Frequently Asked Questions - Other Early Concerns
Yes. Many mothers breastfeed in the recovery room after a Cesarean birth. The sooner you can hold your baby skin-to-skin and breastfeed, the better for both of you. If you are separated from your baby for any reason, the baby's father or another family member can hold her skin-to-skin until you are available. Because you have had major surgery, you will likely need to take pain medication. This should not interfere with breastfeeding. Ask for help to find a position that is comfortable for both you and your baby.
You do not need to eat any special foods or be concerned if you don't eat a balanced diet every day. Nature ensures that the baby gets the right amount of nutrients automatically by using vitamins stored in your body as needed. It's important for all women to eat healthy food for themselves and for their babies.
Most breastfed babies don't require a soother because they naturally get enough comfort sucking at the breast. Soothers were invented for bottle fed babies because, when full, they may need more time to suckle. During breastfeeding, suckling happens naturally because the milk flows more slowly at the end of a feeding. This gives the baby time to suckle for comfort and not get a lot of milk; her hunger and sucking needs are both met. It's an all-inclusive baby resort!
If you find that you need to use a soother, it is best to wait for at least a month before introducing it. Giving babies soothers or bottles before they have learned how to breastfeed can be confusing for them. Give your baby a chance to learn one thing at a time.
No, a breastfed baby does not require anything other than your milk. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months. Your milk will adjust to ensure that your baby gets all the fluids she needs to stay hydrated. You will likely want to drink more fluids to meet your extra fluid needs.
Legally in Canada you can nurse your baby out in public wherever you and your baby are allowed to be. Most mothers find that with a little practice they can comfortably nurse their babies in many different environments. Planning ahead with your wardrobe and stops can make it easier to relax and nurse your baby when he needs it.
Human milk is designed with all the nutrients in the right proportions for human babies. Mothers all over the world, eating many types of foods, have similar nutrients in their milk. If a mother is very malnourished her milk can have low amounts of some nutrients, but this is extemely rare in Canada.
Colostrum is the 'first milk' produced by your breasts, starting during pregnancy. It is a concentrated form of "mature milk", which is very high in protein, antibodies and other protective components that are important for your newborn. It is thicker than mature milk and often has a yellowish colour to it. It is produced in small amounts (10-100 mL/24 hours), which is perfect for your newborn's tiny tummy. The smaller volumes also give your baby a chance to learn to nurse without being overwhelmed by a large flow of milk in the first few days. These smaller feedings encourage your baby to go back to the breast often in the first few days. This frequent stimulation is what increases your milk production - a lovely and effective feedback loop!