Ask our midwive

Here you can find answers for important questions about breastfeeding

How can I ensure a good start to the breastfeeding relationship?

You should choose a quiet environment where you feel comfortable, especially at the beginning of the breastfeeding relationship. You should avoid sources that disturb you such as noise and incorrect lighting. Your breastfeeding relationship requires a great deal of patience, especially at the beginning. Make sure you choose a position that is comfortable for you.

Once you have found a comfortable position, you should pay attention to the following things:

*Your baby should open their mouth as wide as possible when latching onto your breast.

*Your baby's belly should be lying against your belly.

*Make sure your baby takes as much of the nipple as possible into their mouth.

*You should be able to watch your baby's lips turning out while drinking.

 

Watch for your baby's signs of hunger. To start with your baby may only move their hands towards their mouth and try to suck on it. Your baby's movements may then become more and more hectic and faster until it starts crying.

Try to latch your baby on as early as possible because then they will not be too agitated.

Give your baby the breast as required until it stops sucking on the breast.

How often should my baby breastfeed?

It takes a bit of patience to find the right breastfeeding rhythm for you and your baby.

In the first few days you should give your baby the breast every 3 to 4 hours at the latest. To stimulate milk production, you should give your baby the breast as often as possible during this sensitive initial phase. You should wake your baby to breastfeed after 4 hours at the latest. You can do this by undressing the baby, for example. During your child's growth spurts, breastfeeding intervals may shorten for a few days. Through these shorter breastfeeding intervals, your baby shows your body that it needs to produce more milk.

During breastfeeding, it is very important for you to also ensure that she consumes plenty of calories and liquids.

How can I tell if my child is getting enough breast milk?

Since it is not possible to accurately measure the amount the baby drinks, many parents are initially unsure whether there is enough milk.

There are clues that show the baby is being supplied with sufficient breast milk:

 

Excretion

Once your milk comes in (roughly from the third or fourth day) your child should have 5 to 6 wet nappies within 24 hours.

 

Weight gain

It is perfectly normal for your child to lose up to 7% of its birth weight after birth. Your baby should have regained their birth weight by their 14th day of life. The weekly weight gain for a healthy baby born at full term should be at least 150 g.

 

Breast feels empty after breastfeeding

You should let your baby drink for at least 15 minutes on each side. It will drink the first breast empty much more powerfully than the second breast.

To ensure your milk production is stimulated sufficiently, you should observe the following rules:

 

1. If your baby only manages to drink from one breast, give it the other breast the next time round.

2. If your baby drinks from both breasts, you should start again with the last side they were latched onto. Because breastfeeding is exhausting for your baby, they won't be able to drink as much from the second breast as from the first.

 

Your baby looks satisfied after breastfeeding

When your baby's hunger slowly diminishes, you can watch them return to a relaxed state. Babies often fall asleep after drinking enough from the breast. Make sure the baby has drunk enough beforehand.

 

Audible swallowing during breastfeeding

Do not be surprised if your baby takes short breaks during the sucking process. Your baby needs this to swallow the milk accumulated in their mouth while sucking. Your baby swallows after every 1-2 sucks. The swallowing will decrease over time during the breastfeeding process.

What if breastfeeding doesn't work for several reasons?

Nipple shields

Nipple shields are available in different sizes. It is important to choose the right size at the beginning.

Once you have stimulated the let-down reflex manually or with the pump, distribute a little breast milk around the nipple. This makes the nipple shield stick to the skin better.

Now you can put the nipple shield on your breast as follows:

Pull the edges of the nipple shield outwards and place it centrally on the nipple. Once you've put the shield on, let go of the edges that are now resting on the skin. The shield should hold on to the nipple due to the developing negative pressure. The nipple should be in the centre of the nipple shield. Make sure that the nipple is not touching the nipple shield's funnel. If it does, your nipple shield is too small.

Once the nipple shield has been put on correctly, you should make sure that your baby is correctly latched onto the breast. It is important that your baby not only sucks on the shield but has as much of the nipple as possible in their mouth when sucking.

After breastfeeding you should ensure good hygiene and clean the nipple shields thoroughly.

Distribute any remaining milk from the nipple shield onto the nipple and allow to dry. This helps you heal irritated nipples.

 

PUMP

If your baby does not breastfeed well for various reasons or cannot drink well at the breast yet, you should stimulate milk production by pumping with a breast pump.

It is important to express for 15 minutes per breast at regular intervals of about 2 to 3 hours.

If you are breastfeeding parallel to pump, be careful not to express just before breastfeeding, but only after breastfeeding. As the let-down reflex is still active during breastfeeding, you have the best prerequisite for successful pump.

If your baby is not near you, it is advisable to look at a picture or video of them while expressing.

How long can I store breast milk?

If you want to stock up on breast milk, you should express small amounts of breast milk after breastfeeding, collect it and then freeze it.

Shelf life for breast milk:

Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept

--> At room temperature à for 6 to 8 hours

--> In the refrigerator (do not store in the door) à for 72 hours at 4°C

--> In the freezer à for 6 months at -18°C

Do not thaw frozen milk in the microwave but at room temperature. It is important to mark the frozen milk with the date it was expressed. That way you won't lose track.

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