You know the benefits of breastfeeding and you want to provide what’s best for you and your baby. Now it’s time for you and your baby will LEARN to breastfeed. It is normal to feel a bit confused as you begin this process. The steps you take over the next two week will make all the difference in establishing a great milk supply!
Bring baby to breast during baby’s first hour
Labor hormones and the process of delivery cause newborns to be alert for about one hour after birth. The sudden drop in your progesterone when the placenta is delivered begins milk production. Given no emergency situations, your health care team can place baby skin to skin even before weighing and cleaning of the newborn. Baby is attracted to the smell of your nipple and colostrum and will lift her nose and head that direction! If breastfeeding must be delayed due to medical issues, your nurse will help you get baby to the breast as soon as possible
Give only breastmilk:
Colostrum, your first milk, is super charged to be perfect for your newborn! 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of colostrum at a feeding on day one is all your baby needs. Colostrum coats the lining of the bowel to prevent infections and provides the exact protein, sugar, fat balance your baby needs. It is a natural laxative that helps prevent jaundice by clearing the bowels of that tarry meconium which is left over skin cells and amniotic fluid she ingested while in the uterus. Baby eats only 1-2 ounces on day one. She need no water or formula unless prescribed by a physician.
When to breastfeed:
OFTEN! Bring baby to the breast whenever she wiggles and squirms. Mothers often describe that right before the milk comes in (around day three) the baby wants to breastfeed every hour. As baby removes those tiny teaspoons of milk, the stimulation of suckling causes the release of prolactin which is the hormone needed to make milk.
If the baby is too sleepy or is premature, you can hand express the colostrum for the baby. This action will “turn on” the milk production until the baby is more effective at the breast. CLICK here to learn how to hand express your milk
Newborn’s stomach is tiny – beginning at the size of a cherry, then a walnut, then an apricot, then an egg by one month old. On day one your baby takes 1 teaspoon at a feeding (only 1-2 ounces per day); 2 teaspoons a feeding on day two (only 2-4 ounces on day). Baby is learning to suck, breath then swallow and you are learning to breastfeed.
Wet diapers tell us that baby is hydrated. He usually has one wet diaper for each day of life. Stools tell us that baby is getting enough calories. Meconium (those dark, tarry stools on day one and two) is composed of what your baby ingested while in the womb (skin cells, mucus, amniotic fluid, bile, and water). Transitional stools on day 3 and 4 are lighter in color and less thick. By day 5 and 6 stools should be yellow and look like mustard squeezed onto the diaper. Stools are not formed. Stool the size of a quarter is included in your daily stool count.
When to get help?
- If you have pain lasting more than 30 seconds CALL someone TODAY.
- Baby does not have the number of wet or stool diapers described above.
- Baby has dark colored urine after day 3. (It should be pale yellow to clear.)
- Baby has dark colored stools after day 4. (They should be mustard yellow, with no meconium)
CLICK here for tips to increase your milk supply
© HUG Your Baby 2018