Breastfeeding can be a great experience for both mom and baby, but it’s also a lot of hard work that comes with a set of big difficulties. Every mom is bombarded with articles that explain the benefits of breastfeeding and, while they are largely correct, it can put more pressure on a very personal decision. We want all mothers and families to feel they are supported and that they can come to any Portneuf Medical Center care giver with any questions or concerns. If you are a new mom or a mom with several children, you probably already know how up and down, complicated and wonderful it is to be a parent. Breastfeeding also has its own highs and struggles. Here are some of both the great and not so great parts of breastfeeding and how to find support. The Great: Magic Diet for Your Baby Your body creates the perfect food for your baby to develop during those early months of life. Mother’s milk is full of nutrients to provide your baby with the perfect food, in fact, the nutrients in a mother’s milk changes as your baby’s needs change. After the first several days of breastfeeding, your milk will change in color, thickness and nutrient concentration. Your mature milk will have the perfect balance of fat, sugar, protein and water. Breastmilk, in addition to supplying your little one with proper nutrients, is loaded with antibodies that protect your baby from infections. Studies show, breast milk can help lower the risk of leukemia, asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear infections, eczema, diarrhea and necrotizing enterocolitis. If you have any questions about your baby’s early development or are worried about your baby getting enough milk, contact the OB nursery floor at 208-239-2270 to be connected with one of our lactation consultants. The Not So Great: Worries Over Milk Supply and Latching Common worries about breastfeeding include milk supply and proper latching. As your baby develops, so will how they feed and how much milk you produce. At six weeks to two months, your breasts may no longer feel as full as they once did and feedings may last for a shorter period of time. Most likely this means your baby is getting better at feeding! Growth spurts, usually around three weeks, six weeks and three months, may also make you worried that your supply is too low. This is a time when you can follow your baby’s lead. Here are some ways to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat:
- Nurse often
- Check for a good latch
- Offer each breast during feedings
- Avoid giving your baby cereal or formula as this may make your baby less interested in breastmilk.