Breastfeeding: The First 6 Weeks
Breastfeeding: The First 6 Weeks (or, what you don’t remember from Pre-Natal Class!)
You spent 9 months focused on labor and delivery. Now give yourself some time for the breastfeeding learning process, for both you and your baby. After all, neither of you have done this before! Breastfeeding takes time and you learn it by doing it…and doing it, and doing it. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the first few weeks. Think of a large marble… This is roughly the size of a newborn’s stomach. With that in mind, your baby needs to eat about 12-15 times in 24 hours (in other words, your baby is not eating more often than others!!). And if you have concerns about producing enough milk to keep up to this demand, don’t. What your baby takes, your body makes – you will have enough milk! Ouch!! Yes, breastfeeding may hurt and cause sore nipples in the first few days, but it should not hurt for the whole feeding or over a period of a few days or longer. If pain persists, don’t “tough it out” – seek help! Roughly 95% of the time, the solution to sore nipples comes by improving your latch. Yikes…are these my breasts?! Didn’t think your breasts could ever be this big? Feel like they’re as hard as Mount Everest with veins as big as marked trails? Not to worry, they will settle down after the first few days, and then when you’ve established a regular nursing schedule, they’ll settle down in size and weight again (and they won’t act like that leaky faucet in your bathroom anymore!). In the meantime, enjoy your cleavage! Make peace with dust bunnies Let dust bunnies and dirty dishes become your friends for the first few weeks. The world will not stop if you have a messy house or do not make a 4 course dinner every night. Now is the time to concentrate on your baby; to get to know one another, learn to read their cues, sing silly songs, whatever. And never hesitate to ask for help or accept it when offered. Friends and family are marvelous at folding laundry, making meals, running to the store… Shhhh…listen to your instincts If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, nap. If you want to wear pajamas all day, do. If you’re too tired to welcome visitors, defer. In other words, it’s essential to take care of yourself as well as your baby in these first few weeks – you are doing important work! Mastering the new normal By about 6 weeks, you and your baby will have learned breastfeeding and have settled into somewhat of a routine. Life will feel more familiar again, your breasts will look more familiar again, and suddenly, your family is the new familiar! So remember, breastfeeding takes time. Give yourself and your baby time to transition, to learn, to relax, and to fall in love.
Tips for Finding a Nursing Bra
Mom’s Most Supportive Friend
5 things to look for to fit the perfect nursing bra
The burps, the leaks, the sleepness nights – and then the baby arrives! And when that little one gets here, a well-fitted, comfortable and easy to use nursing bra can be a new mom’s new best friend.
The ideal time to be fitted for a nursing bra is a few weeks before your due date. Because your breasts have been preparing to nurse during your entire pregnancy, you’ve likely experienced some fullness or size increase. Every woman is different as to when and how much she experiences, but purchasing a nursing bra close to your due date will give you the most accurate prediction of your nursing size. During pregnancy, you’ll only need a new bra if you find your pre-pregnancy bras getting snug or uncomfortable. If that happens, most women just choose to buy a nursing bra instead of a regular bra, since nursing bras generally give you more room to grow, and you’ll be able to use them after the baby is born as well.
When you’re trying on nursing bras, the first thing you want to make sure of is that the bra is sitting just right on your body. To do that, once you have the bra on, bend over, and reach your right hand into your left cup, cup your breast, and lift it into place in the bra. Do the same for the other side. This ensures that all your breast tissue is correctly placed in the cups, and none is being constricted by the bottom band or sides of the bra – which is especially important if you’re nursing, because constant pressure in one spot could lead to soreness or infection. And frankly, the girls need all the TLC they can get at this point!
Once you have the bra on, there are several things you can look for to ensure it is just the right size and fits your body well:
1) Scope out the rib band
The band should be sitting evenly all around (level to the floor) in the front and back. If you find it’s riding up in the back, first make sure the straps are properly released to your comfort; and if it’s still riding up, then try a smaller band size. You should be able to run one or two fingers comfortably under the band. If you can’t, the band is too tight – go up a rib band. If you can run more than two fingers, the band is too loose – go down a rib band.
2) Check out the straps
Adjust the straps to your comfort, so that they’re not digging in or providing support. A good test is to let them drop over your shoulders – the cups and rib band should stay in place without them. If they don’t, the bra is likely too big.
3) Make sure your cups don’t runneth over…or under
When looking at the cups, see if there is any gaping, puckering, or extra fabric. If so, the cup is too big, and you should try a smaller cup size. The cups should cover the breast fully. Breasts should not be bulging out of the top or sides – do a finger test at the top to make sure you have a little room. Another thing to look for is where the seams lie in the cups (if the bra has seams), and to make sure they run to the sides of your nipples for your comfort.
4) A new meaning to easy access
Another important thing to try is the nursing closures on the bra. They should be easy to operate once you get used to them (most closures take a few tries to get the hang of). Bend over and wiggle around a bit to make sure they don’t open spontaneously. Better to find out now, instead of when you’re leaning over to grab some cereal from the bottom grocery store shelf! Needless to say – don’t buy it if it does that.
5) Overall look and feel
Last but definitely not least, think about whether the bra is comfortable and if you feel supported. Is anything bothering you? Do you find any of the seams irritating or any of the fabric scratchy? Make sure to move around in the bra to ensure it stays put (that the rib band doesn’t ride up, the straps don’t fall off). As well, put your top on over your bra, and look at yourself in profile to see your shape. Are you getting the silhouette that you want? Do the nursing closures lie flat under your clothing?
And remember, today; you don’t have to sacrifice a stylish bra for comfort and function – that is after all, why Bravado Designs began as a company! Whether it’s white, leopard print or anything in between; fabulous, comfortable, and well-fitted nursing bras are an indispensable part of your new mom wardrobe.
If you have any questions about whether your bra is working for you, recommendations on what styles might work best for your needs, or for help in sizing, our Bravado Designs sizing specialists are always available at 1-800-590-7802. Or, find more information about which bra is right for you at www.bravadodesigns.com.