Newborn - 6 weeks

Understanding Infant Sleep - The First 6 Weeks

Understanding Infant Sleep - The First 6 Weeks

“I slept like a baby”  

When I hear this saying, I immediately envision sleeping deeply, soundly, and for 10 hours straight.  Whoever came up with that saying clearly didn’t have children!  All of the babies I know definitely do not sleep soundly for an extended period of time until at least toddlerhood… and even then sleep can be disrupted by teething, colds, and just regular night waking. With current infant sleep recommendations stating that babies should learn to sleep on their own, all night, by 6 months, I have to wonder how much of this information is hearsay and old-wives’ tales and how much is evidence-based (using good research models). 

So, let’s break this down using the most current research.  

I’ve Had My Baby - Now What? Breastfeeding During Weeks 3-6

Welcome back to our new series, I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?  This is a guide with basic information to help you navigate the first days, weeks, and months of breastfeeding your new baby.  

Today we’d like to talk about weeks 3 through 6 of your baby’s life, and what breastfeeding looks like.  What can you expect for normal behavior from your new baby, and when do you know there’s a problem that you should seek professional help for?

I’ve Had My Baby - Now What? Breastfeeding During the Second Week

Welcome to our new series, I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?  This is a guide with basic information to help you navigate the first days, weeks, and months of breastfeeding your new baby.  

Today we’d like to talk about the second week of your baby’s life, and what breastfeeding looks like.  What can you expect for normal behavior from your new baby, and when do you know there’s a problem that you should seek professional help for?

Now that my milk has increased in volume, what should feedings look like?  How much does a baby need at each feeding and how long should it take?

I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?: Breastfeeding During the First Week

Welcome to our new series, I’ve Had My Baby - Now What?  This is a guide with basic information to help you navigate the first days, weeks, and months of breastfeeding your new baby.  

 

Today we would like to talk about that first week after your baby has arrived.  Breastfeeding can often seem overwhelming and  unfamiliar.  New moms often receive a *huge* amount of differing advice from many well-intentioned people, which can be incredibly confusing and discouraging.  Below is a quick guideline to what “normal” breastfeeding looks like, as well as some examples of when things aren’t going as they should and when you might want to seek help.

What Every Mom Should Know About Breastfeeding During the Early Weeks

How much breast milk does my baby need per feeding?
What is common nursing behavior for a newborn?
How will I know that my baby is getting enough?

As a new mom, these are common questions that you may ask your pediatrician, midwife, postpartum nurse, family, and friends and GUESS WHAT..... they may all have a different answer!  

Help a Mama Out: Surviving the First Few Weeks of Breastfeeding

What tips do you have for surviving the first few weeks of breastfeeding?

Maren: Lots of skin to skin to get those endorphins going so you can take advantage of all that delicious oxytocin (which will make you want to keep breastfeeding, even with things might be tough!)  Take advantage of all of the support you can – it will help normalize the experience so that you feel totally confident in your decision to breastfeed.  And know ahead of time that there is definitely a learning curve, but it only gets better and better, so hang in there!

Amanda: Make sure to talk to your partner about how you need him/her to support breastfeeding and encourage you, even when you get discouraged and feel like giving up!

Jamie: Get the latch correct right away!  Take advantage of the lactation consultants at the hospital and ask for a referral even if you don’t think you will need one.

Andrea: Trust your body!  Skin to skin, lots of water, and lots of rest.

Heather: Surround yourself with at least one supportive person.  I would never have made it through those weeks without the support of my husband.

Alicia: Hire a postpartum doula.

Juli: Surround yourself with women (and men!) who support breastfeeding.  It gets easier – it is definitely worth pushing through the tough parts in the beginning!

Billie: Make really good friends with the lactation consultant and local breastfeeding support group before delivery.  They will be able to offer so much support in those first few weeks.  Trust your supply.  Make sure you are comfortable!

Monica: I went to classes and read books, which helped, but nothing prepares you for the real thing.  Get help early, if you need it.  Hiring a lactation consultant was the best thing I did.  Keep telling yourself you will try it for one more day and one day it will become second nature.  Coconut oil worked wonders on sore nipples.

Christine: OMG… best advice I got was to rub breastmilk around your nipples after every nursing session!  My cracked tatas healed within 2 days of doing that!

Chelle: If it hurts and you are dreading the next nursing session, don’t just tough it out!  Get help ASAP before it gets worse or turns into an issue that makes you quit! Take a prenatal class.  Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean you will naturally know what to do.

Sarah: Don’t expect anything else from yourself.  Set up what you can ahead of time and find someone else to do everything else that needs to be done.  Establishing your breastfeeding relationship is your job.

Jen: Get a Netflix subscription and ignore the dirty dishes!

Danielle: Don’t do anything but rest, breastfeed, nap, and eat.  Nothing else matters right now.

Abbey: Celebrate every success, no matter how small it seems!

Desiree: Find support!  And be patient…it’s not always easy, but it’s most certainly worth it! 

Sofia: Learn the basics!  Before birth is possible!  Proper latch, how milk supply works, most common myths about breastfeeding, how to know if your baby is getting enough, why it is REALLY important to feed on cue rather than a schedule, why baby doesn’t need ANYTHING else but your breastmilk, etc.

Amanda: Don’t give up! Get help and support!  Spend as much time as you can with your baby (in bed if you can.)

Priscilla: Relax.  Don’t listen to anyone that’s not helpful. Determine your own needs for comfort.

Joanna: Expect to care for your baby and get others to help with meals and housework.

 

Thanks to everyone who responded to our questions on our San Diego Breastfeeding Center and The Boob Group Facebook pages.  Check back every Tuesday for a new Help a Mama Out tip!

 

To find an international board certified lactation consultant, visit www.ilca.org

 

Here are a few more articles on our website, specifically dealing with breastfeeding a newborn:

Advice for a Newly Breastfeeding Mama’s Partner

Breastfeeding Expectations for the First Month

Newborn Hands: Why are they always in the way while breastfeeding?

Advice for the New Breastfeeding Mom

Breastfeeding Expectations for the First Month

Do you remember what breastfeeding was like during those first few weeks after your baby was born? 

I personally remember feeling somewhat clumsy and awkward, as if my son and I were trying to master a new dance without stepping on each other’s toes.  Our rhythm was slightly off.   I constantly relied on my breastfeeding pillow and there was absolutely no dependable schedule.  I was forced to switch off my Type-A brain and learn to go with the flow, which was quite a challenge for me, to say the least!

Yet, as the months went by our breastfeeding relationship changed.  In most ways, it improved immensely, as I became a more confident mother and caregiver.  In other ways, different nuances surfaced, which taught me that breastfeeding, like parenting, is constantly in a state of motion and sometimes in need of modifications.

Newborn Hands: Why are they always in the way while breastfeeding?

Oh, those sweet little newborn hands.  Such a love/hate relationship we breastfeeding mothers have with those hands.  We love to hold and kiss those sweet-smelling hands, yet when it’s time to breastfeed, those annoying little clawing paws won’t get out of the way!  The minute our breast is out and ready to feed, those newborn hands are like defensive linemen, blocking any entry into our baby’s pecking mouth.

So, what’s the deal with those hands? 

My Newborn Is So Sleepy!

How am I supposed to breastfeed my newborn, 8+ times in 24 hours, if I can barely keep her awake?


Why does my newborn fall asleep as soon as he starts to breastfeed?


How can I keep my newborn awake while breastfeeding?

These are very common questions that I get asked from moms on a weekly basis.  Newborns are so sleepy.  And if they've had a long, challenging journey into the world, they are often even sleepier!

So, what is a new mom to do to keep her little one active and efficient while breastfeeding?

Welcome to The Sanity Spot

Sleep deprivation, diapers, feeding, crying.....sound a little familiar? And not just describing your baby??? All within a matter of minutes, your life has completely changed and sometimes all you want is for it to go back to the way it was.... pre-baby! But then, that sweet little baby of yours (or your three and four year olds, in my case) just look at you with those adoring eyes and you are brought to tears as your heart fills with so much emotion that it is impossible to describe. Welcome to motherhood... the most rewarding and, definitely, the most difficult job you will ever have in your life!

So sit back, put your feet up, lay your baby (infant, toddler) on your chest, and smell his/her sweet scent while he/she sleeps for a few moments. It is all about being present, in the moment (if you will), and taking a deep breath. For it is those moments you will remember the most. Hey, if we remembered all of the difficult times, we would never have any more kids.

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