Suggestions for Successful Breastfeeding

Here are some basic ideas to keep in mind in your first few weeks of breastfeeding. We hope these tips will help you with some of the most frequent questions new parents have. Keep in mind there are many right ways to have successful breastfeeding. Above all remember: There are NO strict or rigid RULES

Day of Birth and 1st 24 hours:

Bring the baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth, ideally within the first hour or two.  Try nursing every 2-3 hours or more often if the baby is eager, you may to try to wake the baby up.  A good way to wake them up is change their diaper.  If you are unable to arouse the baby wait 10 – 15 minutes and try again.  Unwrap and hold/nurse your baby “skin to skin” as much as possible.  Expect that your baby will pass urine and meconium stool within a 24 hour period.

Day 1 to day 5:

Colostrum (the early milk) gradually changes to mature more enriching mothers milk.  Continue to nurse/feed every 2 – 3 hours.  Minimum of 8 feedings in 24 hours; averaging 8 – 15 feeding times in 24  hours.  There is no reason to limit your baby’s time at the breast as long as the latch is good and you and your baby are comfortable with it.  Nursing 20 – 40 minutes (total for both breasts is common.  It can be normal for the baby to be fussy at times as the milk when your mild is changing from colostrum to mature milk.  At this point your baby may want to feed more frequently due to the changing milk.  Offering a supplemental formula or water MAY be necessary if your baby’s caregiver instructs you to do so for some medical reason (one reason is improper weight gain of your baby).  Avoiding pacifier use for now is important and may cause “nipple confusion”.  It is good to wait until your baby is a skilled breast feeder before introducing pacifiers.  Expect one wet diaper for each day of age: (see chart below)

Days Old Number of WET Diapers
1 day old 1 wet diaper
2 days old 2 wet diapers
3 days old 3 wet diapers

Expect 2 – 10 meconium stools every 24 hours

Day 3 to 2 weeks:

As your mature milk comes in feeding patterns may change.  Your breasts may be fuller and the baby may have more trouble latching on.  Try warm moist heat to your breasts and hang expression of mil before feedings to soften the areola so the baby can latch on properly.  Feed as often as your baby desires to decrease engorgement discomfort.  Wake your baby to feed if they do not wake up.  You should hear your baby swallowing (gulping) milk; it sounds like a sigh then a gulp.  Bowel movements will be turning mustard yellow and there should be 3 – 10 large stools in 24 hours (after about 4 -6 weeks, your baby’s stooling patters will change again; at this age it is common for your baby to have days without stooling at all).  Wet diapers will increase to 6 – 8 more in 24 hours.  Your baby should be weighed by 2 weeks of age and should be back to birth weight.

Free Downloads? Breastfeeding and Diaper Changing Records

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