Breast-Feeding Basics. Part 1

Use this as an easy reference while you and your baby are learning how to breast-feed.
* Offer the breast as soon as possible after delivery. The sooner and more often your baby nurses, the sooner your milk will come in. Colostrum is available until the mature milk comes in between the 2nd and 5th day after birth.
* Allow your baby to nurse ten – fifteen minutes on each breast. It is OK if baby takes only one side at first. Keep offering both. If baby seems to want more after both sides have been offered, go back to the first side again. Babies get milk for however long they are nursing.
* During the day, offer the breast every 2 – 3 hours from the beginning of the last feeding. Wake your baby if necessary. It is okay if your baby is awake at near 2 hours, you can feed him/her. If the baby is not awake at about 3 hours during the day, unwrap him/her and allow time to wake up before putting to the breast.
* Allow your baby to sleep for a period of 4 – 5 hours at least once every 24 hours. By waking baby during the day, you can encourage this longer sleep period to occur at night.
* Skipping feedings in the early days greatly increases your chances of engorgement. Try to rest during the day so you won’t be so tired because of night feedings. Limit visitors and ask friends and relatives for help if necessary.
* Ask your nurses and Lactation Consultant to observe your infant during a feeding before you leave the hospital.
* Ask for help. Ask questions. Anytime. You and your baby are learning. You can call us with questions even after you go home.
Your baby is getting enough milk. if:
By Day 3:
* Baby feeds 8 – 12 times every 24 hours.
* Baby has 6 – 8 wet diapers per 24 hours. Urine should be pale.
* Baby has 2 – 5 stools per day.
* Your baby should have periods of being alert.

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