Fresh from the Oven- Breastfeeding 101

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Half the resolve of starting a mom blog was, “darn no one tells you about breastfeeding the way it is. I need to get this word out!” So here I am with the first of the series focusing on literally Day One. Or maybe even two.
Even though my boobs swelled through my Pregnancy but it wasn’t too much and I never had any leakages so I was a bit “hmmm” about if I’ll be able to feed my baby myself or not.
Two things that helped. Okay Three!
1. The loveliest Sister Gabriella, showed up in less than half an hour after I had given birth and pinched my boob so hard I wanted to kick her. Yes. That first deadly hand expression is what made me realise there was actually something inside. Colostrum! Thanks Sister Gabriella. I still love you though after that unsuspecting squeeze, it could’ve faltered.
2. Try to keep baby with you as long as possible and latched on as long.as.possible. Will help develop supply and get the milkies to come in early.
3. If I had a dollar for hearing “I didn’t breastfeed because I couldn’t produce enough milk” I’d be a millionaire. No. Seriously.
Most doctors in Pakistan are not well informed on matters breastfeeding and have a knee jerk reaction to it by saying “supplement with formula”. If you ask them for reasons they will change their statements eventually but they do begin by scaring you that you aren’t producing enough of a supply to keep your child alive which is a very scary thing to do. 99% of the time the mother will give in out of sheer concern for her child and not knowing any better.
Try to remember this. Loud and clear.
Your baby’s age               Amount of milk per feed
Day 1 (0 to 24 hours).  7ml (just over a teaspoon)
Day 2 (24 to 48 hours) 14ml (just under 3 teaspoons)
The first couple of days it is LITERALLY just drops of colostrum that come through. I promise that’s just fine. All you need to keep an eye on is the diaper output to judge if you actually have a supply issue or not. You are watching your baby to have a wet/ poopy diaper for each day of life at this stage (2 for Day two, 3 for Day Three) until the milk comes in abundance and from Day five the count increases to 6+ a day.
Just keep an eye out that your little shark is latched on right and is able to remove milk from the boobs efficiently. This can be ensured by feeling the breast go soft as you feed and hearing the baby gulp softly while they feed (more so post Day 5 though. So check a subsequent post).
The other thing that really helped remove any doubts that I am producing less or anything of the sort was using this drink starting the next day of birth. It helped my milk come in quick and in abundance.
Okay so I only had this in the first week of my baby’s life and have never needed it since then because it upped my supply too much for consumption.
Semolina, mixed nuts crushed (pistachios, almonds etc. ) and clarified butter (ghee) equal quantities (roughly one cooking spoon) with one or two pods of cardamom (green) stir fry well together. When it starts giving that lovely aroma, add one litre milk with brown sugar (Jaggery/ Gur is better) to taste. Bring to boil on high flame the. Simmer on low flame for 20 minutes. It should be runny like a drink.
I would have one coffee mug (portable type!) once or twice a day. See if it helps?
However as a rule, I can’t emphasise enough on not freaking out if you only see drops of colostrum the first couple of days.
Diaper Output tracking is your best friend.
Moleskine has a lovely Baby Journal. There are are also apps for tracking baby stuff including poop and pee.
I use Baby+ and it isn’t possible for a human to love a software application more than I love this one. I will be writing a separate post for it so stay tuned.
Dang, in absence of everything, just save feeds and poop/ pee data in your phone in the Notes or message someone. My sister would keep track the first couple of days and text the list tonne twice a day. Which side(boob!), how long (time), poopy diaper and wet ones with time. Remember, it’s the 12am to 12am (00:00 to 00:00) cycle you’re looking at.
You got this, mamma!

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