Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a breastfeeding 101 class as a shadow to learn more about the basics of breastfeeding. This article is a bit of a brain dump so hold on!
This class was taught to soon to be new parents, most of whom were not breastfed and were wanting to understand the “art of nursing”. The class was taught by a certified lactation consultant, member of IBCLC/Le Leche League and her wisdom was great!
We began the class by talking about the need of a breastfeeding support system- whether that be your friend who breastfed or your mom, make sure it is someone who understands the highs and the lows of nursing, not someone who doesn’t understand. We also touched on the need for boundaries- when you are a new parent and trying to establish a good latch and then figure out how pumping works, make sure visitors come at a suitable time! Establish those visiting hours that are suitable to your baby and your rest time.
The class instructor then talked about the first few weeks need to feed- make sure baby is tummy to mummy, nose to nip and is fed 10-12 times PER DAY. At first baby’s belly is 5-7ml and that is what you produce at first, then by supply and demand your milk supply grows as baby’s belly grows and your milk’s nutrient density changes and supply’s exactly what baby needs and when. By day 7 your baby’s belly is the size of an egg.
You know your baby is eating enough/having enough input by their output. If they are pooping and peeing sufficiently, they are eating sufficiently.
We also discussed feeding cues- feeding cues are what your baby does when they are getting hungry. They start with eye movement when sleeping, then they wake up and start looking around, start tongue thrusting or sucking, and sometimes suck their hands. These feeding cues if listened to can tell you when your baby is hungry before the cries occur!
There was so much great information shared at this class, ultimately- feed your baby, establish boundaries, and have a support system. See lactation before things get bad, and give yourself grace during this time. You are learning and so is your baby.
I was so happy to be a small part of the class and to sponge up all of this great info. I hope to help more new mommies with this info and hope this helps anyone who reads it! To read more about my personal breastfeeding journey, click here!