What Mums Are Saying - questions and concerns
Pregnancy is an exciting time, and new parents want to prepare for the birth of their baby as well as they can. Whether it's going to be a home or hospital birth, you need to plan ahead.
You and your partner or support person can benefit enormously by undertaking some antenatal classes. These can help many women prepare for birth and parenthood.
New parents will have lots of questions about what is normal with breastfeeding after birthing the baby.
Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed the baby and with preparation, it is usually easier to get started.
Usually, a pregnancy lasts on average 40 weeks (38 - 42 weeks is normal). Birth is classed as premature when a baby is born before 37 weeks. When a baby is born at 36 weeks and 6 days, it is officially premature.
Some parents know they are going to have a premature baby however most times it is unexpected.
This can be a difficult period for new parents as the baby is small and cuddling baby can be restricted.
Breastfeeding is a learnt art, and new parents can benefit from a practical demonstration if possible before baby is born or very soon afterwards. Correct feeding positioning and attachment is important.
The way your baby is positioned and attached to your breast can make a huge difference between a contented, comfortable and successful feed to one which may be painful for you, and ultimately frustrating for your baby.
Most causes of nipple soreness can be resolved.
Frequent causes of sore nipples are incorrect positioning at the breast and incorrect latch.
Breastfeeding is not meant to hurt or to be painful; it may be tender in the first few days, but this should improve as feeding continues.
Nipple damage often starts in the early days and if not corrected may become so painful this will cause the mother to wean the baby.
What is a tongue tie?
There is a little piece of tissue under the tongue that anchors the tongue to the floor of the mouth Sometimes it grows too far forward and prevents the tongue from doing everything it needs to do for breastfeeding.
What is a lip tie?
Under the middle of the top lip is a piece of tissue that sometimes grows down to the top gum margin If it grows down too far, this can then prevent the top lip from flanging back while breastfeeding.
New Mums may be concerned if they have flat or inverted nipples and may wonder if they can breastfeed their new baby. An antenatal consultation with a Lactation Consultant would be advised to discuss options and techniques for feeding.
Some babies may struggle with trying to attach to an inverted or flat nipple.
All mothers and babies will have different feeding routines due to the size of the baby and the breast's ability to synthesise milk.
It's quite normal for babies to have a time in the day when they cluster feed (many short feeds over a period of time) - It's also important to allow this to happen.
Most mothers produce enough milk for their baby.
Is your baby struggling with a suck problem? Some babies may suck incorrectly or may have a weaker suck than others.
When babies are born, they know instinctively how to breastfeed however some things can affect the normal suck swallow breathe pattern for a baby. This coordination of feeding is also instinctive but may be delayed a little.
Sometimes the problem is noticed immediately at birth and sometimes not for some time.
Failure to thrive is a huge concern for new parents and can cause much distress.
Babies instinctively know how to feed and how often to feed. After the first 2-3 days, newborn babies will feed approximately 8 times a day, and this is important to establish milk supply. This frequency of feeding will continue for some months.