breastfeeding concerns

A new mother breastfeeds her baby at home. (Photo credit: Kala Bernier)

The first days with your first baby can be exciting and daunting at the same time. No thanks to postpartum hormones and lack of parenting skills, it’s easy to go into panic mode.

Know the answers to these most common breastfeeding concerns so, while you may not be armed with experience, you are at least armed with information.

1. ‘I don’t see milk coming out of my breasts. My baby cannot drink anything!’

You don’t have to see the milk to know that your baby is getting it. Early onset of milk is not always visible. It’s hard to tell especially if all you see seems like your baby’s saliva. But there’s milk in there somewhere. Instead of looking at your breasts, look at your baby’s diaper instead. Pee and poo are signs that your baby has taken in milk. Hey, what goes in must go out, right?

And if a not so well-informed hospital staff comes up and asks if you already have milk, be ready to tell her instead how many diaper changes you’ve made.

2. ‘My baby keeps on crying because she’s hungry. I don’t have enough milk to satisfy her.’

Your baby’s stomach is the size of a marble. A few drops of milk is enough to fill that tiny tummy. Because she can only drink a little, she digests it quickly so don’t be surprised if she’s hungry again after 30 minutes. Also remember that a baby’s cry is not just a sign of hunger. It could also mean she needs other things such as comfort.

Breastfeeding hits two birds with one stone—it  comforts baby and increases your milk supply.

3. ‘I can’t breastfeed immediately because I just had a C-section.’

Yes, you can. Providing that the surgery went smoothly, your baby can latch on your breast even while you are being stitched up. You don’t have to sit up in order to nurse your baby. Insist on rooming in your baby so you don’t have to go to the nursery to feed her. Ask for assistance from hospital staff or your family in positioning the baby on your breast while you are lying on the bed. There are horror stories in which the baby was given breast milk supplement while the mother recovers from surgery. This is usually unnecessary because the baby has reserves and can wait for a few hours before having to nurse.

4. ‘I heard breastfeeding is painful!’

Okay, I won’t lie. It was painful for me, too. But you could be one of the lucky ones who get it right from the start. You are supposed to latch your baby properly so your nipples will not get sore. Don’t be shy to ask for help from lactation consultants, doctors or nurses. Don’t expect perfection to come on day one. It comes with practice. Remember that it will all be worth it when you see your baby healthy and strong knowing that you nourished her yourself.

The first few weeks after your baby’s arrival are challenging. How did you get by? Share them with us at the comments below.

This post first appeared on Yahoo Philippines.

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