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Breastfeeding Support

Whether you are a first-time mom or becoming a mother again, you are about to experience one of the most amazing, rewarding and challenging times of your life.  As you know, your baby needs nourishment to grow. Ultimately you will decide which feeding method is best for you and your baby. If you choose to provide breast milk for your baby, there are many ways to do this either by exclusively nursing at the breast, providing breast milk in a bottle, or providing some breast milk with formula.

We want to provide you with some tips to help guide you along this journey should you choose to breastfeed.

Stages of Milk Composition

Colostrum (First stage of Milk)

  • Early days after birth
  • Small amount, thick, yellow, sticky
  • Protein rich, low fat, low sugar, packed with antibodies
  • Natural laxative effect to help initiate those early stools
  • Breasts will feel soft with colostrum

Transitional Milk

  • Produced on average day 3-4 after birth (when milk comes in) until 10-14 days
  • Creamy milk after colostrum
  • More calories and larger volume than colostrum
  • Breasts will feel fuller/larger
  • You may experience engorgement.  This can make latching the baby to the breast more challenging, as the nipple may become short as the breast tissue around it becomes harder.  Seek help, if you are having difficulty.

Mature Milk

  • Produced toward the end of the second week
  • Thinner and more watery (sometimes appears blueish)
  • Constantly changing for babies needs
  • Changes flavors to what mom is eating

Milk Production

  • The only way your body knows that there is a baby to feed is by removing the milk. 
  • The best breast pump is your baby – the baby is much better at removing breast milk than any artificial breast pump.  This is, of course, if the baby is latching.
  • You can produce more milk by frequently and efficiently removing milk.

Self-Care

  • One of the most important things that you can do for your baby is to make sure you are well taken care of.
  • We are not meant to do this alone.  Use the support people around you!
  • Let your support system do anything and everything – they can do the grocery shopping, the laundry, prepare food, burp, diaper, rock and clean the baby – while you sleep, shower, or take a little time for yourself. 
  • Let them be the gate keeper for visitors.  You will need to rest any chance that you can get.

Resources

Llli.org La Leche League International
Lowmilksupply.org Diane West and Lisa Marasco’s website
Kellymom.com Kelly Bonyata’s website
Breastfeedinginc.ca Jack Newman’s website
Zipmilk.org Breastfeeding support in your area (by zip code)
Vitalvillage.org Breastfeeding groups calendar
New England OB-GYN – We offer twice weekly breastfeeding groups for new moms and one-on-one appointments for moms that need more help breastfeeding.  All groups and appointments are with our Certified Lactation Counselor and Nurse Practitioner Jen Harper.  Our triage nurses can also help evaluate any problems over the phone and schedule an appointment if necessary.
Breastfeeding Support Groups – There are many breastfeeding support groups in your community, many of which are free and open to all moms.