A New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding/What does it feel like to breastfeed?

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The Milk Ejection Reflex

Some mothers feel a tingling sensation as the milk begins to eject from the breast due to the let-down reflex. The best way to monitor whether this milk-ejection reflex has begun is by watching the sucking and breathing patterns of your baby. At the start of a feeding, you will notice a pattern such as: suck, suck, suck, swallow, suck, suck, suck, swallow. This pattern may last up to 30 seconds but can be longer. As the milk ejection reflex takes over, the pattern may be described as gulping: one swallow, one deep breath, one swallow, one deep breath. This pattern may last for 2 to 4 minutes. Your baby may want to nurse longer (maybe 15 or 20 minutes) on this breast in order to get more fat from the hind milk or to fill a need for sucking. Mothers used to be told to nurse for 10 minutes a side. Now, experts say to watch your baby, not the clock. Let your baby break off the first breast when he’s ready, and then try switching to the other breast. If she’s not interested, it’s ok to nurse on one side per feeding. Just try to start on the other side next time, so you don’t get lopsided.

Maintain adequate nutrition Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, every day Get plenty of rest Take good care of her nipples and breasts Relax and enjoy the experience