Tips for the First Two Weeks of Breastfeeding
In the first days after baby’s arrival, a new breastfeeding mom has much on her mind. It’s not uncommon for mom to question how breastfeeding a newborn works, and whether she is making enough milk for her little one. The colostrum, or first milk, that comes in the first days after birth may not seem like much, but it’s packed with nutrients and antibodies that provide the perfect nutrition for baby. Even though the amounts are small (about a teaspoon per feeding in the first 24 hours, going up to 16.5 ounces per 24 hours by the end of the first week), your baby’s tiny stomach is taking in as much as possible, and still receiving the benefits of that liquid gold.
Remember that every breastfeeding journey is different, and yours may not look the same as your friends, or even as you've had with previous children. But, if you're wondering what to look out for in the early days after baby is born, here are some ideas of what to expect:
In general, a baby should nurse 8-10 times daily in the first week, as this helps signal your body to produce more milk. It’s the supply=demand principle: the more baby nurses, the more milk mom makes.
Length of feeding
When breastfeeding a newborn, it’s best to let baby determine when the feeding is over instead of ending it early, since babies feed at different rates. To signal he’s done with his meal, your baby will either come off the breast or fall asleep.
By 10 days to 2 weeks after birth, your baby should recover any lost birth weight. Average weight gain for the first 4 months of life is about 5 to 7 ounces a week. As always, check with your doctor if you have concerns about the rate of your baby’s weight gain.
Baby’s appearance and behavior
In general, if your baby is getting enough breast milk, he should look outwardly healthy and be active, alert, and content.
Poop and pee
By about day 5 after birth, baby should have at least 6 wet diapers and 3 yellow stools per day. This will continue for about the first 6 months.
This might feel like a lot to consider as you’re breastfeeding a newborn, but don't panic - accessories like a maternity and nursing pillow can help you both find comfortable nursing positions while easy tools like the MyMedela app help you track these important stats straight from your smartphone so you can be assured that your baby is healthy and thriving as they continue to grow!