The first few days your body will make colostrum- a thick yellow/orange colored liquid that is VERY important for your baby to eat. It is nutritious and will help protect your baby from sickness. There may only be a tiny amount and that is OK and normal.
Between days 2-5 your milk will come in and will start to change to a creamy yellow to milky white color and there will be much more. The most wonderful thing is that your body will make milk according to your baby’s needs both in quantity and in nutrition!
To make sure you have enough milk, feed your baby when they ask to be fed or “on demand” feeding. There is no need to wait a certain amount of time before feeding and it could be less than an hour before your baby wants to feed again. It is normal for a newborn not to have a pattern for when they would like to eat and it is important for you to feed them often for both their health and to make sure you have enough milk for them.
Look for signs your baby is ready to eat such as:
- Making soft sounds, whimpering- don’t wait for a full-blown cry to try!
- Mouth movements- licking lips, sticking tongue out
- Trying to put hands/fingers in mouth
- Turning head toward breast or chest (this is called rooting)
- They are awake and looking alert
The most important thing is to feed your baby when they ask to be fed and to make sure they are feeding every 2-3 hours for the first 2-3 weeks.
Don’t let your baby sleep through the night at first, if needed wake your baby at least every 3 hours. This will ensure that your baby is getting enough to eat and that your body makes enough milk.
This will be at least 8-12 feedings in a day and it may be more that is OK and normal.
Once your baby is older and stronger, they may not eat as many times each day and will be able to sleep for more hours at night.
How do I know if the feeding is good?
- You can hear your baby swallowing and may see milk in their mouth when they are off the breast.
- You feel your breasts are softer after feeding
- You feel strong, deep pulling as your baby eats
- Your baby nurses for about 15-20 minutes each side or 20-30 minutes on 1 side.
How do I know if they are full?
- Your baby may become drowsy or sleepy after feeding
- They look relaxed (hands and shoulders are relaxed)
- Their mouth falls off your breast because they are so relaxed
How do I know if they are getting enough?
- Your baby should have at least 6-8 wet/poopy diapers per day
- We will check your baby’s weight when you come in for appointments to make sure they are gaining weight.
Call our office, IHA Pediatric Healthcare – Arbor Park, if you have any concerns, we are here to support you! (734) 434-3000