It’s completely normal to have a barrage of worries as a new mom, especially in the early days, when you’re trying to figure out whether breastfeeding is going to work for you and your baby. Here, Toronto-based lactation consultant Taya Griffin spills the milk on what her clients are most surprised by:
1. Crusty nipples
One of the most common questions in pregnancy is, “So…what is up with the crusty substance covering my nipples—it looks like my nipples already have scabs?!” Don’t worry. The crust-like, sometimes yellow substance is simply tiny amounts of colostrum, the first milk, which leaks out and dries on the nipple. Some pregnant mothers may leak enough to require a breast pad, others may be able to hand express and get a few drops out, while others may never notice any signs of milk before giving birth.
2. Is she getting enough?
The resounding, most frequent worry is always, “How do I know that my baby is getting enough milk?” Your doctor or midwife may tell you to track diaper output; you may also be fixated on weight gain. We can also confirm that the baby is getting enough milk by simply watching what a newborn does at the breast. Your care provider should show you the difference between a suck and a drink, and help you adjust your latch to increase drinking.
3. Is nursing to sleep OK?
In the first few weeks, a baby constantly falling asleep at the breast could signal trouble. The baby may not be transferring milk well due to a poor latch, then falls asleep due to lack of flow. But if your baby is drinking well and falls asleep while nursing, this can be heavenly. Sure, your non-breastfeeding partner may have to work out his or her own way to put the baby to sleep, but it’s not a necessity. Enjoy the sweet babyhood for as long as possible.