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Home FEEDING Breastfeeding Breastfeeding in The Fourth Trimester | What to Expect?

'Calf drinks cow's milk, (hu)man drinks mother's milk!'

The above phrase may sound like a joke but family always ties by nature! To me, this quote is the first commandment in my breastfeeding bible. I learned it from my Significant Other and these beautiful words brought me very far to religiously breastfeed my son.
Mother is breastfeeding a baby in car
Most people know that mother's milk is undoubtedly far more superior than any of the top branding formula milks in the world. Produced naturally, it is a fact the best for a healthy baby. Having said that, there are many challenges encountered by new mothers especially on the first few weeks before they could establish a smooth milk flow.

For natural birth or vaginal delivery mothers, their baby may obtain the supply a bit early, perhaps in day 2-5 (just an estimate, it may differ from individual to individual) after delivery. However, for post Caesarian-sect mothers, the milk supply may arrive a bit later in day 3-6 (again, merely a figure). Despite of the delay in milk delivery, newborns are able to survive for first few days on first week with consumption of nutritious colostrum that is merely about 4 ml.

First two weeks is crucial to induce milk production at the same time establish good latching. This period is a blend of the sweetest and most painful experience for some mothers. Triumph over this phase is far more satisfy than conquering the highest peak in the world! Congratulations Mommy - you are giving your baby the best gift that you could give.

After you have solved one problem, the next is knocking at the door. New mothers usually find breastfeeding is highly frequent and time-consuming during the fourth trimester. Depending on one's nursing style (either by demand - recommended by WHO or by schedule), baby is fed almost every 2-3 hours thus wishing for uninterrupted sleep or personal time is next to impossible. And be prepared that nursing one side of breast may take up to 40 minutes or more at times.

Fear not! Expressing out manually or investing in a good breast pump is one of the solutions.  Get your partner or someone else to help with bottle feeding. Introducing an artificial nipple too early may confuse the little one, therefore bottle feeding (of breast milk) is encouraged only after 2-3 weeks post-delivery. Do not get upset if the first feeding bottle and the teat did not work well. They seldom do, otherwise there will only be one size that fits all. Alternatively, opt for reclining position to nurse your precious one. Killing two birds with one stone - baby gets full and you catch some rest.

If you wish returning to work soon, do not delay the introduction of bottle feeding. Babies learn fast, after a few months of direct feeding, some babies may refuse to drink from bottle. Mix them if you need someone else to feed them. Otherwise, direct feeding is always a better option as breast milk is supplied fresh at the correct temperature, tune to demand of nutrient and antibodies as baby ages and grows. Needless to say, it is hassle-free and contamination-free which means no bottle cleaning and no interference with notorious constituents.

With a bundle of joy by your side, time flies. Without you know it, the fourth trimester is over and you are an expert in lactating. Trust me, most mothers rejoice the convenience and enjoy the overwhelming efficiency in direct breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding burns between 300-600 calories per day in addition, so you are getting back your shape too!


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