Breastfeeding – The First Few Days
As soon as your baby is born, your body produces colostrum. Colostrum is packed with antibodies that will protect your baby from infection and disease.
In the first few days of your baby’s life, bowel movements will be dark and sticky. This is called meconium. Colostrum will help clear the meconium out of your baby’s system until it becomes loose and yellow.
Because colostrum is so rich with nutrients, your baby will nurse frequently (every one to three hours) because he only needs small amounts at each feeding. Once he grows, he will be able to nurse longer and go for longer stretches in between feedings. Nursing frequently will help you to produce more milk for your growing baby.
Breastfeeding is a learned art. Some babies latch on from the first feeding, and others need a little more work.
An improper latch will create problems like sore, cracked or bleeding nipples. It can also prevent your baby from getting all of your breastmilk which can lead to clogged milk ducts or even mastitis.
It’s especially important that your baby latches on correctly from the beginning. This will save you time and frustration – not to mention pain – in the long run. If your baby doesn’t have a proper latch, get help from a nurse or lactation consultant.
Did You Know?
Your baby can tell the difference between your breastmilk and someone else’s breastmilk by sense of smell.
I had to use a breast pump quite a bit with both my children, and to be honest, the Medela Pump in Style breast pump worked better than the pump I used at the hospital right after they were born. If you’re going to be pumping at all, a good quality pump is worth every penny.