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Even before her baby arrived, Lindsay Miller was planning to breastfeed. After her son was born, the first-time mom was thrilled when he latched on quickly and easily. But he cried so much in the first few days that she suspected something might be wrong.
“I realized after several phone calls to fellow moms and the hospital nurses that he wasn’t getting enough milk from me,” she says. “We gave him a bottle of formula and he sucked it down.”
Placing a near-naked baby on his mother's bare skin, a technique known as skin-to-skin contact, enhances bonding and may help prevent symptoms of depression after childbirth, Canadian researchers found.
It's one of the most common questions among new breastfeeding moms: Is my baby getting enough milk? Not experiencing some uncertainty is difficult, since you can't actually see how much milk your body is producing, and, therefore, how much your newborn is getting.
To celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, Fit Pregnancy has been hosting live Facebook chats with breastfeeding experts and there have been plenty of questions about how to handle the rough patches that come up when you and your baby first begin breastfeeding. Nursing is challenging for most moms, and it was for me initially, too.
I can only remember bits and pieces from the first 48 hours after my son was born. I remember the collective cheer that went up in my delivery room when he finally (after four hours of pushing!) came out. I remember calling him by his name for the first time when they put him in my arms. And, I remember my doula, Elena Vogel, who also happened to be a breastfeeding expert, helping my son latch on for his first feeding.
The first days and weeks of breastfeeding often boil down to sheer survival: getting your baby to latch onto (and stay on!) your breast; functioning on what often feels like mere minutes of sleep; and willing yourself to keep going if you’re having problems.
Yet at some point down the road, when you and your baby have made it through the getting-to-know-each-other period, you’re likely to have different questions and concerns.
Once again, we’re all in a bunch about breastfeeding. It’s all over magazine covers, news stations, Facebook and beyond. I’ve been trying to keep my big mouth shut because seriously, haven’t we already covered this?
In case you haven’t heard, breastfeeding is a pretty rockin’ way to feed your baby. It’s cheap (no need to buy formula); it’s easy (no mixing or warming necessary); it’s “green” (no formula containers in the landfill); and it’s good for his body and mind (a lower incidence of short- and long-term health threats like diarrhea and leukemia, plus an IQ boost). It’s even good for you, conferring a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.