when will breastmilk come in

When does breastmilk come in?

Wait, what? What do I mean “when does breastmilk come in?”

Breastmilk production is actually a bit of a process. Your body produces a variety of milk dependent on the stage that your baby is at. While this is something that your body will naturally do it does take some time and work.

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    Colostrum

    The first milk that your body will create is called “Colostrum”. This milk is low in fat and carbohydrates (which are hard for your baby to digest in those first days), and high in protein. It’s easy to digest and contains what your baby needs to create temporary protection until his immune system begins to develop on its own. It also acts as a laxative to help your baby pass meconium.

    Colostrum is thicker than the breastmilk you’ll start producing in a couple of weeks and can be yellow, orange, or even pink!

    Here’s the super cool thing about colostrum: your body starts to produce it during your pregnancy. You can actually start collecting and freezing colostrum before your baby comes so that they get an extra boost of this invaluable milk.

    Grab some syringes from your local pharmacy and hand express colostrum into the syringe. You won’t collect much (a couple of ml at a time). Make sure to date it and freeze it in a freezer bag. You can give this to your baby in the first days unthawed directly through the syringe.

    When it comes to how to breastfeed one of the first steps is knowing when your milk comes in! Find out everything you need to know here

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    So, when will my breastmilk come in?

    Your colostrum will start to change to breastmilk at around 2-6 days after birth.

    It takes a couple of weeks for your breastmilk to fully come in.

    During this first two weeks you might find that your breasts feel FULL! Some mothers experience only a bit of this fullness while others feel as if they’re going to burst. This is due to blood flow increasing to the breasts as well as swelling of tissue.

    It’s important during this time to make sure that you’re feeding your baby frequently. Not only will this relieve the congestion and reduce that feeling of engorgement, but it will also stimulate your milk production.

    Some other ways to relieve the pressure are:

    -Apply warm compresses to the breasts

    -Express some milk between feedings

    -Use an ice pack to reduce swelling

    -Gently massage the engorged area

    -Apply cabbage leaves

    -Wear a properly supporting bra or tank

    There are times when a mother will become so engorged that she finds it difficult to latch her baby on. In this case try hand expressing or pumping a bit of milk to soften the breast tissue and allow baby to draw out the milk to empty the breast.

    Will I be engorged for as long as I’m breastfeeding?

    As your body begins to stabilize and figure out how much your baby needs (yep-your body can do that. Amazing, eh?) you’ll find that your breasts become softer.

    This is confusing to some women because it feels like you can no longer feel the milk in the breasts, and many women start to wonder if they are no longer producing enough milk.

    If your baby is having 6-8 wet diapers and 2-5 poops a day you can be assured that you do have enough milk. If this is not the case you may need to try some different strategies to increase your milk supply.

    How do I get my breastmilk to come in?

    Frequent nursing is key to bringing your breastmilk in. It’s advised to breastfeed your baby at least every two hours, but it’s best to keep one eye on the clock and one eye on your baby. If your baby is showing signs of hunger before two hours feed her whenever there’s a slight indication she may want to feed. If she’s gone for two hours without feeding wake her up (tickle her feet, blow on her neck, take off her clothes) to give her some milk.

    Skin to skin contact is also an important step in establishing your breastmilk supply. GET NAKED! Seriously, as often as possible strip that baby down to a diaper and get yourself topless to cuddle and nurse your baby.

    This is why it’s so important to ask potential visitors to always check in with you before visiting-you need to be 100% at ease and comfortable in your surroundings. Feeling like you can focus comfortably on your baby without having to worry about the distraction of visitors or other duties/obligations for a few weeks will be a major aid in helping your breastmilk come in.

    In short, the answer to “when will my breastmilk come in?” is approximately two weeks for your mature milk to come in. In those two weeks, you get to watch the miraculous transition from colostrum to breastmilk while potentially enjoying a very, very full cup size!

    online resources

    Online Resources for Pregnant and New Moms

    There are so many online resources for pregnant and new moms!

    This Covid-19 Pandemic is really forcing us to appreciate the technology that we currently have. Many of the resources that we were once able to seek out locally have now become online resources, adding to a massive list of virtual services available!

    It’s pretty amazing, actually!

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      Why consider online resources for pregnant and new moms?

      Right now we’re in a position where most of us aren’t straying far from home. If we are it’s to utilize “essential services”, such as grocery shopping and doctor appointments. While the resources that you require during pregnancy and the postpartum period are definitely, in my opinion, essential you can probably now find a lot of them online!

      Online resources for pregnant and new moms are just as informative and impactful as in-person, they’re just in a format that many of us aren’t used to utilizing (yet). Take a look below and see what things might be useful to you! I bet you’ll find something:) Some of these are free, some are paid, and some I am an affiliate for (which means that if you click on the link I may receive compensation at no cost to you).

      All resources are important, but online resources for pregnant and new moms are super important in our modern society! Check them out here!


      Let me know if there is something that needs to be added so that I can update this based on what you’re looking for!

      Online Resources for Pregnant Women

      Mental Health

      Postpartum Support International

      Omama mental health resource guide

      ThriveWell Online Counselling

      Nicole Chambers Counselling

      Prenatal Classes:

      Preparing to Feed Your Baby

      Mission Prenatal Birth Classes

      Ridge Meadows Childbirth Classes

      Babycentre Mini course

      Voyage Birth Prenatal Classes

      Hynobirthing Classes

      Porcupine Prenatal Class

      Prenatal Breastfeeding Class

      Exercise:

      Prenatal Dance Class

      Prenatal Yoga Centre Prenatal yoga

      Bloom Online Prenatal Exercise

      StudioFitRx Online Exercise Program

      Healthcare:

      Healthcare Database

      Healthy Families

      General prenatal information:

      Preparing for your Baby prenatal course

      OHSU Nutrition During Pregnancy

      Meal Planning after Baby

      Buying for your baby

      Facebook groups:

      Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Newborn questions answered

      Pregnancy Corner

      First Time Pregnant Support

      Online Resources for New Moms

      online resources for new moms

      Mental Health

      Postpartum Mental Health Support

      Postpartum Support International

      Smart Patients Online Support Group

      100 Days of…. Online Community

      RePose Online Counselling

      Nicole Chambers Counselling

      Postpartum Support

      Modern Day Hippie Mama virtual support

      Healthy Families

      Baby’s Best Chance

      Breastfeeding

      Mama Nurse

      Breastfeeding Helpline

      La Leche League

      Medela Ask the LC

      Sleep Consultant

      Taking Cara Babies Sleep Consultant

      Chasing Sleep

      Little Wink Sleep

      Little Big Dreamers

      Exercise

      Mom and Baby yoga

      Little Adventures Company

      Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

      Fit4Mom Postnatal Classes

      General Postpartum

      How to Feed Your Baby Workshop

      TinyHood Postpartum Nutrition

      Safe Beginnings Infant CPR

      Class Central baby nutrition

      AuPair Care Nanny Help

      Positive baby clothes

      Easy Meal Prep

      Facebook Groups

      Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Newborn Questions Answered

      New Moms, Moms to be, and Experienced Moms

      New and First Time Mommy Support Group

      Do you have anything to add to the online resources for pregnant and new moms?

      does it hurt to deliver your placenta social media photo

      Does it hurt to deliver your placenta?

      You’ve just had your baby and your newborn is on your chest. You’re absolutely enamored and don’t see anything else in the room. The pain of birth has momentarily become non-existent. Then, the midwife says it’s time to deliver your placenta.

      Are you scared to give birth?

      Turn your fear into confidence with these 10 tips from a Mama who’s done it 4 times.

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        OK, seriously?! Isn’t one thing coming out of your vagina enough for today?

        Delivering your placenta

        Your midwife will ask you if you want to go with active management or physiological management.

        Active management is when you get a little injection of oxytocin into your thigh that helps the womb contract and the placenta move away from the uterine wall. It can take up to around half an hour for the placenta to be ready to be delivered. It’s the recommended way of delivering your placenta for most healthcare professionals.

        Physiological management is when you let nature take its course. It can take around an hour for your placenta to be delivered this way. If the placenta has not come after that hour or you experienced heavy blood loss you will probably be encouraged to have active management to move things along.

        If you haven’t been able to deliver your placenta within half an hour of active management and an hour of physiological management you will likely be diagnosed with retained placenta (when your placenta remains in the womb), but that’s not very common.

        Does it hurt to deliver your placenta?

        After your baby is born you have to deliver your placenta. Childbirth is a tad uncomfortable, but does it hurt to deliver the afterbirth?

        Your midwife will offer some guidance while you deliver your placenta. They will likely pull gently at the umbilical cord (which is no longer attached to your baby) while you push just like you did with your baby.

        It’s very likely that you’ll be able to hold your baby while you do this, but if you feel more comfortable this may be a good time for baby to have some skin-to-skin with Dad.

        You’ll definitely feel your placenta being delivered, but really, your vagina just spat out a baby…a squishy placenta is nothing! It’s actually a bit of a neat feeling as it passes.

        What happens next?

        Ooooh, well, THIS is the part that is not as comfortable. You’re about to get the worst, most important massage of your life.

        After you deliver your placenta you’ll get a fundal massage. This is when your midwife will knead your uterus (on top of your belly) to get rid of blood, clots, and everything else that needs to not be in your body after birth. If this is not done your chance of postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding after birth) is increased. You can read all about it in this post.

        This won’t last long, and it is uncomfortable, but it’s really important.

        Once that’s complete your perineum will be assessed to see if you need any sutures. Don’t worry, you’ll be given an anesthetic for that and won’t feel a thing.

        After that, you’re all done!

        Now, you need to deal with hemorrhoids, perineal healing, and after pains (to name a few). These next few weeks of healing are important, Mama. Make sure you’re giving yourself time to rest!

        Are you feeling a bit better about having to deliver your placenta knowing it’s not super painful?

        social media sex positions after having a baby

        7 best sex positions after having a baby

        Being pregnant you realized that sex with a big, beautiful belly in front of you required some maneuvering and navigating. Now, having just had given birth you’re finding that the same need for adjustments still applies and you’re looking for some sex positions after having a baby that will work for you.

        There’s a fair bit to consider when you’re thinking about having sex again after you’ve had a baby. Just because your doctor gave you the go ahead at your 6 week check up (pleaseeeeeeeee make sure you do this before you have intercourse again) doesn’t mean that you’re ready to have sex again. Check out this post to learn about the reasons that you might want to wait to have sex and make sure that you’re ready to go!

        For those of you who know you’re ready (and who know your partner is SO freakin’ ready) then let’s go ahead and talk about sex positions after having a baby!

        First things first, grab your lube. Even if you don’t end up needing it, it’s a good thing to have on hand. Second, get ready to hear funny sounds, smell funny smells, and laugh. Your mattress dancing routine may have never been humorous in the past, but sex after having a baby is a whole new ballgame…so keep an open mind!

        7 best sex positions after having a baby

        (Please excuse the poor pictures. I’m a Postpartum Doula…not a graphic designer…clearly.)

        There's a lot you have to consider when you're having sex after birth, including the best sex positions after having a baby!

        Mutual understanding

        It can be a bit freaky deaky to delve right into sex positions after having a baby. You might want to take some time to re-learn your body and find out what feels great and what is a little more uncomfortable.

        Mutual masturbation allows for you to have the intimacy with your partner that you’re both looking for while allowing you to have an opportunity to get comfortable with the idea of sex again.

        sex positions after having a baby-mutual masturbation

        Oral Care

        When you’re comfortable and feeling confident you can have your partner perform some cunnilingus on you. It’s a good way to gently have your partner involved in the exploration of your postpartum body. Having them include putting their fingers in your vagina can help you get used to communicating with them about any discomforts when it comes to penetrative sex.

        7 best sex positions after having a baby -oral sex

        Women on top!

        When it comes to ideal sex positions after having a baby anything that puts you in control of depth and speed is the best. When you’re on top of your partner you can gauge what feels best for you and adjust accordingly.

        7 best sex positions after having a baby-woman on top

        Ride ’em, Mama!

        While having the utmost control may allow you to get maximum pleasure there may still be some discomfort when it comes to your perineum. Try reversing the “Women on Top” position to give your penis-perineum contact a new perspective.

        Big spoon, Mama spoon

        Reducing the depth that your partner can achieve might help make things more comfortable for your pelvic floor. Laying down and spooning allows for a more shallow penetration. This position is particularly great if you’re recovering from a cesarean birth so as to alleviate the pressure that’s put on your scar tissue.

        Pressure’s off

        Your body doesn’t want to have the weight of another human on it after 9 million months of enduring the weight of another human in it.

        Position yourself so that you are on the end of the bed so that your partner can stand while penetrating you. It might help to put some pillows under your belly so that your body can rest on those.

        So fucked and so clean!

        Alright, sorry about the F-bomb here, but sometimes it needs to happen.

        If one of the obstacles that you’re experiencing is a strong let down while you’re having sex and aren’t enjoying the clean up after why not overcome that hurdle while finally having that shower you’ve been meaning to have.

        Having sex in the shower will allow that breastmilk that’s leaking to be washed away so you don’t have to worry about it. You can also prevent the occurrence of leaks during intercourse by wearing a nursing bra with breast pads in them (you can get some pretty darn sexy ones here).

        Bonus position: Cuddle up

        The thing about intimacy is that it doesn’t always mean penetrative sex. Sometimes, intimacy with your partner entirely means cuddling up and enjoying each other’s company. Discuss with your partner and define what intimacy means to each of you and how you can make sure that both people’s needs are being met, especially during this postpartum period where things are a bit chaotic.

        best sex positions after having a baby cuddle up

        There are a few sex positions after having a baby to get you started. Start slow and communicate with your partner.

        (Click below to get a checklist and make sure you’re read to have sex after having a baby!)

        Spending this intimate time together is so important when you have a new baby. What does that mean to you? Are you a Ride ’em, Mama or is Cuddle Up working for you right now?

        Check out 7 Best Sex Positions for Parents once you’re all healed up and ready to get back into no holds barred (except for making sure you’re not going to get caught and everything around the house is done and the children are fast asleep) PARENT SEX!!

        bathe with my newborn

        Can you have a bath with your newborn?

        If you’re like so many women you find having a bath to be a calm and relaxing experience. You enjoyed it when you were pregnant (even if your belly was never immersed in the water and was always a little bit cold) and now you’re wondering if you can have a bath with your newborn as part of the bonding process.

        Great question!

        Ultimately, the answer is “Yes, you can have a bath with your newborn”, however, there are a few exceptions to that rule that you should take into consideration.

        Why would you have a bath with your newborn?

        There are many reasons why someone would want to bring their baby into a bath with them:

        -It provides a lovely skin-to-skin bonding experience. Most often, skin-to-skin happens with a baby’s diaper ON (for obvious reasons) but it’s nice for those tiny tushies to take a break from being diapered. A little baby pee in the bath isn’t going to hurt anyone, but try and time the bath for after a poop because that is less than pleasant. #iknowfromexperience

        -The warmth of the bath promotes milk flow. If you’re trying to get your milk going you’ll get the warmth, the skin-to-skin and the oxytocin release from spending intentional time with your baby that will contribute to milk production.

        -Having a bath with your baby allows for a muti-purpose experience. Not only are you enjoying the relaxation and bonding mentioned above, but you can also take this opportunity to clean your baby! Make sure you have the soaps you need and a baby wipe within close reach.

        -You can get your baby used to water. Eventually, you’re going to want to visit the swimming pool or explore a lake and having a water-loving kiddo is always a bonus in those circumstances.

        How do you have a bath with your baby?

        Make sure that the bathtub is clean.

        Fill the tub with warm water, but remember that your baby can’t withstand the temperatures that you can on their sensitive skin. Feel the water temperature with the inside of your wrist to make sure that it’s not too hot.

        Put your baby on the bathmat beside the tub while you undress, and then undress them. Keep a towel underneath them to use when you’re ready to get out. Make sure there’s one handy for you, too!

        Get yourself in the bath first, and then reach over and pick up your baby to bring them into the tub.

        Avoid chemicals and highly fragranced oils, bubble bath, etc.

        When you’re ready to get out carefully place your baby on the towel while you’re still in the bath. Then, get yourself out of the tub.

        When can’t you do this?

        There are a few times when you shouldn’t have a bath with your newborn:

        1. The World Health Organization recommends waiting at least 24 hours after birth to give your baby their first bath. This is due to several reasons:

        -Your baby is not able to regulate their body temperature quite yet. The differences in temperature between a warm bath and the cold air afterward can cause them to lose their body heat.

        -Babies have a coating of vernix and amniotic fluid on them that act as a barrier for infection. Removing this makes them more vulnerable to their environment.

        -You’re going to want to enjoy that new baby smell for as long as possible. Not only is it the most pleasant whiff of another human that you’re ever going to take, but it serves a purpose as well; the smell of your baby encourages bonding between the baby and the mother.

        2. If you have had a cesarean or if you have stitches in your perineum

        You have a wound, and getting into a potentially not-completely clean bathtub can open that wound up to infection. You’ll have to wait approximately 6 weeks to have a bath (amongst other things) until you are fully healed before you can safely head into that bath (make sure to talk to your midwife or doc before doing this). In the meantime, stick with a Sitz bath that goes over the toilet seat that can be sanitized a bit easier.

        3. If you’re extremely tired or under the influence of drugs/alcohol/medications that can make you drowsy

        You’re probably quite sleep-deprived right now. While it may seem really appealing to have a nice relaxing bath with your baby you need to be very self-aware of your level of consciousness. If you’re feeling really tired or have recently taken something that might be causing drowsiness do not get into the bath with your baby. The warmth, the calm, the quiet…it’s all a perfect mixture for sleepiness. Tragedy could result from you falling asleep in the bathtub while holding your baby so only get into the bathtub if you’re feeling awake and alert.

        4. Your baby’s umbilical stump hasn’t fallen off yet. It’s best to give them sponge baths until then!

        Ultimately, the decision to have a bath with your baby is dependent on your stage in postpartum, physical circumstances, and most importantly, your comfort level!

        postpartum depression in men

        Postpartum Depression in men?

        The awareness surrounding Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in new moms is increasing. However, we’re still a bit behind when it comes to Postpartum Depression in men.

        When a woman becomes pregnant she will quite often have discussions about Postpartum Depression before the baby is even born so that she knows the signs and symptoms to look out for. There are loads of free resources in every community throughout North America and there seems to be an increasing general duty felt by friends and family of women who have just had a baby to make sure that their mental health isn’t struggling.

        The American Psychological Association estimates that 1 in 7 women develop Postpartum Depression. At numbers this high it’s important that light is being brought to how to identify and treat Postpartum Depression, however, the statistics for Postpartum Depression in men aren’t that much lower and yet we don’t tend to talk about it.

        What is Postpartum Depression in men?

        Postpartum Depression in men is like Postpartum Depression in women. The Journal of the American Medical Association released a study in 2010 that indicated that around 10% of men experienced Postpartum Depression.

        Postpartum Depression in men can occur anytime from after his child is born to up to 2 years after.

        There is no known cause of Postpartum Depression, however it is most likely caused by a number of factors that vary from person to person. They can include (but are not limited to):

        -Crying baby

        -Severe sleep loss

        -Changes in life roles

        -Overwhelm

        -Predisposition to depression (genetically)

        -Social shifts

        -Lack of support

        -Isolation

        -Being present for a traumatic birth

        -Feeling excluded in bonding between Mom and baby

        -Financial concerns

        A major role is hormones. While a woman experiences hormonal shifts in Prolactin, Cortisol, HGG, Progesterone, Estrogen, etc. men will often experience a shift in their Testosterone. This shift is explained in this fascinating article and can contribute to the onset or increase of symptoms of Postpartum Depression in men.

        What are the symptoms?

        We're growing increasingly aware of Postpartum Depression in new Moms, but here's what you need to know about Postpartum Depression in men.

        The symptoms of Postpartum Depression in men are similar in some ways but also very different in others:

        -Increase in anger and confrontational behavior

        -Increased use of alcohol or drugs

        -Becoming violent

        -Frustration and irritability

        -Crying or feelings of sadness for no reason

        -Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

        -Involving self in reckless behavior

        -Fatigue, headaches, pain

        -Significant weight loss or weight gain

        -Overworking

        -Lack of concentration or focus

        -Loss of interest in hobbies

        -Becoming cynical of self

        These are symptoms that Dad might see in himself, or it may be Mom, friends, or family who sees the changes in behavior.

        Taking the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale will give some insight into the symptoms.

        What do you do about Postpartum Depression in men?

        Unfortunately, there’s an expectation amongst men to be “manly and macho” which often deters them from seeking the help that they need to help overcome their challenges.

        The first step is finding someone to talk to who’s trusted. This could be a partner, a friend, a parent, a sibling- it just needs to be someone who Dad can express his feelings and concerns to.

        It can also be difficult for some men to take the time to take care of themselves when a new baby is welcomed to the home. A woman is dealing with physically healing from the birth of the child and Dad often feels compelled to take on a lot more. While it’s important that Mom rests her body after childbirth it’s also important that Dad take care of himself, too. Exercise, eating well, drinking water, getting out and chatting with a friend can all help Dad reduce the stress and pressure of being a new Dad.

        It can be hard to ask for help, but it can be even harder to take the help that’s offered. When help in any form is offered from a support system, take it! Seriously. TAKE IT!

        If the symptoms of Postpartum Depression are persisting it’s advised to go see a doctor. They can offer resources and discuss if treatment in the form of medication or counselling might be an option.

        Are there resources available?

        Yes!

        Talking to your healthcare provider is a great way to get access to local organizations and resources that will be able to offer support for Postpartum Depression in men.

        This support can often be offered on the phone through a society such as Pacific Postpartum, through support groups in the community (which are often held at the local hospital or public health unit), support communities online, or individual counselling.

        The route that is taken is dependent on the individual’s comfort level and what they feel would be most beneficial to them.

        It’s important to develop an awareness and understanding of Postpartum Depression in men. We’re making great progress when it comes to promoting information regarding mental health issues, especially amongst women in the postpartum period, however, it’s crucial that we draw attention to the men who are experiencing struggles with their mental health in the postpartum period, as well.