you can go home again) you will be assisted by the maternity nurse. So you are not alone.
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Breastfeeding for the first weeks
In the first weeks your baby can ask for food every 2 or 3 hours. Breastfeeding is also advised to give this on request. This means that your baby indicates when he or she is hungry and then you have to conjure up your breasts. It is always important that you put your baby properly. That way you ensure a good flow of breast milk. Read in our separate blog about breastfeeding how to do this.
How does it continue with breastfeeding?
Obstetricians and doctors recommend breastfeeding for about half a year. If you are capable of this, both physically and in terms of time, then you can certainly try it. Approximately 75% of all women start breastfeeding, of which 29% continue for three months or longer. Try it at least as long as possible. Even after the first few weeks, you will continue to breastfeed on request. The number of times your baby asks for food becomes less and less with time. Your baby will sleep through after 3 months.
How long does a baby drink per feed?
How long your baby drinks per food is very dependent on your baby. Some babies drink little bits and more every time. It also makes a difference whether your baby is used to breastfeeding or not. It can therefore take a quarter of an hour, but sometimes you have to spend half an hour on it. Always take time at all times.
Does my baby get enough?
Whether you have cup A or have cup F: most women can always make enough breast milk. Your breast size does not matter. As long as you do not have any complications and your baby has enough water slides, he gets enough inside. That is because your milk production adapts to the demand of your child. Even if your baby needs more nutrition on certain days, such as on regular days, your body immediately adapts to this. The preparation for breastfeeding is a beautiful natural process, which continues during lactation itself. Beautiful right?!