Is this Normal?

The truth about breastfeeding is that every baby and every mother is different. This explains why every breastfeeding relationship is unique. Learning about your baby and what is normal is a process that all parents go through.

There is no right way to breastfeed or a specific pattern of breastfeeding.

It will take a few weeks for you and your baby to learn to breastfeed.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Every mom needs help and support to get breastfeeding off to a good start.  It takes a community.

Your body has everything it needs to breastfeed, regardless of your breast or nipple shape or size.

There’s Almost No Such Thing as “Too Often” or “Too Long”

Babies breastfeeding routines change to meet their growing needs.  This means sometimes your baby nurses frequently for short, intense sessions or some days prefers long leisurely feedings; both of these are normal as long as the baby is thriving and gaining weight.  If you need more information about if your baby is getting enough food: how to know my full term infant is getting enough food – or contact your health care provider.

How much food does my baby need?

Parents often ask questions about how to know if their baby is getting enough food when breastfeeding because there is no way of “measuring” the amount of food taken from the breast.

The best way to ensure your baby is getting enough food is to understand the size of a new born’s stomach and by paying attention to the baby’s output.  As your baby grows following feeding cues and feeding on demand is important for maintaining your milk supply and meeting your baby’s food needs.

Watch for your babies cues. Your baby will tell you when they are ready to feed and when they are finished.

Did you know?

Colostrum comes out in very small quantities to match the size of your baby's stomachYour breasts are never emptyYour breast milk changes to meet your babies need at every feeding"Cluster Feeding" is common and helps build your milk supplyBreastfeeding at night helps increase your milk supply and provides protection to your baby from SIDS
Postpartum Mood Disorders are REAL

Baby Blues/Postpartum Mood Disorder

Almost 4 out of 5 moms experience postpartum blues or baby blues

Pregnancy and the birth of a baby brings physical, emotional, and social changes.  Adjustments to the new roles and relationships are not always easy.

You may:

  • Feel irritable
  • Feel exhausted
  • Feel overwhelmed
  • Feel sad and tearful
  • Have changes in your eating patterns
  • Have changes in your sleeping patterns

This is normal.

It can happen in the first few days or weeks after your baby is born. If it does not pass after the first few weeks don’t be ashamed to ask for help.

Take care of yourself!

Let family & friends help you

Sometimes the ‘blues’ don’t go away or you find that you also feel this way during your baby’s first two years.

If you have had any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks, do not wait. There is help for you and your family!

You may also:

  • Not feel yourself
  • Be sad and tearful
  • Feel exhausted, but unable to sleep
  • Feel overwhelmed and can’t concentrate
  • Have no interest or please in activities you once enjoyed
  • Feel hopeless or frustrated
  • Feel restless, irritable or angry
  • Feel extremely high and full of energy
  • Feel anxious (aches, chest pains, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling or a ‘lump’ in the throat)
  • Feel guilty and ashamed, thinking you are not a good mother
  • Not be bonding with baby, or be afraid to be alone with the baby
  • Have repeated scary thoughts about the baby
  • Have thoughts about harming yourself or the baby

 

Do not blame yourself, ask for help

 

  • Call your health care provider (family physician, midwife, nurse, nurse practioner, OB/GYN, phsychaitrist)
  • INFO line to find your public health agency 1-866-532-3161
  • Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-000 or TYY 1-866-797-0007
  • Mental Health Services Information Ontario 1-866-531-2600

For most mothers and babies who are both in good health, breastfeeding can present a wide range of experiences, challenges and loving moments of daily connection – but it’s all “normal” in the end.