Patience is a virtue, but in motherhood, it's required...
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
Catchy title right?
I mean I'm sure it got your attention if anything... but it's so true! It is especially true during the first month of your baby's life. Even though they are adorable bundles of joy that haven't learned to walk/run, grab, and say "no" yet--- they are learning and definitely need a lot of patience!
Newborn babies sleep a lot — just not all at one time. Expect your baby to sleep about 14 to 17 hours a day or more, but also waking frequently for feedings. It can be up to 19 or 20 or under 14, though the National Sleep Foundation says newborns need 14 to 17 hours.
The "average" newborn sleeps about 16.5 hours between daytime and nighttime snoozing, though there's a wide range of what's normal.
Most babies sleep opposite our schedules, they don't have really any insight into the cycles of light and dark. Plus, if you remember when you were pregnant, your baby was 'sleeping' mostly during the day because your movement rocked them to sleep, and was (as much to your frustration) super active at night! They haven't quite switched from that yet, but they will eventually.
However, don't expect them to sleep fully through the night. Your baby's tummy is small and they need to eat frequently. Additionally, if you go too long without feeding, your milk supply may take a bit of a hit!
When people ask "Is she/he sleeping through the night yet?", it stresses parents out. This is because it makes them feel like they are doing something wrong ( or there is something wrong) with their baby and therefore puts unrealistic expectations into parent's heads.
So even if your baby is older, it is okay they are not sleeping through the night!
Further, your baby will reach certain milestones throughout the first month.
Your baby is developing motor skills and building muscles to be able to function outside of the womb. They will start with lifting their head briefly during supervised tummy time, then be able to focus on a face, and will then learn to bring their hands to their face, and learn to suckle!
Each of these milestones will take time, so don't expect everything to happen all at once!
While babies do have the innate reflex to breastfeed, it can take some time to fully nail down because it is a learned behavior! What we mean by this is that they have to learn how to suckle and pull out milk effectively and efficiently. They have to figure out the coordination of breaths while also building their muscles to be able to effectively breastfeed.
Most resources didn't tell you that it can take a full month before you and your baby establish a good latch. Just as much as you need to learn and use 'trial and error' to figure out what the heck to do, so does your baby. Even for moms that have had babies before, just because she has been-there-done-that, her baby will still need time to learn a 'good latch'.
Some mama/baby duo's may take less time, and that's okay too! But always remember to never compare ourselves to other mamas.
Because this information is at times difficult to find, many Mamas become overwhelmed and stop breastfeeding within their first month postpartum.
And we're not talking supplementing with formula while still trying to breastfeed--- that is a whole different group of women and topic entirely.
I am saying, these women completely stopped breastfeeding because 'no one told them it would be this hard... '
Did you know, the majority of problems that women face while breastfeeding can be helped by seeing a lactation specialist? If this is you, you are not alone. For this reason, you most likely have yet to see a lactation specialist. It's possible that you may have never been referred to one either.
OR: You DID see a lactation specialist, however, the meeting was brief and left you feeling worse than you did walking in. You didn't feel like you had the time to truly discuss your issue, or get to the real reason behind it all. You didn't feel like the lactation specialist had the time, or truly cared about your success with breastfeeding.
If you struggled with breastfeeding and wish you knew this information OR
if patience isn't your strength let us know!
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading and as always...
Your health today is a LIFETIME of health for you AND your baby.
Until next time!
Coaches Cassie and Mikayla
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