Expect that it may take 2 - 3 weeks for you and your baby to get into a breastfeeding routine.
Breastfeeding a baby on demand is full-time and exhausting work. Your body needs energy to produce enough milk. Be sure to eat well, rest, and sleep. Take good care of yourself so you can take good care of your baby.
During the first month:
During growth spurts:
Some mothers stop nursing during the first few days or weeks because they are afraid that they are not making enough milk. It may seem like your baby is always hungry. You don’t know how much milk your baby is drinking, so you worry.
Know that your baby will nurse a lot when she needs you to increase your milk supply. This is a natural way for baby and mother to work together to make sure there is enough milk.
Resist supplementing your baby's diet with formula feedings for the first 4 - 6 weeks.
You know that your baby is eating enough if your baby:
The frequency of feeding decreases with age as the baby eats more at each feeding. Don't get discouraged. You will eventually be able to do more than sleep and nurse.
You may find that keeping your baby in the same room with you, or a room close enough to hear your baby, helps you rest better. You can use a baby monitor so you can hear your baby cry.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you not sleep with your baby.
Expect your baby to nurse a lot at night when you go back to work.
Breastfeeding at night is okay for your baby’s teeth.
Your baby may be fussy and nurse a lot in the late afternoon and evening. You and your baby are more tired by this time of day. Resist giving the baby a bottle of formula. This will decrease your milk supply at this time of day.
Your baby's bowel movements (stools) during the first 2 days will be black and tar-like (sticky and soft).
Breastfeed often during the first 2 days to flush this sticky stool out of your baby’s bowels.
The stools then become yellow-colored and seedy. This is normal for a breastfed baby and is not diarrhea.
During the first month, your baby may have a bowel movement after each breastfeeding. Don't worry if your baby has a bowel movement after every feeding or every 3 days, as long as the pattern is regular and your baby is gaining weight.
Breastfeeding pattern; Nursing frequency
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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