After having a baby, breastfeeding can always be hard for the first couple of weeks, but it can also get easier eventually. So you need to know everything about breastfeeding. Regardless of whether you’re a few days into breastfeeding or you’ve made it past a couple of weeks, having enough information about breastfeeding can give you peace of mind.
You see, while some moms are either concerned about continuous nursing and cluster feeding others want to know when breastfeeding gets easier. This is because of the many challenges moms experience while breastfeeding. This article explains when breastfeeding becomes easier.
Understanding breastfeeding during the first few months
The newborn will have a small stomach that can grow rapidly. This can grow from the size of an apricot when the little one is one week to the size of a big hen’s egg when they are just two weeks old.
The growth in this stomach accommodates the growing milk supply, meaning your baby can get what they need to enable them to regain their birth weight and keep on growing.
Therefore, you should expect to feed your baby every two to three hours throughout the day. On the other hand, at night you can get longer feeding gaps, such as about three to four hours or even five hours. But it’s important to keep in mind that each baby and day is different.
You see, some babies are considered to be speedy feeders and can be full in about 15 minutes, while others can feed up to an hour. For this reason, you should never compare your feeding pattern with others as they can be different.
While feeding your baby, make sure that you allow them to take as much milk as they want from one breast before offering the other, which they may or may not want.
When they are full, your baby will detach naturally and will appear so content and relaxed that they may even fall asleep. At the next feeding time, you can offer the other breast. The good way to track the side you’re feeding them from is to use an app.
That said, you should be aware that your baby will be feeding all the time, especially during the first month. This is the most demanding time when it comes to breastfeeding your baby. This is because they seem to be constantly hungry, so they feed often, like every 45 minutes.
Also, during the first month, your baby doesn’t only need to cluster feed, but they can also be fussy during the day. This can happen in the late afternoon or even early evening. This period is popularly known as the witching hour, which is the time when babies seem to be unhappy during this time. Thankfully, this can last until 3 or 4 months, but many babies usually do better before that time.
Babies should feed regularly so that they can initiate and build the milk supply in the first month. This can create a good foundation for a great milk supply for the future.
Besides this, your baby also wants to be in contact with you because the sounds and bright lights of the outside world can appear intimidating at first. This is the reason they need to be in contact with you so that they can stay calm.
The challenges with breastfeeding
Before breastfeeding can get easier, you need to expect that it can sometimes get harder. While having a baby can be a huge change in your life, you can also be shocked by the amount of time you spend breastfeeding.
During the first one to two weeks of breastfeeding, you usually try to learn as much as your newborn. You try to figure out how to latch your little one onto the breast, you may be dealing with pumping to create milk supply, finding the easiest positions for breastfeeding, and many others.
After a couple of weeks, you can see your baby going through several growth spurts. These can usually happen around 10, 21, and 42 days, and during this period of growth spurts, you tend to use cluster feeding.
During the first few weeks or growth spurts, you should expect your baby to feed for hours at a time. This can take many moms by surprise, but you need to roll with it as it’s just temporary.
You should also expect to experience a fluctuating milk supply during this time. It means your milk supply can sometimes go up and down while your little one has growth spurts.
It’s also worth remembering that breast milk can depend on supply and demand, meaning you should always continue breastfeeding and always feed them on demand.
When breastfeeding gets easier
By now you may be wondering if breast feeding gets easier. Well, if you are tired of hearing about how difficult it can be to breastfeed your baby during the first few months, then some good news for you.
In most cases, many babies start to get a little easier after the initial 6 to 8 weeks. By this time, most babies cluster feed less, so you can feed them every hour or more throughout the evening to prepare them for the night.
The good thing with cluster feeding is that it can help you get more time to sleep or rest. Hence, after the first six weeks or so, you may not breastfeed your baby regularly, and having small breaks can make things a little easier.
Even better, by three months, it can usually get better. Most babies get a more predictable feeding routine when they are about three months old. Most of these babies can feed more quickly, and even the frequency of the feeding can stretch out longer or go down a little. No wonder, during this time, your breasts have usually steady milk supply and there isn’t much fluctuation.
To sum it up, keep in mind that breastfeeding can usually start fast, and it’s a big commitment. Because it can appear to be hard, many moms desire to know when it can get easier.
There is evidence that indicates that by 6 to 8 weeks babies have a more predictable time of fussiness which can become less. They even begin to smile and interact more, though they can still cluster feed.
Fortunately, this cluster feeding is not as often or for as long. When your baby is about three months, things can get much easier and better, and you can get enough sleep that you deserve.