Feeding your newborn during the first few weeks can be tricky. Here, moms reveal how they made sure their babies got the necessary nourishment.
Take Care of Yourself
“Everyone told me, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps.’ At first I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hear her when she woke up. And what if she was hungry? But you’d be surprised how the slightest little sound wakes you up. And you’d also be surprised how refreshing that 10 or 20 minutes of sleep can be. Squeezing in a catnap while she napped made me more relaxed and better able to feed her.”
“You have to take care of yourself in order to feel more confident about feeding this tiny helpless baby. For the first few weeks, I think it’s best to let everything else go. Focus on healing, resting, eating right, and sleeping whenever you can. Go really easy on yourself, and you will be a lot happier and less stressed if everything doesn’t go the way you expect.”
“If you're feeding with formula, have your spouse take some turns and share in the bonding experience or at least help by preparing bottles. Teamwork is a huge advantage!"
Listen to Others
“I hired a lactation consultant who came to my house and helped me get the hang of breast-feeding right from the start. My own mom hadn’t breast-fed, so she wasn’t able to offer much advice. It was well worth it to have somebody right there who knew exactly what was what.”
“I’d heard that you can tell if your baby is getting milk by listening to him swallow. It really is a different sound from the sucking sound, like a little exhale. I didn’t realize babies don’t actually swallow every time — they suck, suck, suck, and then swallow every so often.”
Feed on the Go
“Get one of those big water bottles and carry it with you. When you sit down and nurse your baby, have it close by. Nursing made me really thirsty.”
“People asked what kind of food to bring me — anything I can eat with one hand, I’d say! The other hand was busy with feeding or holding the baby.”
Find the Right Tools
“I found a good app called Smallnest that helped me track breast-feeding. It can be hard to remember which side you used last, and an app is handier than having to get a pen and pencil to write it down, or moving a safety pin from side to side on your shirt.”