When Does Breastfeeding Get Easier?
We know — you're freaking out! Many new moms realize that breastfeeding can be harder than it’s cracked up to be, but don’t give up now. It does get easier.
The first few days may be tough because your milk may not have come in, but it usually does within a couple days. You and baby may also have trouble getting the latch right, which can be painful and frustrating! Often, all it takes is a little bit of practice, but it’s also smart to call a pro — baby's pediatrician, a lactation consultant or a postpartum doula or nurse — to help you both get the hang of it. The earlier you can correct a problem, the more likely you and baby are to get back on track.
Remember that breast milk production is based on supply and demand — baby’s feeding prompts your body to keep making milk, so it’s important to keep nursing frequently. Especially in the beginning, when you’re establishing your milk supply. If for any reason you supplement with a bottle of formula, pump some milk at that time, so your body keeps up with baby’s appetite. If you feel like all you’re doing is feeding your newborn, you’re actually doing it right! Don’t worry, he’ll get more efficient, and feedings will take up less of your time in the coming weeks and months.
“I’m a pediatrician and I’ve cried many times with my three kids due to breastfeeding frustrations the first two weeks,” says Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach, MD, pediatrician at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois. “By a few weeks postpartum, the babies and I both ‘got it.’” Other moms we know pretty much agree that breastfeeding got easier by three to four weeks, so hang in there, talk to other breastfeeding mamas on our breastfeeding board and call in a lactation consultant if it’s not working quite right. You can do it!
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