Feeding baby first 24 hours
Baby's first 24 hours | Pregnancy Birth and BabyBaby's first 24 hours | Pregnancy Birth and Baby beginning of content
The first day of your new baby’s life is thrilling and exhausting for both of you. This page explains what your newborn baby can sense, and how the umbilical cord and placenta can be managed. It has general information for you if you have had a healthy, full-term pregnancy – 37 to 42 weeks’ gestation.
What will my newborn baby look like?
When your baby is born, their skin might be blue and mottled. They are likely to be covered in amniotic fluid, blood and vernix, which is a cheesy white substance. This is normal.
Their skin will start to become pink as they start to breathe — which is about a minute after birth. Your baby’s hands and feet may still appear blueish for several hours.
The amniotic fluid and the vernix are there because they were there in the womb. They are important for your baby to be able to smell and taste after birth. These familiar things help your baby to feel secure outside the womb.
Birth of the placenta and cutting the umbilical cord
After you have given birth to your baby, you will have more contractions that will help you deliver the placenta. Once this happens, the umbilical cord, which is connected to the placenta, will be clamped in two places and cut. Your support person might be invited to cut the cord.
After a normal vaginal birth, your newborn baby will be put on your chest for skin-to-skin contact. Your baby needs sleep and food, and they need to feel secure and warm, so they need to feel your skin.
Doing this simple thing:
- reduces newborn crying
- helps start and sustain breastfeeding
- helps maintain your baby’s body temperature
After this first contact, they will be weighed, measured and observed to make sure they are healthy.
If you have a caesarean section, ask your midwife to make sure your baby has skin-to-skin contact with you as early as possible. It may be possible for you or your partner to hold your baby-skin-to skin in theatre and in recovery.
Babies start to show signs of wanting to feed soon after birth and usually attach and suck at the breast about 50 minutes after birth. They may then breastfeed for an hour or more. Put your baby against your chest, and they will probably find your breast and start feeding. If that doesn’t happen, you can ask your midwife or a lactation consultant for help.
The first milk you make is called 'colostrum'. It’s thick and often yellowish, rather than pure white. It’s the ideal milk for your baby. Normally a small amount is produced — your baby’s tummy is just the size of a marble.
If they haven’t fed an hour or so after birth, try again a couple of hours later. You can also express some colostrum to feed to your baby on a spoon.
Weighing and measuring
After skin-to-skin contact and the first breastfeed, your midwife might offer to weigh your baby, and measure your baby’s length and head circumference. Your baby doesn’t need to be washed for at least 24 hours.
At the time of weighing, your midwife will also offer to give your baby a vitamin K injection to prevent bleeding from vitamin K deficiency.
Cord blood collection if you are Rh negative
If your blood group is Rh negative, some blood will be taken from the umbilical cord to determine whether your baby’s blood group is compatible.
Your baby will stay with you so you can bond and respond easily to their needs. They’ll probably sleep soon after their first feed, and that might last 6 hours or so. They will probably sleep for more than half of their first day in the world.
One of the main observations made after birth is called an Apgar score. It assesses your baby’s adjustment to life outside the womb. The Apgar score is measured at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth while the baby is on your chest. Sometimes it is measured again at 10 minutes after birth.
It records your baby’s heart rate, breathing, colour, muscle tone and reflexes. The maximum score is 10. A score of 7 or above usually means your baby is doing well. It is not an ability or intelligence test, and it doesn’t predict your baby’s health later in life.
What will my newborn baby see, hear, smell, taste and feel?
Your baby has been listening to your voice for the last half of your pregnancy and will recognise it when you speak to them after birth. Your partner or support person’s voice may also be familiar if they have also been talking near your baby. Your baby will feel secure when they hear your voices and may respond by turning their head towards you. Your baby will also be able to hear your heart beating as they did in the womb.
Your baby’s vision is blurred at birth but they will be able to focus on your face from about 30 centimetres away. This is called the ‘cuddle distance’. It is roughly the distance from your breast to your face. Your baby will make the connection between what they hear and what they see.
Your baby will smell and taste the amniotic fluid and your colostrum, which has a similar flavour.
Urine and meconium
Within the first 24 hours your baby will probably pass urine and meconium (newborn faeces) at least once. Meconium is black and sticky. Your baby’s poo will change colour and consistency over the next few days.
You can call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, 7 days a week on 1800 882 436 to speak with a maternal child health nurse to find out more.
Sources:Cochrane (Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (NICE Guideline CG37: Postnatal care up to 8 weeks after birth), World Health Organization (WHO) (Recommendations on newborn health), Raising Children Network (After baby is born: what to expect in the first few hours), Australian Breastfeeding Association (Breastfeeding timeline)
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Last reviewed: September 2022
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First 24 hours: newborn feeding
In this article
- Will my baby need much milk on their first day?
- How should I breastfeed my newborn?
- How should I bottle-feed my newborn?
Whether you plan to breastfeed or formula-feed your baby, those first few feeds can feel a little daunting. But as long as you get used to how much formula or breast milk your baby needs and begin to learn their feeding cues, your baby will get enough milk and you’ll soon be a pro at breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Skin-to-skin contact helps with latching for a breastfed baby, but it’s also important if your baby is having formula milk.
Will my baby need much milk on their first day?
Because their stomach is so tiny, only the size of a marble, your newborn will need to feed frequently. You’ll probably find your baby wants between eight feeds and 12 feeds, or even more, for the first couple of weeks (NHS 2019).
Keep practising latching your baby on to your breast in the way your midwife has shown you (NICE 2014). Try different positions for feeding until you feel comfortable.
Five simple breastfeeding positions
Finding the right position will help your baby latch on properly while also stopping your nipples from getting sore. More baby videos
If breastfeeding seems tricky at first, there’s no need to feel downhearted. Many new mums take a while to get the hang of it. You and your baby will get better with time and discover breastfeeding positions that work for you.
Just remember to bring your baby to your breast, rather than the other way round. They need a wide open mouth, called a gape, to take in a good mouthful of your breast (NHS 2018, NHS 2019). Find out how to tell if your baby is latching on properly by watching our video.
Feed your baby as often as they seem to want it. Don’t worry if they seem to be feeding a lot – you can’t overfeed a breastfed baby (NHS 2019). Keep them close to you, snuggled against your skin if possible. That way you will both get plenty of feeding practice and skin-to-skin time.
Try to feed your baby before they start yelling loudly for it! Your baby will find it hard to latch if they are crying, because their tongue will be too far back in their mouth (NHS 2019).
Soothe and calm your baby before trying to feed them in these early days. Never try to force them on to your breast. If this seems a lot to take in, try not to worry. You and your baby will get to know each other in the coming days and weeks and you’ll start to learn their cues. You’ll find it gets easier to tell when your baby’s hungry.
In these first few days, your baby may actually lose weight (NHS 2018). This doesn’t mean they’re not getting enough milk. Your baby may lose up to 10 per cent of their birth weight, but should start to put on weight again by the time they’re five days old. By the time they’re three weeks old, they should have returned to their birth weight (Inch 2014: 718; NICE 2017).
Your baby will gradually become sleepier after a feed. Once they’ve had enough, they’ll be very relaxed and will come off your breast naturally (LLLGB 2016).
How should I breastfeed my newborn?
Choose a comfortable place to breastfeed your baby. A relaxing atmosphere is important, especially in the early days of breastfeeding when you’re still trying to get the hang of it.
Many mums find cradling their baby across their chest, raised up on a cushion or pillow, works well (NHS 2019b). Investing in a breastfeeding chair might also help. Spend some time working out what position is right for you, relax and enjoy the closeness with your baby.
Your baby’s first feeds will probably take 40 minutes or longer. Your breasts will be producing the thick, antibody-rich food called colostrum (NHS 2019). After a few days your milk will come in, and your baby will usually feed for between five minutes and 30 minutes (NHS 2019).
Try not to worry if your baby doesn’t spend long feeding. Some babies can take their fill in just a few minutes, while for others it takes far longer. As long as your baby is latched on properly, they should get all of the goodness they need.
You’ll need to keep feeding your baby regularly during the night too, so keep them close by to make it easier. Night feeds will ensure they get the milk they need.
If you’re breastfeeding, night feeds also help you to develop and maintain a steady milk supply. This is because at night you produce more hormones, called prolactin, which help build up your supply of milk (LLLGB 2016, NHS 2019).
How should I bottle-feed my newborn?
Bottle-fed babies can’t control their milk intake in the way that breastfed babies can. This means they may take larger amounts of formula milk. When you’re bottle-feeding your baby, make eye contact and enjoy this extra opportunity to cuddle them.
Make sure you and your baby are comfortable for their feed. Position them on your lap so that they’re fairly upright, and support their head in line with their body. As you tip the bottle, try to keep it horizontal so they aren’t flooded with milk as they feed.
Make sure the teat of the bottle is kept full of milk. If your baby swallows air when feeding, they may feel uncomfortable and be unsettled after their feed (NHS 2018b). Aim the teat at the roof of your baby’s mouth to stimulate their sucking reflex.
Look out for signs that your baby has had enough, such as slowing down or resting. These pauses give your baby time to feel whether or not they’re full. Don’t worry if they don’t finish the whole bottle (NHS 2018b). Your baby, whether they’re breastfed or formula-fed, won’t need any extra fluids, so you don’t need to give them water.
Watch our video to learn how to tell if your baby’s feeding and growing well.
See more newborn advice:
- Your newborn’s senses: video
- How you’ll feel in the first 24 hours of being a mum
- First 24 hours: newborn crying
Inch S. 2014. Infant feeding. In: Marshall J, Raynor M. eds. Myles Textbook for Midwives. 16th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 703-30. [Accessed January 2021]
LLLGB. 2016. Beginning breastfeeding. La Leche League GB. laleche.org.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NHS. 2019. Breastfeeding: the first few days. NHS, Health A to Z. www.nhs.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NHS. 2019b. Breastfeeding: positioning and attachment. NHS, Health A to Z. www.nhs.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NHS. 2018. Breastfeeding: is my baby getting enough milk? NHS, Health A to Z. www.nhs.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NHS. 2018b. Bottle feeding advice. NHS, Health A to Z. www.nhs.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NICE. 2017. Faltering growth: recognition and management of faltering growth in children. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. NICE Guideline NG75. nice.org.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
NICE. 2014. Maternal and child nutrition. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Public health guideline Ph21. nice.org.uk. [Accessed January 2021]
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The first hour of life: breastfeeding a newborn
The first day of life largely determines how successful breastfeeding of a newborn will be.
This page explains the important tasks of initiating and establishing lactation in the first 24 hours.
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The first "magic" hour you will have with your baby will be different from anything you've experienced before.
At this time you will have a unique opportunity to start breastfeeding. If a baby latch on in the first 60 minutes of life, it will set off a chain reaction in your body and you will be able to feed and protect your newborn baby.
In many ways, the mechanisms of breast milk formation are determined by hormones, however, in the first hours after childbirth, for the development of lactation, you will need an active stimulator - your baby, who will grasp and suckle rhythmically at the breast. This will “turn on” her cells to start producing milk.
In addition to its role as a lactation activator, early lactation immediately after birth also helps to calm the baby and give him psychological support. Being at the mother's breast, feeling the familiar beating of her heart, the mother's smell and warmth, the baby feels protected, loved and confident in a new unusual environment.
Even if your birth does not go according to plan and you need an emergency caesarean section or other unforeseen interventions, try to put the baby to the breast as early as possible, as this will have a beneficial effect on the establishment of lactation and, in general, on the well-being of you and the baby.
More about the first "magic" hour is described in this chapter: "Birth and the first hours of life."
But that's not all. Immediately after receiving the first drops of colostrum, the baby's body becomes stronger and more adapted to the environment.
Colostrum starts the work of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas and liver.
Among other things, this means the timely removal of excess bilirubin - which means that the sooner the first application is made and the more colostrum the baby receives on the first day, the less risk he has of developing the so-called "newborn jaundice".
Colostrum also plays a protective role in resistance to various diseases, because the baby's immune system is immature at birth.
For example, immunoglobulin A protects the baby's mucous membranes from bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Alpha-lactalbumin supports the bifidoflora in the baby's intestines, and also forms bioactive lipids that contribute to the destruction of cancer and other foreign cells.
Linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids form the brain and neuroretina of the eye.
All these and many other substances are not artificially reproducible.
It is known that getting even a few drops on the oral mucosa of a premature baby helps to increase the body's defenses and prevent many complications in care.
Early receipt of colostrum, among other things, contributes to the timely and soft removal of meconium - the original dark-colored stool.
Feeding on Demand
WHO and UNICEF recommend that breastfeeding is best done "on demand" - that is, every time the baby begins to show signs of anxiety and search for the mother's breast.
This approach, unlike feeding according to the regimen, allows the mother and baby to feel more comfortable, relaxed, to receive all the benefits of breast milk in the amount that the child individually requires.
In the first 24 hours, there may be up to 20 or more such requests. It is believed that the number of feedings that is necessary in the first day of a baby's life should be at least 8.
Frequent feedings are also necessary because very little colostrum is produced at this stage. But the baby's stomach is still so small that this small volume is just what you need. On the first day of life, the baby's stomach can hold only 6 ml of food!
So frequent feeding from birth is a sure way to give your baby the best protection that colostrum provides.
Feeding on demand in the first 24 hours of life and beyond is the right and most harmonious start to breastfeeding imaginable.
Frequent breastfeeding also helps to initiate lactation and prepare the breasts for transitional and then mature milk. Then the volume of breast milk will always meet the growing needs of the baby, he will begin to gain weight well, and you, most likely, will not have a reason to worry about a lack of milk in the future.
There are times when feeding on demand is not possible - for example, the baby is in the intensive care unit or, for one reason or another, is not able to suckle.
Then it is necessary to take measures for the timely development of lactation and providing the child with precious breast milk, organizing pumping with a breast pump. The best way to do this is to use the dedicated INITIATE program on the Symphony* Clinical Breast Pump. In this case, pumping is carried out as often as you would put a baby on - every 2 to 2.5 hours at least.
One of the first and most important skills that mother and baby must master is the correct breastfeeding.
Incorrect latch is one of the most common causes of sore and subsequently cracked nipples.
One or two sessions of feeding with an incorrect latch can be enough to form painful cracks that cause great concern to the mother and are the "entrance gate" for breast infection.
Not only that, improper latch-on leads to the fact that the baby is simply not able to get enough milk from the breast, he is malnourished, and weak stimulation does not allow lactation to develop as actively as it should.
Cracks, pain, restlessness and malnutrition of the child, sluggish development of lactation, which soon leads to a lack of milk - these are the negative consequences of improper latch that should be tried to prevent.
Therefore, it is very important from the very first day to pay special attention to the correct latch of the baby, and this is another of the main tasks of the first 24 hours of a child's life.
A nurse practitioner, a midwife at the maternity hospital or a lactation consultant can help check if the baby is latching correctly and advise on how to correct the situation if necessary.
Often just stretching the nipples before feeding with a breast pump or Nipple Shaper Pads** can help, as an unshaped, flat or even inverted nipple makes latch on difficult.
For particularly difficult cases, Contact** silicone breast pads are available to help your baby ease in and out of the breast.
Sometimes a lingual frenulum is the cause of a poor grip - then it is important to identify the problem as soon as possible and resolve it quickly. After a small and almost bloodless operation to cut the frenulum, the baby can be immediately applied to the chest.
Also often the problem of grip is explained by the lack of habit, uncomfortable position - all this is quite easily corrected, postures and positions can be mastered under the guidance of experienced mentors, but it is necessary to correct mistakes as soon as possible, in the first 24 hours.
So, here are three important conditions for the key 24 hours after childbirth:
- early attachment;
- feeding on demand;
- correct chest grip.
They help start breastfeeding successfully and harmoniously, ensure the favorable development and protection of the baby's body, and start lactation in a timely manner.
If something went wrong, the main thing is not to despair and not give up. Medela comes to the rescue in every situation with modern and fast solutions.
Pang WW, Hartmann PE. Initiation of human lactation: secretory differentiation and secretory activation. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221. - Pang, W.W., Hartmann, P.I., "Lactation initiation in the lactating mother: secretory differentiation and secretory activation." G Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221.
Klaus M. Mother and infant: early emotional ties. Pediatrics. 1998;102( Supplement E 1):1244-1246. — Klaus M., "Mother and Child: The First Emotional Ties". Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 1998; 102 (Appendix E1).
Sobhy SI, Mohame NA. The effect of early initiation of breast feeding on the amount of vaginal blood loss during the fourth stage of labor. J Egypt Public Health Assoc . 2004;79(1-2):1-2.- Sobhi SI, Moham NA, "Early initiation of breastfeeding and its effect on vaginal bleeding in the fourth stage of labour." G Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2004;79(1-2):1-2. Kim S , et al . Oxytocin and postpartum depression: Delivering on what's known and what's not. brain Res . 2014;1580:219-232. — Kim S. et al., "Oxytocin and postpartum depression: what we know and what we don't know." Brain Res. 2014;1580:219-232.
Read instructions before use. Consult a specialist about possible contraindications.
* RC No. FZ 2010/06525 dated 01/13/20
** RC No. FZZ 2010/07352 dated 07/19/2010
Breastfeeding a newborn | What to expect in the first week
The first week of a baby's life is a wonderful but hectic time, especially if you haven't breastfed before. Our breastfeeding tips will help you settle in as quickly as possible
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The first time after childbirth, mothers are often confused. The body is still recovering, and you are already starting to get to know your newborn baby. The emotional state during this period can be unstable, especially between the second and fifth day, when many women have milk 1 and at the same time postpartum depression begins 2 . In addition, people around often expect (and demand) that a woman come to her senses as soon as possible and become a “super mom”. But the best thing to do this first week is just to be with your baby and get breastfeeding going.
When should I start breastfeeding my newborn?
Try to breastfeed your baby within the first hour after birth. When the baby latch onto the breast and begins sucking rhythmically, it stimulates the mammary gland cells and starts milk production. 1 It is not for nothing that this time is called the “magic hour”!
“Ideally, the baby should be placed on the mother's stomach immediately after birth so that it can immediately attach to the breast. He won't necessarily eat, but he should be able to,” explains Cathy Garbin, an internationally recognized expert on breastfeeding.
“Hold your baby and let him find the breast on his own and put the nipple in his mouth. This is called the breast-seeking reflex. On the Internet you can watch videos that show what this process looks like. If the baby does not latch onto the nipple on its own, the midwife will help to properly attach it to the breast. But for starters, it’s good to give the baby the opportunity to do it on their own. In this case, the optimal position for the mother is reclining. ”
Don't spend that special first hour of your baby's life weighing and swaddling—or at least wait until he's suckling for the first time. Enjoy hugs and close skin-to-skin contact. This promotes the production of oxytocin, the hormone of love, in you and your baby, and oxytocin plays a key role in the supply of the first breast milk - colostrum. 3
“As soon as the obstetricians were convinced that our son was healthy, the three of us — me, my husband and our baby — were left to give us the opportunity to get to know each other. It was a very special hour - an hour of awkwardness, turbulent emotions and bliss. During this time, I breastfed my son twice, ”recalls Ellie, a mother of two from the UK.
Did you know that breastfeeding helps to recover after childbirth? This is because oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions. In the first hours after childbirth, this contributes to the natural release of the placenta and reduces blood loss. 4
What if the birth didn't go according to plan?
If you had a cesarean section or other complications during childbirth,
You can still establish skin-to-skin contact with your baby and breastfeed him in the first hours after birth.
“If you can't hold your baby, have your partner do it for you and make skin-to-skin contact with the baby. This will give the baby a sense of security, care and warmth so that he can hold on until you recover, ”Katie advises.
If the baby is unable to breastfeed, it is advisable to start expressing milk as early as possible and do so as often as possible until the baby is able to feed on its own. “While breastfeeding in the first hours after birth lays an excellent foundation for the future, it is not so important,” Cathy reassures. “It is much more important to start lactation so that in the future, if necessary, you can start breastfeeding.”
To start milk production, you can express milk manually or use a breast pump that can be given to you at the hospital. 5 And with expressed precious colostrum, it will be possible to feed the child. This is especially important if the baby was born premature or weak, since breast milk is extremely healthy.
If a baby was born prematurely or has a medical condition and cannot be breastfed immediately, this is no reason not to continue breastfeeding. “I have worked with many new mothers who were unable to breastfeed their baby for the first six weeks due to preterm labor or other reasons. Nevertheless, all of them later successfully switched to breastfeeding,” says Kathy.
Does the baby latch on correctly?
Correct breastfeeding is a prerequisite for successful breastfeeding 6 , as it determines how effectively the baby will suckle milk, and therefore grow and develop. Latching on the breast incorrectly can cause sore or damaged nipples, so don't hesitate to ask your doctor to check that your baby is properly attached to the breast, even if you are told that everything is fine and you do not see obvious problems - especially while you are in the hospital.
“While I was in the hospital, I called the doctor at every feed and asked me to check if I was breastfeeding correctly,” says Emma, mother of two from Australia. - There were several cases when it seemed to me that everything seemed to be right, but it was painful to feed, and the doctor helped me take the baby off the breast and attach it correctly. By the time I was discharged, I had already learned to do it confidently.”
When applying to the breast, point the nipple towards the palate. This will allow the baby to take the nipple and part of the areola under it into their mouth. It will be easier for him to suck if he has both the nipple and part of the areola around in his mouth. 6
“When a baby latch on properly, it doesn't cause discomfort and it causes a pulling sensation, not pain,” Cathy explains. - The baby's mouth is wide open, the lower lip may be slightly turned outward, and the upper one lies comfortably on the chest. The body language of the child indicates that he is comfortable. There isn't much milk at this early stage, so you probably won't notice your baby swallowing, but he will suckle a lot and nurse frequently."
How often should a newborn be fed?
The frequency and duration of breastfeeding in the first week can vary greatly. “The first 24 hours of life are completely different for different children. Someone sleeps a lot (after all, childbirth is tiring!), And someone often eats, says Katie. - Such a variety greatly confuses young mothers. Everyone gives different advice, so it's important to remember that every mother and child is different."
“Colostrum is thicker than mature breast milk and is produced in smaller amounts, but has many benefits. When the baby eats colostrum, he learns to suck, swallow and breathe until milk begins to flow in more volume, ”explains Cathy.
Milk usually arrives on the second or fourth day after birth. Until this time, the baby is applied to the breast 8-12 times a day (and sometimes more often!), including at night. 7 Feeding may last 10-15 minutes at this stage, or 45 minutes or even an hour, as the baby is just beginning to develop the muscles and coordination needed to suckle effectively.
“At first, the intensity of feeding is very high, often higher than many people realize, and this is shocking to most new mothers,” says Cathy. - Sometimes mom has no time to go to the toilet, take a shower and have a snack. It usually comes as a surprise."
Camille, a mother from Australia, experienced this. “The first week, Frankie ate every two hours, day and night, and each time it took half an hour to an hour to feed,” she recalls. “My husband and I were completely exhausted!”
Should I feed my newborn on a schedule?
The good news is that frequent feeding promotes lactation and stimulates milk production. 7 The more your baby eats, the more milk you will have. Therefore, forget about feeding your newborn on a schedule - this way he will have less chance of feeding. Try to feed your baby when he signals that he is hungry 8 :
- toss and turn in his sleep;
- opens eyes;
- turns his head if he feels a touch on his cheek;
- sticks out tongue;
- licks lips;
- sucks fingers;
- is naughty;
- is crying.
Crying is the last sign of hunger, so when in doubt, just offer your baby the breast. If he bursts into tears, it will be more difficult to feed him, especially at first, when both of you are just learning how to do it. As your baby grows, he will likely eat less frequently and take less time to feed, so breastfeeding will seem more predictable.
Does breastfeeding hurt?
You may have heard that breastfeeding is not painful at all, but in fact, in the first days, many new mothers experience discomfort. And this is not at all surprising, given that the nipples are not used to such frequent and strong sucking.
“Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable for the first couple of days – your body and your baby are just getting used to it. If a baby eats for too long and does not latch well, the sensations are almost the same as from unworn new shoes, Cathy compares. Just as tight shoes can rub your feet, improper suckling can damage your nipples. Prevention is always better than cure, so if the pain persists after a few days of feeding, contact a lactation consultant or healthcare professional. ”
Maria, a mother from Canada, agrees: “Although my son seemed to latch onto the breast well, he damaged his nipples while feeding, and I was in pain. As it turned out, the reason was a shortened frenulum of the tongue. The breastfeeding specialists at our city clinic have been of great help in diagnosis and treatment.”
In addition, you may experience period cramps during the first few days after breastfeeding, especially if this is not your first baby. This is the so-called postpartum pain. The fact is that oxytocin, which is released during breastfeeding, contributes to further contraction of the uterus to restore its normal size. 4
When milk arrives, the breasts usually become fuller, firmer and larger than before delivery. In some women, the breasts swell, harden and become very sensitive - swelling of the mammary glands occurs. 10 Frequent breastfeeding relieves these symptoms. For more breast care tips, read our article What is Breast Swelling?
How often does the newborn urinate and defecate?
What goes into the body must go back out. Colostrum
has a laxative effect, helping to eliminate meconium - the original feces. It looks a little scary - black and sticky, like tar. 11 But don't worry, it won't always be like this. Breastfed babies usually have a slightly sweet smell of stool.
How many times a day you will need to change diapers and how the contents should look like, see below.
- Frequency: once or more.
- Colour: greenish black.
- Texture: sticky like tar.
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Colour: dark greenish brown.
- Texture: less sticky.
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Colour: greenish brown to brownish yellow.
- Texture: non-sticky.
Fourth day and then the entire first month
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Color: yellow (feces should turn yellow no later than by the end of the fourth day).
- Texture: grainy (like mustard with grains interspersed). Leaky and watery.
The baby's urine should be light yellow. On average, babies urinate once a day for the first two days. Starting around the third day, the number of wet diapers increases to three, and from the fifth day onwards, diapers have to be changed five times a day or more often. In addition, during the first few days, the weight of wet diapers increases. 11
Is the baby getting enough breast milk?
Since very little milk is produced at first,
you may feel that this is not enough for your baby. But if you feed your baby on demand, you will produce exactly as much milk as he needs. If you want to keep the process under control, be guided by the frequency of diaper changes above. If your baby soils less diapers, check with your doctor.
“For the first three or four weeks, most babies just eat and sleep. If the child is worried and constantly asks for a breast, you should consult with your doctor, ”Katie recommends.
Sometimes the baby may vomit after feeding. If the vomit is the color of milk, this is not a cause for concern. But if there are orange, red, green, brown or black blotches in it, or the child vomits with a "fountain", consult a doctor. You should also consult a doctor if the baby has a high temperature, the fontanel (soft spot on the head) has sunk, blood is found in the stool, and also if the weight recorded at birth has not recovered within two weeks. 11
But if there are no frightening symptoms and the baby is growing at a normal pace, then he has enough milk. Soon you will both get used to breastfeeding and establish a more stable routine.
For the next step in breastfeeding, see Breastfeeding the First Month: What to Expect.
1 Pang WW, Hartmann PE. Initiation of human lactation: secretory differentiation and secretory activation. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 2007;12(4):211-221. - Pang, W.W., Hartmann, P.I., "Lactation initiation in the lactating mother: secretory differentiation and secretory activation." G Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221.
2 Shashi R et al. Postpartum psychiatric disorders: Early diagnosis and management. Indian J Psychiatry . 2015; 57( Suppl 2): S 216– S 221. - Shashi R. et al., Postnatal mental disorders: early diagnosis and treatment. Indian J Saikiatri. 2015; 57(App 2):S216-S221.
3 Moberg KU, Prime DK. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant . 2013;9(6):201-206. - Moberg K, Prime DK, "The effects of oxytocin on mother and child during breastfeeding." Infant. 2013;9(6):201-206.
4 Sobhy SI, Mohame NA. The effect of early initiation of breast feeding on the amount of vaginal blood loss during the fourth stage of labor. J Egypt Public Health Assoc . 2004;79(1-2):1-12. - Sobhi SI, Moham NA, "Early initiation of breastfeeding and its effect on vaginal bleeding in the fourth stage of labor." G Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2004;79(1-2):1-2.
5 Meier PP et al. Which breast pump for which mother: an evidence-based approach to individualizing breast pump technology. J Perinatol . 2016;36(7):493. - Meyer P.P. et al., Breastpump Selection: A Scientific Approach to Customizing Pumping Technology. J Perinatol (Journal of Perinatology). 2016;36(7):493-499.
6 Cadwell K. Latching - On and Suckling of the Healthy Term Neonate: Breastfeeding Assessment. J Midwifery & Women s Health . 2007;52(6):638-642. — Cadwell, K., "Latching and sucking in healthy newborns: evaluation of breastfeeding." F Midwifery Women Health. 2007;52(6):638-642.
7 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. J Obstet , Gynecol , & Neonatal Nurs . 2012;41(1):114-121. - Kent J.S. et al., "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol Neoneutal Nurs. 2012;41(1):114-121.
8 Australian Breastfeeding Association [ Internet ]. Feeding cues ; 2017 Sep [ cited 2018 Feb ]. - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Feed Ready Signals; September 2017 [cited February 2018]
9 Jacobs A et al.