Breastfeeding: The First Month
Breastfeeding experiences are different for every mom and every baby -the first year of your baby’s life will be filled with growth and amazing milestones. All that growth means a growing appetite! Being prepared for all of these changes will help you relax and enjoy your breastfeeding experience.
When you start breastfeeding you may be concerned about being able to express (produce) enough milk for your baby, after all breastfeeding is a new experience for you. Just as you are learning how to breastfeed, your baby is learning how to eat. In the first 10 days your baby’s stomach size will change and grow. Making sure your baby is in the right position and has a good latch is key to successful breastfeeding, learn more about breastfeeding positions and helping your baby latch on properly.
The illustration below will reassure you that your body will produce exactly what your baby needs during this time.
What To Expect:
- Colostrum, the early milk produced by the breasts, is present in relatively small amounts, beginning months before delivery and continuing for the first few days after giving birth.
- The process of abundant milk production (known as lactogenesis) begins approximately two to four days after delivery.
- Your breasts will become larger, firmer, heavier, warmer, and even uncomfortable when your milk starts increasing in volume.
- Your milk supply may suddenly increase, when this occurs you may experience spontaneous leaking from the breasts or see milk in the baby’s mouth.
- Newborns nurse frequently, on average at least 8-10 times within 24 hours for the first month of life, be prepared to stop whatever your doing when your baby needs to eat.
- A mother’s breasts usually feel full before each feeding, letting her know that milk is present and become softer after the baby has nursed, suggesting that milk has been released.
- After two or three weeks, nursing mothers usually notice sensations associated with the milk ejection, or milk let-down, reflex – You may experience feelings of tingling, tightening, stinging, burning, or a pins-and-needles feeling. It simply means your milk supply is well established.
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