The following weeks after you give birth you may be concerned about whether or not your baby is being sufficiently fed. We often think of crying as the most recognizable hunger cue. Crying is actually a late hunger cue. Relying on a cry to let you know that baby is hungry can cause serious feeding problems. In a belly belly article, parenting expert and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Pinky McKay says:

“Notice where your baby’s tongue is when she is yelling — a baby can’t latch on to feed when her tongue is up against the roof of her mouth, and if you do manage to calm her enough to latch on and feed, her suck is likely to be disorganized, or she may be exhausted from crying and only take a small feed before falling asleep. This, of course, means that she will probably sleep for a very short time then wake for another feed as her tiny tummy quickly empties.”

Be attentive to baby's small cues

In order to facilitate successful breastfeeding, it is best to try and pick up on your baby’s more subtle and earlier cues that they may be hungry. Newborns in the early stages of hunger tend to smack or lick their lips, open and close their mouth, stick out their tongue, and suck on their hands and fingers. More moderate cues include rooting around on your chest, positioning for nursing, and fussing or breathing fast.

When to wake your baby to breastfeed

Most newborns will wake up on their own accord when hungry.  However if your newborn does not wake up naturally to feed it is a good idea to wake your baby at least every 4-5 hours at night to nurse. According to the Kelly Mom article, Hunger Cues – When do I feed baby?, if the baby is older than 4 weeks you may allow your baby to sleep uninterrupted as long as he or she is eliminating and gaining weight within normal parameters.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association gives the following tips on what to do if you need to wake your baby for a feed:

  • Change your baby’s diaper
  • Change your breastfeeding position
  • Undress your baby down to their diaper and place him on your chest. Try and have as much skin-to-skin contact as possible.
  • Draw a warm bath for your baby.
  • Talk and make eye contact with your baby.
  • Gently massage your baby’s back in slow circular motions.
  • Stroke you baby’s feet and hands.

A breast pump can help structure feeding times!

If you’re wanting to help promote healthy breastfeeding you can order your insurance covered breast pump through Aeroflow Breastpumps today. To get started, just fill out our qualify through insurance form.  One of our educated breast pump specialists will verify your insurance benefits and call you back with all of your breast pump options. We look forward to helping you soon!