In the first month after birth, your milk supply is switching itself on and learning how to make bigger and bigger quantities of milk each day. This continues until it gets to the point where it can make exactly what your baby needs to keep them growing over the next 6 months.
Usually, this happens by babies feeding at the breast as often as they want; this is usually between 8-12 times per day.
Unfortunately, we still read and hear about mums who had a really difficult time breastfeeding with their first baby. This could involve anything from not mastering breastfeeding in the first few days to ongoing breastfeeding problems or worries about low milk supply.
If this was your experience and you are now pregnant again, you may be wondering if you are destined to always have breastfeeding problems. Or, perhaps you are thinking about how you can make this new experience with breastfeeding more successful.
It is really common these days when discussing breastfeeding in the antenatal for mums-to-be to say “I want to breastfeed but I want to start pumping early to let dad feed and bond with baby too.” So, is it essential to put your breast milk in a bottle as soon as possible so you can help your partner bond with their baby?
Having a new baby in the home is often as overwhelming and puzzling for dad as it is for a mum. Especially with a first child, everything is happening in real time for the first time, which can be both exhilarating and exhausting.
In the next 12 weeks of pregnancy (2nd trimester – weeks 13-24) you may notice the biggest change of all in your breasts; they are making milk! Milk is being made in your breasts from around 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Most babies will have a long breastfeed straight after birth and then will likely fall asleep for 6-8 hours. This is the perfect time for you to have a well-earned rest too as it may be the last time you have a long uninterrupted sleep for a long time!
If you are in the last trimester of pregnancy, your breasts will probably be feeling quite large and heavy now!
Some women find that the first thing they notice about being pregnant is the breast changes they are experiencing. Many women who are having their second or third baby have told me how they knew they were pregnant before even doing the test because they recognised the feelings in their breasts.
Pregnancy has three trimesters, but newborn babies are so small and vulnerable that for them, the first few months of life outside the womb are truly a “4th trimester” of pregnancy. For new mums, welcome to this new trimester of motherhood!
If you are a new mum, there are really only two things you need for a successful breastfeeding initiation – your baby and your breast. Mother Nature has provided a foolproof model for you to follow and there are no extra products or services needed at the beginning. What you decide to add to your life in order to make things more comfortable and convenient is up to you.